Friday, 19 February 2010

SaaS Hosting Overview and Recommendation

The Technology SaaS or Software as a Service, is a relatively new model with good potentials of explosion.  We only started hearing about SaaS Model, right about 2000/2001 and yet, we have an increasing emerging market for various SaaS applications like CRM SaaS, ERP SaaS, SaaS hosting services, HR, Mail,etc.

I have put together this write up to try as much as possible to explain these concepts. 

For starters, I will be giving you an overview of SaaS, SaaS hosting, SaaS Vendors and some key things to consider before adopting SaaS. I will go indepth to the technicalities behind SaaS and also talk about the other aaS platforms on a new post 

What is SaaS?

SaaS or "Software as a Service" generally describes a model in which a provider (SaaS provider) licences applications for use to customers as a service.  Simply put, it is a set of applications hosted on a remote server, accessed through the internet

SaaS based technologies are generally hosted solutions or web based solutions, also known as on-demand solutions. It represents a complete paradigm shift for software development and delivery methods. It is convenient to acquire or license and the convenience of a web based, hosted solution will always be a desirable benefit of SaaS and SaaS Hosting. 

It allows for easy access to business data from anywhere where there is internet connection and so data sharing is greatly enhanced.

SaaS and SaaS Hosting, infact threatens to overthrow the traditional on premise licensing methods of buying and deploying software.

There are several SaaS applications, the common ones are CRM SaaS, ERP SaaS, Project Management, Marketing, Time and Billing, Financial and accounting, Inventory Management, Payroll, SCM and more. 

The SaaS market extends across a variety of industries including, real estates, retail, healthcare, hospitality, Business Intelligence, Call Centre, Document Management, Enterprise Resource Planning and more.

SaaS Hosting

SaaS Hosting services is generally provided by a Hosting Company or Managed Application/hosting providers. These are the people responsible for housing the SaaS applications and data on secure servers

SaaS Vendors

SaaS vendors are Companies that sell you the SaaS service. Many vendors do not like to keep the Applications on their servers or deal with any application hosting service, so they turn to the SaaS Hosting Companies

Here are some 'Key Things' to Consider Before Adopting SaaS


The low cost of SaaS is generally the first appeal for SaaS platform. It is generally thought that faster ROI is achievable. SaaS is usually affordable. It can be deployed with much smaller initial cost, although, there is usually an on-going annual cost you pay for the use of the software.

Recommendation: Be sure to consider all cost involved, although, generally it is a lot much cheaper to implement SaaS than on-premise based business solutions


Because SaaS is a Service from a provider (SaaS provider or SaaS vendor) and not an out right purchase, there are some limitations in flexibility as characteristic of licensed software.

With a software out rightly purchased and installed on your servers, you have total control. You could completely customise it as much as you wish. You could even re-write the entire software, but with SaaS you can't entirely do this. However, many SaaS providers work hard to give you flexibility as much as can be permitted. The extent of flexibility varies from a provider to another.

With regard to work flexibility however, SaaS hosting allows you work flexibly from anywhere where there is a connection, home, work, car, etc

Recommendation: Be sure to shop around and source for the right solution for you with the right level of flexibility. A vendor can have a product that is not quite as good the other


SaaS is simpler to deploy from a technical point of view. You need not purchase expensive servers or physically install the software yourself. It can be easily and quickly deployed. It is simple to maintain, as software upgrades and maintenance are made by the SaaS Hosting companies themselves

Can it Co-Exist?

SaaS can co-exist with your in-house applications because it's a web based solution. There is really no need for integration with existing business systems, except you so desire.


SaaS is generally suited to small to mid sized companies. This is because larger companies with well defined business processes, tend not to be able to adapt their processes to the software. Larger companies also seem to require more complex solutions and   tend to require more level of control.


SaaS is generally secure. Software hosting is usually done via a SaaS Hosting Company which provides the SaaS service to the SaaS vendor. Backup and disaster recovery is taken care of, with backup done at remote data centres, stored at a secure location

When choosing a SaaS vendor or SaaS Company, Security is one of the most important filters to look out for. You should choose your vendor carefully, Check and verify that your vendor has the right level of security. A good customer support is also essential

SaaS Pricing

The hosted Software is rented at a set cost per user per month. There are Opportunities also to charge per transaction, event or other unit of value to the customer.

Take a look at this resource


  1. Very interesting and useful piece of information.

  2. Very Informative, definitely worth considering.

  3. Hi Abi, nice write up, but I must say, I didnt really know much about SaaS until now. You really explained the concept well, and i have a clearer picture. My company is considering moving into saas though.