Software as a Service (SaaS) is software that is provided as a service via the internet for a monthly rental charge, instead of the software being installed locally on PCs or inhouse servers.
Users and businesses gain access to the applications through a web browser or via applications installed on the computer which retrieve information and data from the cloud. In other words, SaaS is also a cloud service.
E-mail, video conferencing, office support applications and business systems are examples of SaaS solutions.
A distinction is often made between ‘multi-tenant solutions’ and ‘single tenant solutions’. Multi-tenant solutions are genuine cloud solutions, where the provider delivers a single item of software to all the subscribers. In the case of a single tenant solution, the supplier supplies different solutions to each customer. Oracle, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple and Salesforce are examples of some of the companies that offer SaaS solutions.
Another important advantage of SaaS solutions is that they avoid start-up investments, which tie up capital. The costs are recognised on an ongoing basis in the operating accounts, making them clear and predictable for the company's finances.