I guess the first question a lot of people will be asking is what is SaS? SaS which stands for “software as a service” is becoming an increasingly common concept in the business world. Instead of going to a shop and buying the latest software which is then there’s to use forever a lot of businesses now pay subscription fees to use the software. This is most commonly used in a lot of business specific software like accounting software but its success means that we could see it being adopted across the board and coming into our homes, in some instances it already has.
So why would we want SaS?
There are a number of advantages to using SaS that could make this something we should welcome. Firstly it allows us to pay for software in a more affordable way; by not having to invest such a large amount of money all in one go the price tags become less scary, a few pounds / dollars a month is much more viable to many home users than several hundred or even thousand pounds / dollars all in one go. If it turns out you don’t like the software you can just stop paying and never spend anywhere near the hefty amount you could have wasted otherwise.
The flexibility of SaS only adds to the affordability and makes high end software available many who would normally not be able to afford it. This is because we only pay for it when we are using it, so if you’ve previously not bought the best photo editor or accounting program because it was not worth it for the amount of time you would be using it this might now change. SaS allows you to only subscribe when you need the software, so if your only using a month of Photo editing software just after your holiday to edit all those vacation snaps, or a month of accounting software at the end of the tax year to get your books in order the chances are you will never end up spending the amount you would have if you bought the program in one go.
Staying up to date
We’ve all fallen victim to how quickly computers and software update, it can sometimes seem that just as soon as we’ve invested in the latest software package the next one comes out, and all of a sudden our work is no longer compatible or we start to want the latest features other people have. With SaS you are always using the very latest version; even minor updates are instantly available to you without your payments changing, SaS means your money is always buying you the latest thing.
Commitment from the software company
The software company only makes money from you whilst you are using the software so they have an incentive to keep you using it as long as possible. This means they will not only strive to keep the software as up to date and good as it can be but they will also offer you great technical support to make sure your getting everything you can out of it. The company making the software have a much greater responsibility to offer you computer help so the days of having to solve problems for yourself by traipsing the internet could be over.
You can spend less money on your computer
Many SaS programs aren’t actually installed on your computer but are run on the computers of the software company that designs them. You then connect to their computer using a high speed internet connection and use their machines to do your work from home. This usually means that your computer doesn’t need to be the most expensive fast one to get results as all the hard work and processing power is being done elsewhere. It’s the software companies that have to buy the super computer not you.
So what’s the catch?
Well if you use software a lot and don’t normally feel the need to upgrade to the latest and greatest program then it could over all end up costing you more than buying software in the traditional manner. Software is also less likely to fall in price allowing you to find bargains if you get a slightly old version as we move to a culture of just constantly updating software rather than releasing new versions. You may also not be able to access your work if the internet goes don or you don’t have a connection however there will no doubt be ways around this.
SaS defiantly looks to be moving away from just being for businesses in the form of accounting software and luckily the advantages seem to outweigh the disadvantages. However for many people who have become accustomed to buying a piece of software to keep forever it may be a big change to get used too. If you’ve got a subscription to an antivirus service or even play online subscription games you have already seen the beginning of the change.