You’ve probably heard of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and you probably know that it’s becoming a dominant method of software delivery. But what is it, technically? If you’re not sure, you’re in good company. (If you are, check out Rackspace’s SaaS hosting options.)
SaaS refers to applications delivered over the internet on a subscription basis, as opposed to software you pay for and download on the front end. SaaS apps run on a provider’s remote servers, which is why SaaS is also known as “web-based software” or “on-demand software.” You access SaaS apps via your browser.
SaaS is popular among businesses and it’s become the most common delivery method for enterprise apps in areas like accounting, enterprise resource planning and virtualization.
To offer some context: SaaS is the most widely used of the three types of cloud computing. (Cloud computing also includes Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).) A recent survey of cloud adoption in the healthcare industry found that 83% of healthcare IT organizations use cloud services, and nearly 70% of those organizations use SaaS.