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What is Software-as-a-Service?

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.

Why Use SaaS?

Lower Software Costs

SaaS usually costs less than licensed applications, which often come with upgrade and support fees in addition to the upfront cost.

No Software Maintenance

You don’t need to install, set up or support applications — the provider takes full responsibility for those tasks, including updates and patches.

Quick Scalability

It’s easy to expand your SaaS subscriptions as your business grows, and it’s equally easy to cancel subscriptions when employees depart.

Disaster Protection

If natural or man-made disaster strikes your business, your employees can still access their SaaS apps and data, which remain safe in the provider’s data center.

How Can Rackspace Help?

We know you value flexibility and freedom of choice, so Rackspace’s SaaS hosting options include a hybrid cloud, which combines dedicated hardware, virtual servers, private cloud and public cloud. We also provide a portfolio of tools to help you develop, migrate, create, test and back up your apps.

Almost every business needs Office 365®, which delivers up-to-date versions of popular apps like Microsoft® Office, plus newer ones like Groups. And because Microsoft has taken a mobile-first approach to Office 365, your employees get the same functionality and performance whether they’re on a laptop, tablet or phone.

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