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What is SaaS? The modern way to run software

Bob Violino | Sept. 25, 2017
The era of installing software from a CD or from a datacenter’s server is coming to a close, as internet-delivered software makes applications available anywhere, anytime.

Security and privacy are also issues, as they are with other cloud services. If a service provider experiences a data breach, that can compromise safety of the enterprise’s data and the availability of the services.

Other potential risks relate service quality and user experience. Despite improvements in networking technology, because SaaS applications might be hosted far from where users are located, there can be latency issues that affect response times for applications.

Many organizations do not have a broad cloud strategy, and this has led to a rise in business users acquiring SaaS applications on their own—without the knowledge of IT—to fill in gaps that exist. That can lead to wasteful spending, poor data management, and extra work to move processes and data from one non-integrated system to another.


SaaS vendors and the trend to greater integration

Among the leading enterprise SaaS providers are ADP, Adobe Systems, Box, Citrix Systems, Dropbox, Google, IBM, Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle,, SAP, ServiceNow, and Workday. But hundreds of companies offer their software as SaaS, from mobile management tools to expense report management, from video transcoding to financial calculations, from customer data cleanup to computer-aided design (CAD).

Because SaaS offerings can come from so many providers, a key trend is the rise in integration among vendor offerings. There are both services meant to integrate multiple SaaS applications, such as to provide single signon and access management across them, and efforts within the SaaS vendor community to create integrations across multiple providers’ software so enterprise processes can flow more easily across those applications sourced from multiple providers.


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