SaaS architecture refers to a specific kind of Information Technology (IT) setup for Storage as a Service (SaaS). SaaS is a name for software products that vendors sell, not out of a box, but over telecom lines. SaaS software is run from the vendor’s server or provided in a similar manner.
With SaaS products, clients don’t have to receive discs containing the software program. They don’t have to take the time to install and register programs. Instead, they simply purchase access to the vendor’s server for a specific length of time. Customers typically receive a logon and a set of access and security protocols from the vendor for a specific SaaS fee.
When IT managers talk about an SaaS architecture, they are thinking about how Software as a Service programs are deployed and set up within a business IT structure. Another related term is Service Oriented Architecture or SOA. A Service Oriented Architecture includes software as a service and other elements of a business software system. The idea to is streamline how all of the various software programs in business operations are set up. Leaders look at how different software programs “talk to each other,” and how well they are set up for either local or remote use.
There are also some common factors in SaaS architecture and other SOA issues. One is the idea of single or multiple tenancy, where vendors offer different ways of customizing programs for a particular client. In some cases, multiple customers or ‘tenants’ share the base level of service from the common server-run software products. In other situations, programs are specifically customized and portioned out for clients according to their needs.
Software as a service architecture is important for most businesses because inefficient linking of software programs leads to greater cost and less flexibility for growth. Businesses that have a better SaaS architecture, or SOA, can profit from better customer service, more remote access for workers on the go, and a lot of other very useful tools for doing business more efficiently.
IT consulting shops often offer specialized services for helping a business to develop an SaaS architecture. This includes making sure systems are set up for the best and most efficient IT operations, and that cost is factored into the design. Consultants can also help a company develop as the ‘business partner’ of an IT provider, where brand loyalty may be a key to additional savings or client perks.