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SaaS / Cloud Computing
Enjoy the benefits of outsourcing a secure IT infrastructure
The terms Cloud Computing and Software as a Service or in short SaaS are commonly used among most people who work with a computer. Defining both or even differentiating one from another is a different matter. So what exactly are we talking about?
Cloud Computing is the generic term for a technological concept of allowing people to access technology-enabled, highly scalable services in real time over the Internet. Cloud Computing can thus be understood as “IT businesses in the Cloud” and could even replace an entire in-house IT infrastructure. The provided IT services can include the use of the basic infrastructure, hardware, data storage, software or development platforms. They are offered flexibly and in line with the businesses’ requirements. Software-as-a-Service falls under the larger cloud computing definition and offers software solutions which are commonly charged on a pay-per-use or subscription basis.
So how does SaaS work?
In the past, software licenses had to be purchased, today, thanks to higher bandwidths, the concept of Software as a Service (SaaS) fills a perpetual need of IT: a way to add capabilities or increase capacity on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, licensing new software or training new personnel. Instead of installing the software on local servers and work stations, these cloud applications run on external data centers. All users need is an Internet-ready PC or device, an Internet connection to the external IT service provider and a web browser which allows access to the SaaS application. These rentable web applications can then be accessed from anywhere and at any time.
When should I buy software, when should I rent it?
When wondering which is the right choice, an on-premises installed software or a web-based SaaS solution, there is no right or wrong. It all depends on your specific needs for functionalities, your budget for the initial investment and running costs of maintenance, updates and data accessibility.
When choosing software which is installed and setup on-site, the access rights are purchased for an unlimited time. Purchasing hard- and software as well as the installation and setup of both often represents such a high initial investment that hoteliers put off or delay the decision to buy the much needed software. SaaS on the other hand is a subscription-based service model and the SaaS solutions cannot be bought. “Pay-per-use” fees are usually billed on a monthly basis and often depend on the number of rooms or apartments that will be managed.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of SaaS solutions?
When using on-premises installed software, businesses need to backup their business-critical data themselves. These businesses will also need to update and maintain their IT infrastructure and purchased software. As SaaS solutions run on the internet and business data is stored in highly protected data centers, all data is frequently backed up and the software is maintained and updated by the provider. Especially for businesses that are not using hotel management software yet, SaaS is an attractive and inexpensive solution.