Software as a service, or ‘SaaS’ as it is usually known, is an increasingly popular way to deliver software to customers, and one that more and more software houses are adopting. It allows you to offer users more affordable licensing solutions while also being able to predict your own revenue more effectively than selling individual licenses, and also lets you run updates easily without having to deliver them to client machines.
Hosting and Software as a Service Application
If you are developing a new SaaS offering, one of the most important things to consider is how you are going to host it. Because the whole point of having a SaaS package from the user’s perspective is that it is always available to them via the web when they have a connection, you have to make sure that it actually is. You also have to be certain that the hosting is prepared to cope with the maximum volume of activity that it is possible for you to get with your user base at any given time (and more). In addition to this, you need to know that the hosting can scale in the event your product takes off massively and suddenly and you need to be able to cater to a lot more users.
If you’re a smaller software house or a sole developer, chances are you won’t have anything close to the server capacity needed for all of this, and many bigger companies don’t either. You may not have the manpower to properly maintain the servers and other resources either. For this reason, it is generally best to use third party hosting for your SaaS app.
What to Look for in an Application Hosting Package
When you are looking for a hosting package for your SaaS application, you aren’t just looking for good infrastructure but also good IT service management. The company you will have hosting your app need to have a reputation for dealing with issues very quickly and an excellent customer service record, because it is your reputation and your customers who will be affected by any problems or down time. You also need a hosting service that offers full scalability and which has been tested for your maximum anticipated load and up.
You also need to look at what the process is for updating your app. In most cases this will be straightforward, but you should be aware of how it works before you come to do your first patch or update.
There are lots of companies who offer hosting for SaaS, from big name brands like Amazon to small niche companies, and it is down to you to evaluate offerings and check out the credentials and reviews of the companies on your shortlist to make a decision. Remember that the hosting can either be a great service that you never even have to think about, allowing you to work on expanding your app or developing other projects, or can be a source of stress to both you and your users, so don’t take the decision lightly!