When it comes to software, many terms are thrown around casually. These terms can be confusing, and they often speak to very different ideas.
In this article, we will explain the difference between software as a service and software as a product. We’ll also explore which is better and when you might want to choose one over the other.
What is Software as a Service?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is software that is delivered through the cloud and runs on servers. This means that your software can be accessed online via the internet, without having to install any additional software or upload any files on your computer. As a result, SaaS applications are often more affordable than traditionally-installed programs.
What is Software as a Product?
Software as a product is software that has been packaged and sold to consumers, typically retail. The consumer pays for the software and then is able to use it indefinitely.
What is the Difference Between Software as a Service and Software as a Product?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model where the core functionality of applications is hosted on remote servers, potentially by multiple providers and accessed via the Internet.
This model is commonly used by large corporations who want to offer their employees access to their systems and applications, but don’t want to have to maintain the hardware and maintenance of setting up and maintaining the systems themselves.
Examples of SaaS include Salesforce, Google Apps, Zendesk, etc.
In comparison, Software as a Product (SaP) is a model where the code that makes up the application is stored locally and is installed on a customer’s computer or device.
This is commonly used by small and medium businesses who want to have all the benefits of using software, but with the ability to tweak the code and make changes as necessary to suit their needs, rather than being limited to the specifications of the vendor.
Examples of SaP include Microsoft Office.
Software as a service is software that isn’t packaged and sold to consumers but rather provided on a subscription-based model.
The consumer pays for the service in order to access it. They are able to use it up until they decide to cancel their subscription and continue receiving the service or not.
Software as a service tends to be more expensive than software as a product because of the added costs of being on a subscription-based model.
When is Software as a Service Better?
Software as a service, or SaaS, is often better when you are looking to outsource the development of your software.
The economics of this model works well for larger companies that need to deploy a tool quickly and have a large budget for it.
SaaS is also better for companies that are not in a position to invest in large amounts of hardware and infrastructure. This is because you’ll usually only pay for what you use, which means there’s less risk involved.
In addition to these benefits, software as a service can be easier to manage from afar than if it was software as a product. This is because with SaaS you will have more control over your data and how the company interacts with your data, whereas with software as a product, you might have fewer options or tools at your disposal.
When is Software as a Product Better?
If you are looking to save time and money, software as a product is better.
With software as a product, you don’t have to constantly monitor software updates and make sure that the software works with your other programs.
Additionally, with software as a product, the company will handle the entire process of updating the software to ensure that it continues to work on your computer or mobile device.
With this option, there is no need for you to worry about installing updates on your own.
Software as a service has some distinct advantages over software as a product. If you are looking for something that allows you to customize your own experience, choose software as a service. You can use this type of platform more easily than one where the company handles upgrades and updates.
Typically, with this option, customers get access to different levels of support depending on their needs and how much they pay for it.
These levels of support typically include account set-up assistance, technical assistance (when necessary), training materials, remote monitoring/management tools, or even access to customer success managers who can help troubleshoot any issues you might be having with your platform.
Final Words: Do you need to choose between Software as a Service or Software as a Product?
The answer to this is: it depends.
There are pros and cons for both.
And it really depends on the needs of your business and the specific software you’re looking for.
For example, if you want a software that can be managed by your organization from a far, a service might be better suited.
On the other hand, if you are looking for software that requires no constant updating, then a product would be better suited.
It is hard to say which is best because each one has its own benefits and drawbacks. So always consider your individual needs before deciding which type of software to use.