From backing up your photo library using iCloud to working ad-hoc in a spreadsheet through Google Drive, cloud technology has, over the past few years, become an integral part of our connected lives. This is known as Software as a Service, or SaaS. But what is Saas? This blog explains everything you need to know.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS) is the business model that many software providers use today (including us at gomo) to deliver programs of software via the cloud. It brings whole suites of software into your browser, signalling a real shift in software delivery from the traditional means of paying for and installing a program directly onto one computer.
At first glance, there might not seem much of a difference between the two, but the SaaS model has huge benefits it can bring to eLearning teams. From a straight up cost saving to collaboration and constant product updates, here are some of the reasons SaaS is the way to go for eLearning authoring.
SaaS saves money
SaaS products across many industries come at the fraction of the cost of traditional, self-hosted software. You only pay what you use, often monitored per month, whereas a higher one-off fee is charged with self-hosted software, which is charged annually. A SaaS tool is particularly useful for organizations who only create e-learning for a portion of the year – or for the length of a project – as SaaS allows them to pay for a fixed amount of time and not for the whole year.
SaaS saves time
Software packages can be pretty big, so downloading them takes time… and installing them takes time too, which isn’t ideal if you need thirty users up and running with a tool. With SaaS, as soon as you purchase, you just log in and begin creating, saving a lot of time and letting you get on with what matters, building beautiful eLearning.
SaaS facilitates collaboration
Because SaaS tools and products are based in the cloud, they allow teams to work collaboratively on a single project. This does wonders for productivity while ensuring that a team can benefit from the creative input of others throughout course development. Also, the latest version is saved back to the cloud servers for the next time, place or person who needs to work on it, easy peasy!
SaaS allows teams to work anywhere
No one likes last-minute changes outside of office hours, but they do happen. SaaS allows a team to work from anywhere in the world, and without the software installed onto one particular computer, users can just log in and begin creating. Of course, you will need a computer and an internet connection to access your tool, but changes can be made wherever you end up, saving late night trips back to the office for minor amendments.
SaaS also offers teams the opportunity to try a tool out for a period of days or weeks before deciding whether it’s something they want or need. This is important for allowing organizations to test out both the authoring side and the eLearning output side of things, both of which are equally important.