Long, long ago in the prehistoric olden days - before the late '90s - software was sold as a standalone product that you sourced, installed, configured, secured, administered, updated and then eventually used. Depending on the application, you could spend a lot of time and money deploying and configuring a package before finally getting the chance to actually run it. Then as new enhancements/features were desired and made available, more and more tweaking was required - and likely more hardware was also needed.
The first generation of SaaS, also called "on demand" delivery, attempted to ameliorate some of these headaches. It was - and still is - a software delivery model where the application is hosted remotely and users access it via the web. (More recent models allow for downloading and running on the client, under license.) The software provider looks after the application's operation, maintenance, security and support - all the complicated, time-consuming tasks. The end user benefits by taking on less risk when making a technology investment, while also enjoying a reduction in the total cost of ownership. Simply put, you pay a fee, use your browser to log in, do what you need to do, then log off. Someone else has to worry about all the other stuff.
BI professionals should know that SaaS can provide a stress-free collection of BI tools like analytics, reporting, performance management, data mining, warehousing and more.
About the Author
Rob Hunter works as a software copywriter by day and as a Dashboard Insight editor by night (when he’s not playing his upright bass).
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