What Distinguishes a SaaS Platform from Regular Software?

In recent years, SaaS and on-premise software have become the most popular solutions for businesses. While SaaS has been gaining more and more traction due to its flexibility and ease of use, on-premise software remains a popular choice for many businesses. So, what really distinguishes one from the other? To better understand their differences, it is important to consider factors such as cost, deployment, scalability, and security. SaaS and on-premise software have their own unique set of advantages and disadvantages, and to pick the best for your business, it is important to understand what distinguishes a SaaS platform from regular software applications.

What is SaaS?

A SaaS model refers to a software delivery method in which a company hosts the software on its network, and your organization accesses it via its network. When you subscribe to a SaaS solution, you don’t have to purchase the software or hardware. 

Instead, you pay a subscription fee for using the software. SaaS is a growing industry that is expected to reach $208 billion by 2024. SaaS software can be used for any business, and most industries have a few SaaS products available to suit their unique needs. 

Companies can choose from a range of SaaS solutions to streamline their operations. SaaS solutions are usually hosted on a cloud server, which makes it easier to scale up and down as needed. This flexibility also makes it easy to integrate SaaS solutions with other software in your business. 

SaaS solutions allow your business to access and use the software from any computer or device. This is possible because software-as-a-service apps are accessed via the web.

What is On-Premise Software?

On-premise software refers to software that is installed on your company’s computers and network. It is also known as software-as-a-service (SaaS) to distinguish it from another type of software delivery called service-as-a-service (SAAS). 

With on-premise software, you own the software and are responsible for maintenance and updating. With SAAS, the vendor hosts the software and is responsible for its maintenance and updating. On-premise software is generally more expensive than SaaS, but it can allow your business to customize the software to meet its unique needs. 

On-premise software requires IT support, while SAAS requires a company to have staff with programming/technical skills. The cost of on-premise software includes hardware costs and installation, while the cost of SAAS includes only the subscription fee. On-premise software is more flexible and scalable than SAAS but less secure.

Here’s what distinguishes a SaaS platform from regular software applications.

Deployment of SaaS vs. On-Premise Software

SaaS can be hosted on the vendor or customer’s servers. SaaS hosted on the vendor’s servers is known as the “public cloud,” and the one hosted on the customer’s servers is known as the “private cloud.”

Whether to host the software on the vendor’s or the customer’s servers depends on factors such as data privacy, latency, and cost. On-premise software, on the other hand, is always hosted on the customer’s servers. The customer leases or buys the hardware required to host the software and hires an IT team to maintain it. 

SaaS is usually cheaper than on-premise software because the cloud provider manages hardware and the IT team. The customer must invest in the hardware and the IT team for on-premise software.

Scalability of SaaS vs. On-Premise Software

A key advantage of SaaS is its ability to be scalable. It means that the software can be easily distributed across multiple servers in a data center, and more resources can be added when there is an increase in demand. 

It is not possible with on-premise software, where a single computer or server is hosting the software. When the demand for an application increases, the only way to scale it is to buy more computers or servers and install the app on them. This can be very expensive in the long run, especially for large enterprises. 

When the demand for SaaS increases, the cloud provider allocates more resources and scales the application. There is no need to buy more computers or servers. It is this ease of scalability that has made SaaS so popular.

Security of SaaS vs. On-Premise Software

The security of both SaaS and on-premise software is essential. However, SaaS is hosted on the vendor’s servers, which are usually protected by firewalls and other security measures. In addition, the customer’s data is traditionally encrypted when transferred to the servers. 

Consequently, the customer doesn’t need to take any further security precautions. On-premise software, on the other hand, is hosted on the customer’s servers, which means that the customer has to take care of the security. 

As a result, the customer usually has to invest in security solutions such as a firewall, antivirus, and antimalware, among others, and hire an IT team to manage them. This can be costly and significantly increase the software’s initial investment and maintenance cost.


When comparing SaaS and on-premise software, it is essential to understand how they differ. SaaS is usually more scalable and secure than on-premise software because the vendor manages the entire process of building, hosting, and maintaining the software. 

In addition, the customer only has to pay the subscription fee for the service. For on-premise software, the customer has to take care of all these steps themselves, which can be expensive. The benefits and disadvantages of SaaS and on-premise software indicate that they are both suitable for different business models.


Read about ? What Is SaaS!


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