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What is SaaS and why is it important for business?

Posted by Frank

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Our Heads Are in the Cloud

In the gospel according to Microsoft, SaaS, “Software as a Service”, is defined as “software deployed as a hosted service and accessed over the Internet.” Hosts, also known as cloud providers, oversee the latest software applications and infrastructure development that allows users to perform at the cutting-edge of business intelligence, where in-depth information translates into a recipe for success.

The evolution of SaaS has made these advances possible. Software is licensed on a subscription basis, centrally hosted, and made available to users through a browser. Business applications, including management software, office and messaging applications, accounting, human resource management, enterprise resource planning, content management, and service desk management (Wikipedia), then utilize SaaS as a delivery model.

Centralized hosting of business applications dates back to the 1960s. Services offered computing power and database storage to huge organizations with round-the-world reach. The exponential growth of the Internet during the ‘90s spawned a revolutionary refinement in centralized computing. For instance, Application Service Providers (ASP) hosted and managed specialized business applications to reduce costs through central administration. SaaS expands the role of ASP and today companies like Mirus have developed and managed their own software to provide business solutions easy accessibility.

In general, providers of SaaS, sometimes called “on-demand software”, will price applications through subscriptions such as monthly or annual fees; this keeps costs low. A key component of SaaS’s growth is its vendors’ opportunity to provide competitive pricing. Adherents maintain that SaaS results in lower Information Technology (IT) operational costs by subcontracting hardware and software maintenance and support to the cloud provider. IT costs can then be reallocated away from software, hardware, and personnel expenses and redirected toward other pressing business goals. An additional plus is centrally-hosted applications can be updated with no need for users to install new software.

If you decide to hop aboard this trailblazing vehicle, SaaS would mean: You no longer have the need to install any special software, nor would you be handcuffed to your office or home machine. You’ll gain access to sophisticated online databases that streamline your operations and facilitate making the most informed business decisions and would no longer be at the mercy of in-house IT staff to rectify software glitches. Microsoft points out that SaaS moves IT from “a reactive cost center to being a proactive, value-producing part of the enterprise.” Indeed, SaaS reduces the cost of doing business. Customers have no software or hardware to purchase, install, maintain, or update, while providers (like Mirus) manage access to the application, including performance, upgrades, and security. A major headache for busy business executives fades away, allowing managers to customize applications with the ease of a mouse click, making the months it takes to update traditional business software seem as antiquated as the horse drawn carriage of a bygone age.

Just as SaaS developed into a vital piece of a successful business plan, Mirus expanded into a cutting-edge, dynamic provider of essential business intelligence for the restaurant industry. Mirus has been seeding the cloud for more than fifteen years through groundbreaking innovations that help the restaurant industry maximize profits by providing actionable intelligence.

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About Mirus:

Mirus provides decision makers across operations, finance and marketing with actionable intelligence. Our analytic software consolidates transactional information and a host of other data sources to measure and improve restaurant performance. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Mirus is a recognized leader in restaurant business intelligence.

For more information, please visit www.mirus.com

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