Where it Started
Bill Gates released Microsoft Word version 1.0 in 1983. Over the next 30 + years, the nature of software applications has evolved at a blistering pace. Throughout the development of popular technology, software has been hosted on-site. You purchased a license, prayed you had enough free hard drive space and spent the next hour loading and setting up your program. The problem with software that was dependent on a physical location, e.g your computer, is that it lacked the flexibility needed in today’s dynamic work environment. It was also cumbersome in the sense that functionality depended on how much memory was needed for the program to work, compatibility with operating systems and a potential need for newer versions that need to be purchased each year. With physical software, you did not need an internet connection to do your work, but what we know now is that this mode of working is as dated as the typewriter.
What is SaaS and why does it matter?
Fast forward to today and SaaS (Software as a Service) has been replacing traditional on-site applications and programs. SaaS is a method of software delivery that allows data to be accessed from any device with an internet connection and a web browser. In this web-based model, software vendors host and maintain the servers, databases, and the code that makes up an application.It is on-demand software that is accessible to the user through mobile apps, desktop, and is cloud-based.
The SaaS in Your Life
You’ve likely already interacted with SaaS on a regular basis. Some popular providers are Dropbox, Mailchimp and SecureDocs. Microsoft is seeing a rise in their subscription service Office 365 as an alternative to the traditional on-site Office software. All of these services are subscription based, there are various levels of packages and no high upfront costs. In fact, most Software as a Service providers will provide an initial free trial for the user to experience the product risk-free.
Growth of Analytics
With more and more data stored in the cloud, we have also seen the development of analytics. The analysis of data points has become an everyday occurrence in peoples lives. Logarithms, while once a throw back to grade 10 math class, are common part of everyday discourse. From trending videos to personalized Netflix suggestions, the power of data analytics within cloud-based software is everywhere.
Security and Reliability
SaaS analytics can give stakeholders critical information regarding trends, anomalies and compliance. The value for consumers is to have real-time insights fuelled by a comprehensive relational database, securely hosted in the cloud. Security must be maintained with any Software as a Service product especially within the health and community care space. Providers must also be fully compliant with privacy legislation in Ontario, known as PHIPA.
Like the wider technology industry, Software as a Service solutions have to still prove reliability and security, as well as an ability to be integrated with current business/agency practices. For healthcare, it is critical to have design elements in new SaaS offerings that are user friendly and allow for successful onboarding.
SaaS and Community Care
In health and community care, Software as a Service opens multiple possibilities in data-management and analytics. No one wants nor needs a firehouse of data. If a provider takes a solution-focused approach when building their SaaS, data can be made smart and purpose- driven.
The growth of Software as a Service is expected to continue as individuals and companies look towards secure cloud-based solutions for information management. The overall growth of SaaS business is expected to reach over 98 Billion by the end of 2020. As cloud-based software continues to grow, how much SaaS do you have in your life? Learn more about our cloud based mobile platform, Alytx, and discover how Key Metrix can help.
Key Metrix delivers purpose-built innovations in health technology with a focus on Rehabilitation and Human Performance.