Software-as-a-Service/SaaS is Older Than You Think

Custom software development is our business here at Modest. We do what we do based on the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. Interestingly, the SaaS concept has been around for a long time. It is older than most people think. It’s a concept that goes back to the earliest days of commercial computing.

If your company was looking for custom business software designed around the SaaS model, your developer – hopefully Modest, by the way – would leverage all the latest development and cloud technologies to come up with something that meets your needs. That is what we do. We build software with a selection of modules that allow us to customize for virtually any need. But still, we owe our success to the decades-old SaaS concept.

Back in the Days of Mainframes

In the early days of commercial computing, all the heavy lifting was accomplished by mainframe computers. These giant beasts took up entire rooms in large, commercial buildings. Individual users would access the mainframe through a terminal sitting at a desk or table. There was literally no software stored or running on that terminal.

Among the many disadvantages of this type of setup was the inability of multiple users to access the software simultaneously, at least without investing in very expensive equipment. But by the early 1960s, engineers had come up with a solution known as time-sharing.

In a time-sharing scenario, multiple users could access the same mainframe environment with minimal hardware requirements. Time-sharing actually ushered in the age of commercial computing on a large scale.

Then Came the PC

Mainframe computers were the only game in town until the late 1970s. That is when PCs were introduced. PCs operated as individual computers running their own local software. They ushered in the end of the time-sharing concept, at least until the public internet became a thing.

Once the internet was launched, companies began looking into the idea of offering software online. Time-sharing was reborn as SaaS. The big difference is that SaaS delivered applications over the Internet while time-sharing was limited to local mainframe networks.

SaaS and the Cloud

What we consider the modern SaaS environment got a huge boost with the introduction of cloud computing in the 1990s. Strangely enough, cloud computing is just mainframe computing on a larger scale with the internet as its backbone. Time-sharing on mainframes ultimately became SaaS in the cloud.

At any rate, SaaS is now the dominant delivery model for business software. It offers numerous advantages that are hard to beat. Here are just some of them:

  • Subscriptions – Locally hosted software can only be used with a license. Meanwhile, SaaS is delivered via subscription. Companies often spend less on SaaS solutions than locally hosted software.
  • Maintenance and Upgrades – The subscription model allows software developers to put more time and effort into maintenance and upgrades. Meanwhile, subscribers don’t have to wait for major releases to get all the latest and greatest upgrades.
  • Software Security – The ability to automatically push the latest upgrades makes it easier for software developers to keep their products secure. Believe it or not, the modern cloud is at least as secure as a well-protected local network. Some clouds are even more secure.

We love the SaaS model. For us, it offers the ability to provide custom software development services for small businesses, midsize companies, and corporations alike. If you have been looking for custom business software based on the SaaS concept, let us talk. The Modest team might be able to give you exactly what you’re looking for. We specialize in business software customized to each organization’s exact needs.

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