Cloudogu Glossary

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud model in which software applications are delivered to customers under a subscription sales model. SaaS offers users the advantage of not having to worry about operating the software themselves. In the SaaS model, the software is usually provided by a third-party provider, the SaaS provider. This provider takes care of tasks such as maintenance, updates, security and backup.

Features of Software as a Service (SaaS)


Typically, SaaS offerings are structured so that a large number of customers use the software on the same infrastructure. This allows the SaaS provider to operate its infrastructure very efficiently and therefore cost-effectively.

Since users of SaaS offerings do not have to operate any infrastructure themselves, there are no start-up costs. Usually a pay-as-you-go payment model is used for SaaS. Factors often include the number of users, use of certain features, or general usage time.


Because the same infrastructure is offered to many customers, SaaS offerings often do not offer many options for customization. It is usually possible to customize the user interface to match the CI, but if you need a currently unsupported integration it is often unlikely to be available in the short term; because you are just one of many customers. The customizability strongly depends on how well the underlying tool of the SaaS service can be customized.


SaaS services are usually available very quickly. Compared to on-premises software, there is no need for installation and testing.


In principle, SaaS offerings are secure because providers can focus on securing their one service. At the same time, however, they also offer a lucrative target for attackers, as they can potentially gain access to the data of a large number of customers in the event of a successful attack.

Data protection

Depending on what data is stored in a SaaS service, the issue of data protection can become complicated. For example, it can be difficult to find a provider whose servers are located within the EU and who does not send data to non-EU countries (e.g., the USA).