Are you familiar with SaaS, or Software-as-a-Service? It’s a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. Businesses of all sizes are embracing SaaS. With this software delivery model, software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is different from other cloud models, including IaaS and Paas. With IaaS, the client typically pays on a per-use basis—and with PaaS, the client typically pays for services used.

Centralized hosting of business applications dates all the way back to the 1960s. It was in 1999 that the first SaaS model was built from scratch to achieve rapid growth. Founded in March 1999 by Marc Benioff, Parker Harris, Dave Moellenhoff, and Frank Dominguez, Salesforce was born as a company offering SaaS. Broadband and mobile market the top drivers of SaaS growth.

SaaS valuations are off the charts. Analysts are seeing SaaS as the primary type of cloud investment, with 82 percent citing usage today and 84 percent looking to SaaS as the deployment model for new applications. For more information on SaaS, check out the infographic below presented by ProfitBricks.