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Software as a Service by Mind Map: Software as a Service
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Software as a Service


software application model

vendor develops, hosts and operates the application

customers pay for using their service


First Generation: 3rd Party Application Hosting

This requires large upfront license payments and implementation fees. A model that ran into operational challenges.

Second Generation: On-demand Application Services

Applications developed "in the cloud" where the user no longer need to install, qualify and operate the system, they just have to access the system through web services.

Third Generation: SaaS 3.0

on-demand application delivery is the only option with little consideration

enriched workflow becoming intrinsic to end users daily working habit

intertwine content enrichment and rich analytics beyond what is permissible with on-premise software deployments

industry specific functionality leading the way to deeper services specialization


network-based access

delivery and support activities are managed from central location

single instance, multi-tenant architecture

centralized feature updating

Maturity levels

similar to ASP model

Each customer has its own customized version of the hosted application, and runs its own instance of the application on the host's servers.

2nd level

The vendor hosts a separate instance of the application for each customer,   

3rd level

The vendor runs a single instance that serves every customer, with configurable metadata providing a unique user experience and feature set for each one.

4th level

The vendor hosts multiple customers on a load-balanced farm of identical instances, with each customer's data kept separate, and with configurable metadata providing a unique user experience and feature set for each customer


Technical challenges





Business challenges

independent service providers

Other issues

lack of prioritized business objectives and acceptance criteria for the implementation

lack of the understanding of the implications of automating manual processes

Cultural barriers and lack of trust between customers and their vendors