What is SaaS software?

Software as a Service has three critical elements that differentiate it from other types of software. Those elements define how the software is licensed, deployed, and most important, architected.

  • Licensing model: Customers pay to access the software on a subscription or consumption basis
  • Deployment: The software is owned, delivered, and managed in the cloud and by a third-party
  • Architecture: The software is uniquely designed to deliver new value through multi-tenancy and non-relational databases


SaaS has been around for nearly two decades, but more recently adoption has accelerated to become standard across all industries and most business functions. For example, SaaS represents over 80 percent of customer relationship management (CRM), over 70 percent of human capital management (HCM), and nearly half of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software by revenue.

For more information about SaaS and new SaaS offerings from PTC, please refer to this list of frequently asked questions.

What benefits does Software as a Service provide?

See why SaaS is the future of industrial enterprise software, from product development, to manufacturing, and service:



With a multi-tenant architecture, updates and upgrades can be deployed more frequently and seamlessly without end users experiencing downtime.



With a non-relational database, data can be manipulated directly, enabling real-time collaboration and simultaneous editing not possible otherwise.

Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of
Ownership (TCO)

Consolidating maintenance, hardware infrastructure, and IT overhead enables vast economies of scale, to reduce overall costs.


Product Development: Better and Safer via SaaS

SaaS applications deliver benefits that are essential to the success of modern industrial and engineering companies, as remote work is increasing to a permanently higher level than pre-pandemic. To assure the protection of IP in the product development process, IT leaders should carefully examine the cybersecurity capabilities of their cloud-based service providers.

Download the IDG and PTC whitepaper to learn more about:

  • SaaS benefits
  • The state of cybersecurity
  • SaaS vs. on-prem cybersecurity
  • The future of engineering and industrial software applications