Software as a service development is growing massively and that’s great news.
As the popularity of Software as a Service development continues to grow, it’s logical that the competition will continue to be equally intense.
Given the global pandemic, SaaS app ideas have led to a rewarding SaaS ecosystem.
The landscape of the SaaS app market looks very promising for business owners and it is time for companies to explore the many opportunities on offer.
In this post, we will examine the SaaS development process and its benefits & challenges. Let's start!
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for "software as a service." Basically, with SaaS, you can access information and perform software-related functions remotely just by accessing the appropriate website.
The software distribution model means that people can access data no matter which device they're using. All they'll need is an internet connection and a web browser to have it updated constantly.
Besides hosting it themselves, companies will also find that they can contract with ISV's and third-party cloud providers to maintain the services, databases, and code that makes up an application.
Overall, SaaS is one of the main categories in cloud computing. Typically, it's used by both B2B and B2C so it's really a great option!
A recent McKinsey & Company report predicts more growth in the SaaS market. Experts also anticipate that there'll be a $200 billion demand for SaaS products by 2024.
How to Create a SaaS Application?
When doing research, three key aspects come into play
- Customer research
- Market research
- Competitor’s research
It's worth it to look into research that can help you understand your target market better. Just be sure to use it when evaluating what features you might need for your SaaS platform's MVP.
Read Also: Saas Development Guide from Scartch
You will not benefit from developing software if you do not put any thought into it before moving on to the next phase of development. The three phases of app development are all an important part of the process.
After you decide on what features to develop, the collected data can be a good base for your SaaS app. You can use it as a foundation and prioritize with your development team.
Next, it's time to get started with your MVP. Broadly speaking, the features you have on your SaaS platform can typically be put in three categories:
- Analytical tools. CRM systems like Hubspot are one example of a tool that can help you develop dashboards with graphics and statistics to provide a better understanding of your business.
- Functional tools. You can consider Canva's visual editor, which comes with plenty of features and filters.
- Management tools. With management tools, you can differentiate customers' roles, plans, and sets of features they're allowed to use. It's a great way to ensure each customer is getting the best possible experience.
Finding the right platform for your SaaS isn't easy - that's why there is a step-by-step guide on how to design, develop & deploy it with this template.
- SaaS development framework
Now you should consider the stage your SaaS app is at. You may want to check out the appropriate software development stages, which include:
- Business Analysis. This stage will involve collecting product requirements and building user journeys in order to create a solid business case for why this idea was created and if it meets audience needs.
- Design. Here, the design team can make a clear, minimalistic, and elegant UI/UX design that is tailored to your target customer.
- Development. It is a good time to get the MVP features out there before you try to grow into additional features. If you are building your app with SaaS software, integrations can be worked on later in the process. You will also need to keep track of development costs as long as you anticipate any changes during the process.
- Testing. The testing stage is critical to your product’s performance and smooth operations. Here the testing team ensures that everything works well; it is also a great idea to adopt an agile way of testing your outcomes at each iteration and getting more optimal results.
- Maintenance. Product maintenance is key in any industry. Keeping up-to-date with the latest updates and trends. This leads to a better experience for your customers as well as avoiding any glitches or bugs.
To create a valuable SaaS app, focus on the user experience. Keeping these quick tips in mind will help you develop a high-quality UX and learn to follow best practices when it comes to developing your software.
- Best Practices
Pay attention to the scalability of your backend. It’s important for your business - find out why here.
A study shows that the global market for Saas products will be worth $220.21 billion by 2022. Experts predict it will grow at a 13.1% CAGR through to 2022, making it seem like there are huge potential profits to be made from this industry if you get in early and promote your business worldwide now!
Entrepreneurs should plan ahead and build out their infrastructure. The needs of a company can change which is why it's important to always stay up to date with the newest systems.
The backend of any SaaS product will support the needs of your business as it grows, and a scalable server is essential to achieving this. You can grow your customer base without hurting performance as long as you have a robust server in place.
- Queueing System
For every system to work simultaneously with the API, user and message, your platform should also include an asynchronous communication protocol. This will allow for communication between all 3 components.
The protocol can allow each user to send a data request to the system and receive a result. Message queuing helps users work on their SaaS at different times as well as communicate with others.
You have a SaaS solution that needs to be migrated to your new service. Ensuring migration is easy and seamless will ensure there’s minimal data loss.
If the integration of software with your existing procedures isn't primed for success, it's doomed to fail, and data won't move seamlessly. A well-designed integration approach enables smooth data exchange.
- Tech Stack
The next thing you'll need to do is to choose the right technology and SaaS development tools. You want to make sure that you select a service that will provide your product with a smooth experience.
Read Also: How to choose Tech Stack?
Here are some stack options, so you can pick the best one for your application.
- Challenges of implementing SaaS applications
- Integration issues
If the integration is not as effective, you may experience accounting and sales data not mapping to CRM records.
It’s important to stay on top of changes made to data in different systems, or things can start going wrong.
A typical example would be a billing mistake. The system could accidentally send invoices to the wrong people.
- Integration costs
Depending on the size of your business, you may find yourself needing to work with skilled professionals who aren't a part of your IT team. In that case, you may have to spend more money in order to implement their methods.
Many firms are now turning to in-house IT departments. One way to save money is by hiring freelancers or/and outsourcing some of your needs.
A good solution to this would be to look at one that has seamless integration with all the systems you're currently using and ideally comes with an open API.
If you manage both on-premises software and cloud-based services, it can be hard to integrate them into your workflow. This is because they might not play well together and require time-consuming integrations.
Technology teams and service providers need to work together on cloud integration in order to make things as seamless as possible for the customer
Even if your SaaS provider provides integration services, IT managers need to plan out their own integration themselves, so that it's seamless with the rest of their system.
If your IT team is struggling to integrate the solution into your systems or the provider does not offer integration services, partnering with a IT consulting firm might be in your best interest.
When being transitioned to the cloud, one may come across issues related to access control. You may face this problem typically when the monitoring settings and access control don't carry over smoothly from traditional software to a SaaS solution.
Administrators need access control to be effective. They might not know about other accounts, so it's important to make sure they can change everything when the moment arises.
How to monetize SaaS?
Now, you need to choose the SaaS model. It would help if you contrasted the monetization models in your niche. Plus, look at budgets and marketing expectations.
You can offer this without charge and use it to test your marketing hypotheses. It's an excellent way to experiment with real-time marketing research.
As you know, the SaaS business model is all about subscription fees for periodic services. When you provide a service within the app, it's possible to introduce in-app advertising, so that you can monetize your product (in-app service vendors also work according to this concept).
Many successful companies offer a free basic version of their app and charge for the premium features. This revenue stream can be used to create a valuable product with strong demand.
Freemium apps have both benefits and disadvantages that need to be considered before deciding on whether features should be paid or free.
You want to start your SaaS business, aiming to satisfy premium users’ needs. The first step should be satisfying your current customers’ needs and making the necessary changes that will allow you to serve the new ones.
As a first step, you can establish a service subscription system that charges customers every month and offers unlimited hours of content.
Despite some of the challenges that come with SaaS, such as increased costs and competition, it will continue to thrive as time continues. Business owners that create SaaS will be able to target their needs more by developing software solutions to match their own business case.
SaaS apps are great for your clients, so if you haven’t considered developing one, now would be a good time.