Building SaaS development is laborious. However, the reward makes the whole thing worth it. The global SaaS market is expected to reach about $436.9 billion this year. Your own SaaS product might help in expanding this market.
With so many high-performing software, such as DocuSign, Shopify, Salesforce in the market, it is not easy to compete. However, if you combine an incredible idea with proper implementation, it will lead to the development of a professional SaaS platform.
We have clarified the process of developing your very own cloud software step-by-step,
- What does SaaS development look like?
- Best ways of building SaaS?
- What is the cost of developing your cloud app?
- How can you generate, create, and improvise your SaaS?
These are the important steps to consider:
What is SaaS Application Development?
The development of a SaaS platform is equal to that of the development of cloud software. The founders need to understand an essential thing, however. It is that the product’s business development is necessary. It must be given a higher priority than the technical solutions. Without a sound technical, architectural background, however, the product will not give the desired business value proposition.
The SaaS development process includes the following:
- Validation of a business idea
- Competitors, customer and market researches
- UI/UX design
- Developing the product
- Testing the product
- Launching the product
- Maintenance post-launch
The SaaS business model needs a few considerations during its development. One of these is to have an understanding of the process of development. Next is to have an idea of the costs.
1. Integrating third-party services
Its payment system is SaaS's core feature. When developing this sort of functionality, there are two options you can take into consideration. Both options have varied costs - development-wise and time-wise.
A. First Option: Use Integrations
The development team might benefit from having payment gateways that are ready-made. It is faster and easier. Stripe, Paypal, Braintree, and other payment systems do give their API.
B. Second Option: Develop your Solution
Given that there are specific payment requirements, developers need some time for the design and research. They should be aware of how to secure payment systems for SaaS. It is not simple as the features for SaaS platform development checking increase. The payment process builds on third-party services, along with ready-made solutions. When making a SaaS application, it is a good idea to follow some third-party integration examples. Social media sharing, Google Maps, or any other sort of feature based on another software is a form of third-party integration. More effort and research are required to be able to code everything properly. Thus, the final SaaS depends on the costs of development. These include expenses incurred for embedding services and features. Also, it is essential to check these integrations by taking automated or manual tests for efficiency. This way you can build a more reliable SaaS application. Ensuring everything works well while using a proactive team is the aim
2. Well-Designed and Secure Database
The usual security protocols database providers use are SSL and TLS encryption technologies. These protect the communications and data of all users. However, there are various technical solutions to make your SaaS more secure during its development stage.
3. No downtime
The secret to a successful SaaS is constant updates. Uninterrupted product availability is required for the development. You should avoid having some users use the outdated version when others have the current version. It leads to bugs and customer dissatisfaction. To ensure this, developers need to implement the method of no-downtime deployment of recent updates. Your product should stay workable for users in both its versions. The software platform should have scheduled updates, during which the software is not available for use. When a product is unavailable and SaaS is updating, it is still running in the background.
4. Managing a Lifecycle Subscription
The SaaS subscription has several processes. These include:
These features are imperative for creating a SaaS with the desired results. All these procedures are vital. When building SaaS platforms, developers have two options regarding subscription handling.
A. First Option: Use Integrations
The first requires integrating an application that is ready to use or a solution. It's more accessible and less expensive at the SaaS development stage. As a founder, however, you pay for the API maintenance annually or monthly. It is thus a relatively friendlier approach, in keeping with SaaS development costs.
B. Second Option: Develop Your Solution
The approach encourages developing your subscription management system. While developing, it will be more expensive, but you'll have to pay when it is complete. As with your payment system, your subscription solution requires effort. You would have to do the research and implementation. The main benefit is you have total control of the integrations and processes
5. Customization and scalability of the entire platform
Scalability is an important factor when it comes to improving the final product's success rate. A complex SaaS must also be customizable. Thus, developers must ensure these aspects are taken care of during the process of development:
- Templates for the page
- The URL structure
This ensures non-stop scaling of the product, making it more desirable for end-users. Such a procedure is valuable in the extremely long run.
Before creating your app, you must formulate the SaaS's core value as a founder. It is the very first step in the development of any cloud-based software. It is an especially crucial step for SaaS development.
Hence, you must start with:
- Researching competition
- Market Analysis
- Customer Analysis
These activities allow your business hypotheses’ validation and improve demand for the product. You would not be able to prove existing demand without the validation. Also without validated requests, you risk burning out your funds by developing potentially useless software. So, try avoiding the jump to crucial steps when building SaaS applications.
Thus, how the product is created is a question that comes much later. First, you figure out what types of problems your SaaS solves for its users.
Each research will help you to find the correct elements. They are essential to consider when developing the MVP of the SaaS:
- What’s the market size? Is there a demand for a fresh product?
- What is the customer pain? Is this pain validated? How is it currently solved?
- What are some disadvantages of the available solutions?
- How is your product different from the competitors'? Does it offer something more than similar software? Is that enough to bring about change in the users' behavior patterns?
After these steps, you can confirm the needed features. The Product managers or Business Analysts will prioritize parts, after which the development team begins working on the MVP. The usual features for the SaaS application/platform include the following:
- Functional tools: Cloud platforms, such as Canva have a visual editor with many editorial filters and features.
- Analytical tools: CRM systems like Hubspot have an innovative dashboard with reports, graphics, and statistics.
- Management of accounts: It's a clever system to differentiate customers' plans, roles, and the set of features they are likely to use.
So, once the discovery phase is complete, you could research how SaaS can be created. Let us look at the process of SaaS development.
SaaS Benefits and Advantages
SaaS provides unlimited resources and vast flexibility over traditional development. A cloud is a network of servers that can be accessed from around the globe. Even in the case of a server crash, your application will remain online. This flexibility fuels scalability, because if your requirements change, you can upgrade or downgrade in a few clicks.
Applications can be used on multiple devices with a single login and are updated online rather than under a singular license. This leads to more ease with updates and decreases overall costs. It is also vital to grant access to your SaaS service on mobile devices. It’s crucial to prioritize the mobile experience as you design a site or app. Users check their phones five times per hour and as often as eighty times per day!
The fixed price plans offer concrete assurances to frugal customers. Paying for only the storage space and bandwidth you actually use makes the customer feel validated and valued. A trial period helps users determine whether or not the service is appropriate for their needs. The pay-per-use model allows consumers to use the service without upfront payment, which results in greater user satisfaction. Users know they are paying for the service, and this motivates them to use it more frequently.
SaaS allows you to focus on satisfying customer needs rather than constantly seeking new customers. This is important because you are 50% more likely to sell to an existing customer rather than a new customer.
Blockchain is a decentralized database, which means there is no central location for hackers to attack. Its virtual nature makes it more difficult to hack than software as a service (SaaS). SaaS has the highest level of protection and security,
Validation of Idea
To validate your SaaS idea, you challenge it: Would people pay for this? If you create custom software and make it available to people as a service and in return, you charge them money for it, you better be sure this service is worth the investment.
The importance of validating your idea for a SaaS (Software as a Service) project is even greater than it is for most businesses since your success relies solely on having consumers pay money to use the software.
A key step in the validation process is understanding that you may have to change the idea you had in your head based on the feedback you receive. Your original idea might not solve the problem in the way people need it to or it might not be as feasible.
Market & competitor research
Intensive research before development leads to the success of a product after implementation.
By finding out about the competition and what the market demands, you learn who your potential customers will be. If you start by validating your software idea, you can avoid making mistakes along the way.
Market research helps you understand your target audience's needs. You can then determine whether they will pay for your product, and develop a business model that provides rewards, or recurring benefits, to your customers.
Once you implement product testing, you can release your prototype.
During a beta period, a product goes through several stages of testing. Customer feedback will help you to improve the features and user experience of the product.
Essential SaaS Characteristics
Multitenant architecture is the shared use of the software by many customers.
The customers can tailor the appearance and behavior of the software to their own liking (by selecting/deselecting software front-end features and functionality options).
A customer can use the software from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.
When customer requirements change, SaaS products are easily modified to meet these new requirements.
Many SaaS products can be upgraded using the DevOps model, which prioritizes testing and continuous integration, delivery, and deployment.
Most SaaS applications have a few risks in common. Having a thorough understanding of the challenges your application will develop, and how to respond to those challenges, will make it easier for you to plan before you begin developing.
You may not see a standard flow in your consumer needs because their needs change as the demand for your product increases. Therefore it is ideal to create a SaaS product that meets both present and future needs and ensures high-level security for their
Your first success with your app development is the release of your MVP to the market. This version of the app is similar to a Beta version, and it goes into the market for evaluation and improvement by your target audience. Based on their feedback and usage you can test whether users will pay for the product .
A subscription model, which categorizes your product cost according to the customer’s affordability and usage, can help you differentiate yourself from competitors. This is where reliability and scalability factors are paramount.
Users do not have to pay at the outset, but they have limited access until they do.
Pay as you go
You pay as per the usage
You offer a pricing model that gives customers the option of purchasing a full product or feature set once and then being able to renew for a fee on an ongoing basis.
Here, users get full charged for the product
In this scenario, you pay for the features you choose
As you plan your project, remember that you will have to monitor its progress. Choose the right KPIs (Key Process Indicators) for this. Track the metrics that help you measure the key business objectives. They are:
- Booking volume
- Monthly revenue
- Conversion of leads
- Lifetime value
Cloud network is central to SaaS. It helps to spread your product globally and scale and upgrade your product.
If your tech stack is not scalable, the performance of your software will decline as more clients subscribe. If you're a start-up, this decline in performance will be disruptive to your business model.
Likewise, SaaS clients may have to shut down their applications under increased load. If the target audience is too large, then it does not matter even if you implement vertical development, which is the current trend in digital businesses.