Software as a Service or SaaS is a term that describes cloud-based products that end users can access via the internet using mobile devices or computers. SaaS apps’ main advantage is that there’s no need to install or configure anything since software providers handle all these tasks themselves.
In this article, we’ll consider SaaS apps’ main benefits and take a brief look at how you can develop your own SaaS product.
Why SaaS Solution Are So Popular
SaaS apps are pretty popular among companies, and their popularity is growing year-by-year. Among the main features of SaaS products that help to improve the business, we can highlight the following:
- Quick setup. With a SaaS app, you get all the benefits that cloud technologies can provide. The cloud environment of your software vendor provides the installation and hosting of the software so that the deployment and further update processes will take much less time comparing to traditional models;
- Cost-efficiency. Companies that provide access to their SaaS products usually offer flexible pricing plans. Therefore, such solutions can be suitable both for large enterprises and small businesses with few employees. You can choose the subscription plan that better fits your business’s needs and stop paying if you don’t need the service anymore. Also, with a SaaS app, you don’t have to worry about buying and maintaining expensive hardware;
- Scalability. As your business grows, you can expand the functionality of the SaaS solution that you use by upgrading your subscription plan;
- Reliability. SaaS apps are cloud-based, which decreases the risk of technical issues caused by the crash of a particular single server;
- Effortless software updates. When you use a SaaS product, you can always be sure that you can access the latest version of the software. You don’t have to download or install upgrade packages manually. This feature can be pretty important if your business consists of several branches in different locations.
How to Build a SaaS Solution
SaaS app development has its own tricky parts, but some of the main stages may be familiar to anybody who has some experience in software development. Like in any other development project, first of all, it’s essential to learn your target audience:
1. Analyze the market
You need to understand your target audience’s needs and keep in mind what solutions your competitors offer. You might have a fantastic SaaS app idea in your head, but its implementation won’t be worth the effort if there’s already an app with the same features or no demand for such functionality among the end-users. Analyze the market segment you’re going to break into to understand your target customers, what features will help them deal with day-to-day tasks, who are your competitors, what SaaS app features they provide, and what you can do better than them. All this info will help you to explore business opportunities and define the high-level market requirements;
2. Define requirements for your future SaaS app
Before the product development begins, it’s essential to define all the requirements clearly. Any new requirement appearing in the middle of the project may cause overworks and additional testing leading to increased costs. Any SaaS product has core features that should be implemented during the development process (e.g., multi-tenancy, self-service provisioning, security ensuring, user activity monitoring) and some specific functionality that differs from the app others. That’s when you’ll need all the info gathered at step 1. Your knowledge of the market niche and competitors’ SaaS apps will help you to outline the final product;
3. Choose the tech stack
4. Gather your dream team
If you work with a custom software development company, you will cooperate with a business analyst from the first stages of the project. That’s the exact person who helps to formulate the first requirements for the project. According to the specifics of your SaaS app, the precise composition of the development team may vary. Still, you’ll also need UI/UX designers, developers, QA engineers, and project managers in the vast majority of cases. In some cases, finding the right specialists can be a pretty challenging task. Later, we’ll discuss some options you may choose from;
5. Build and test a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
MVP is a basic version of the final product that provides fundamental functionality and allows getting feedback from early users. A SaaS project at the MVP stage can be launched to the market but can’t be considered a full-fledged commercial product. Nonetheless, it can help solve some critical problems of your customers and attract the first users. MVP can provide you with valuable info about your SaaS app, such as the functionality that hasn’t satisfied end-users and, for that reason, should be modified or even removed. Since your SaaS app is not just a piece of software but also a product that should bring your money, it may be a good idea to check if end-users are willing to buy services that you provide. MVP can help you with this task as well. If you have some innovative ideas you want to implement during the development, MVP can help you test your concept in practice.
Read Also Why Starting With Minimum Is Not Always a Bad Idea. How MVP Can Help You Startup
How to Find A Development Team For Your SaaS App
Hiring a reliable development team consisting of experienced specialists is always a difficult task. In the case of SaaS products, the need for continuous support and regular updates makes choosing the development team even more difficult. Usually, when it comes to software development, there are three main options: freelance developers, in-house teams, and custom development companies.
- There’s no shortage of freelance developers lately, and different online platforms allow effortlessly hiring specialists whose hourly rates better fit your budget. But as it has been said, SaaS app development requires long-term cooperation, which is sometimes hard to achieve when working with freelancers. Also, checking a freelancer’s working experience and skillset may not be easy if you don’t have some technical background.
- The in-house development team may be the right choice for your SaaS product. In this case, you get full control over the project and avoid miscommunication since your developers work in the same office building. Unfortunately, it’s an option for those who’ve already gained some success, have some money in their pockets (for paying office rent, hardware, software, snacks, etc.), and have a permanent current workload. A more cost-efficient option that allows expanding your company staff with experienced web developers is hiring a dedicated development team.
- Hiring a custom software development company can be a golden mean in most cases. This option can fit both startups and big businesses that want to enter the world of SaaS development. This option allows you to get a remote team providing high-quality services with no need to manage the workflow and pay only for work results.
There’s no doubt that the SaaS model’s popularity, thanks to the possibilities it provides, will continue to grow among businesses of different sizes. Our small guide, we believe, will help you to make your first step towards your own SaaS product, and a reliable development partner will help you to overcome your market competitors.
At XB Software, we have many talented and experienced specialists with the skills to create efficient SaaS apps. We have created our own SaaS solution and successfully developed many useful SaaS apps for our clients working in various domains. If you believe that your business can benefit from adopting a SaaS application, but don’t know where to start from, contact us and receive a consultation from our specialists.