SaaS Development: A Complete, Step-by-Step Guide for How to Build A SaaS Application
In the recent past, Software as a Service or SaaS has emerged as the popular service delivery model for launching a new product or application for global enterprises. Majority of the companies having a unique product or service idea are preferring SaaS development due to the number of advantages it offers. With SaaS applications, you get advantages like easy maintenance, faster distribution, robust security, multiple licensing options and so on. Therefore, SaaS is a great solution for both companies and end-users. In this detailed guide, you will get an idea about how to build a SaaS product from scratch:
But before we move towards SaaS app development, let's first understand:
What is SaaS
SaaS stands for Software as a Service (SaaS) and is a popular service delivery model used by companies from retail & ecommerce, banking & finance and other sectors for providing ready-to-use products to customers via mobile app or web browser.
Customers don’t have to worry about configuration and installation aspects of such software as they are managed by the SaaS solution providers. They can simply choose among the multiple subscription plans and offered functionality.
SaaS business model or product is also way better than the traditional business model or on-premise software. Wondering why? This is because SaaS follows a delivery and maintenance approach where developers don’t sell their programs as one-time chunks or wait for future updates until the next year. Instead, they sell products via a subscription model where users always have the latest version of their program and can access it from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Developers of SaaS products don’t stop working on them even after the product is launched. They continually work to optimize it and add new functionality for end-users. Popular examples of SaaS products include above creative suite, Amazon Web Services, Dropbox, Salesforce, Google Drive, etc.
Why Choose SaaS Development Services
SaaS software development should be an obvious choice for businesses looking to optimize costs, improve service delivery, and maintenance cost for their product or applications. The
SaaS applications or software runs on the cloud, so they don’t need to configure for each platform separately. Providing updates and performing maintenance tasks are also faster in case of SaaS apps compared to on-premise software.
Moreover, SaaS application development is also suitable for businesses who are looking to keep up with rapidly changing technologies like Blockchain, AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence, etc. SaaS distribution model helps companies improve their product time to market and deliver the latest features in the shortest time span with limited cost. The subscription pricing model in SaaS products is also budget-friendly for end users.
Hence, SaaS provides a win-win deal for both customers and developers.
Step by Step Guide For How to Build a Saas Application from Scratch
Step 1: Project Concept Visualization
If you think that creating an app or platform begins with actual SaaS platform development, then it is completely wrong.
Before planning to build a SaaS app, it is important that you do thorough market research in order to identify a unique concept or idea. It is also important to know about your target audience, their needs and how your SaaS solution is going to simplify their problem. Also, search for similar SaaS products that are present in the market to determine whether your app or idea is different from your competitors or not.
Above all, analyzing whether it will be good to launch your product or service via the SaaS model is also important. All such things are critical in the future success of your SaaS product.
Key Points to Remember:
- Perform thorough market research to check the feasibility of your product/idea.
- Identify your target audience and their product needs.
- Identify the plausible revenue sources (e.g. in-app ads, subscription, paid-app, freemium, etc.) for your SaaS product.
- Analyze cloud model usefulness for your proposed product/idea.
Step 2: Identify Saas Application Functionality
After detailed market research, think carefully about the product or service features that you are going to provide in your SaaS app to draw user attention. To think about core product features that should be a part of your app, you must know how to write a system requirement specification (SRS) document properly. An experienced software development company can really help you in writing a good SRS document for your product to ensure its future success.
Step 3: Identification of Right Technology Stack
It is obvious that not every other technology will be suitable for building your product - its front end, back end or database capabilities. Hence, choosing the right technology is an important part of the SaaS app development.
Tips for how to choose the right technology for your SaaS App/product:
- Choose a technology based on your core product features. For example, if your product is data-intensive choose PHP development as it offers good tools for statistics and computation.
- Prefer a technology that minimizes product development time, cost, and effort.
- Select a technology keeping the long-term scalability needs of your product.
- Also, choose a technology that has wide community support, and open-source library to ease out the development process.
Step 4: Set Right Budget for SaaS App Development
Once you finalize project features and development roadmap, it is important to identify the right budget. Making the product cost-efficient is most important to minimize high-end infrastructure expenses at your end. There are some key areas of costs when it comes to building a SaaS product. These include:
- Business analysis and design: This stage lasts for two months and costs around $3000 to $500 per month.
- Server costs: Average cost for this category is $30 to $8000 per month, depending upon the product size and number of users.
- Monitoring software: Monitoring software checks whether your service or app works correctly or not. It costs around $3000 to $50,000 depending upon the features.
- Development and support: SaaS development and support costs around $15,000 and include activities like fixing software glitches, providing support, gathering customer feedback, etc.
- Marketing: The marketing and promotion cost for your SaaS product starts from $15,000, depending upon the marketing team size, experience, etc.
You must also understand that the cost incurred in each of the above areas vary vastly for a big scale SaaS product compared to a simple SaaS app with limited features.
Step 5: Hire Skilled SaaS Developers
After you go through the important SaaS development phases like project planning, cost estimation, and development roadmap, the next important step includes hiring skilled SaaS developers, if your existing team is not ready to tackle the development duties.
When you hire a SaaS development company, they bring a lot of opportunities to improve your SaaS product development due to their in-depth knowledge and experience related to SaaS development.
You often need professionals like business analysts, designers, software developers and quality assurance engineers, and project managers for SaaS app development.
How to Hire Skilled SaaS developers:
- Freelancing platforms: This is a cheaper option to hire skilled SaaS developers for your project. Consider hiring developers from freelancing platforms (e.g. Upwork, Freelancer, etc.) if you have a limited time, budget, strict deadline and a simple SaaS project at hand.
- Hire a Remote Team: Partnering an experienced SaaS development company is the best option if you are working on a complex SaaS product. An experienced SaaS services provider has the resources, experience and skills to complete your project on time.
- Hire an In-house SaaS team: This might seem a viable option at first, but don’t hurry. IHirining in-house SaaS support & development team will increase your project costs significantly. You need to pay them regularly, arrange a workspace and system for them even in cases when you don’t have a project in-hand.
Step 6: Build An MVP
Building a minimum viable product for your SaaS product is important to check the core functionality and deliver it to the hand of end users for their feedback in the shortest possible time. Feedback gathered from users will help you identify the limitations or weak points of your SaaS app. You can work upon those shortcomings before the product launch to deliver a finished product with minimum errors.
Step 7: Regular Updates & Maintenance
Constant improvements are always important in a SaaS product to meet the end-user demands. Keeping the latest market trends and user demands in mind, you should provide regular app updates to end-users.
The market of SaaS apps is still growing, so it's recommended to come up with a SaaS solution that is unique and fresh in the market. Using SaaS product development, businesses can maintain, distribute and licence their product in the most efficient ways. We hope this article has helped you rectify the key requirements and procedures for SaaS app development.
If you are looking for a professional SaaS application solution for your business, feel free to connect with us at A3logics. We are a leading IT consulting and Salesforce development company in the USA and India, holding in-depth expertise in building enterprise-wide SaaS applications for businesses of varied sectors.