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 services 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 & financial solutions 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, AWS Services, Dropbox, Salesforce, Google Drive, etc.
The well-known AWS consulting services provided by Amazon, the giant is a holistic approach for seamless cloud migration. In order to have extensive services, developers can easily integrate AWS.
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 development solutions, AR/VR, Artificial Intelligence solutions, 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.
What Kind of SaaS Applications Do You Want to Develop?
SaaS offers a wide range of development of enterprise mobility solutions. SaaS allows integration of cloud solutions that can help fill your business needs. Some types with profound examples of SaaS development are -
CRM - The popular customer relationship management solution, such as Hubspot, can be developed with the help of SaaS to automate your sales and marketing process seamlessly while closely monitoring them.
ERP - Enterprise resource planning software is the most optimum software used by all levels of products and service providers. SaaS can help in developing robust and reliable erp solution providers for efficient business processes management.
PMS - Software solutions such as project management software can be built using SaaS developmental services for an effective and collaborative team experience. A popular example of PMS is Jira or Workflow.
Billing and Ecommerce software - SaaS helps in the development of efficient and reliable billing software so that billing tasks can be met rapidly and accurately. Moreover, SaaS also offers convenient eCommerce software solutions for businesses to include multiple products online while managing them and integrating payment gateways seamlessly.
Vertical SaaS - These enterprise-grade software solutions compatible with the business niche are easy to develop and integrate with SaaS development solutions.
Technical characteristics of SaaS Application Development
The future of SaaS development is scaling. Not only the technical side, non-technical side also drives success for a particular product. Comprehensive evaluation of market and business needs can proffer the right development process and technology.
Choosing the right database requires evaluation of business needs. Your database must include factors such as data type, handling expected load, the ratio of reading to write actions, compatibility with a programming language, scalability for business, and budget.
Perfect and scalable software stimulates business, market, and user needs. When your software accommodates all needs, your SaaS solution becomes successful.
Most applications are integrated with one or more third-party software. Third-party integrations enhance marketability, and add value to the SaaS app. Hence associate with API development services provider, payment gateway service provider, and similar more to complete your SaaS app.
Ensure that the UI/UX designs of the applications are intuitive and captivating enough for the customer to relate and easily navigate through features within.
Evaluating the market needs will help you build a better and robust SaaS app to solve the real problems of the market.
Keeping client perspective in mind entitles you to create an appealing app. HeMoreover, you can associate a subscription lifecycle or fair pricing policy with your customers.
When you offer a different subscription plan, this attracts the customer more towards your SaaS app and makes it a success. Your development will be fruitful and give you the requisite ROI.
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 one of the best language for web development services, which is PhP. It offers good tools for statistics and computation that you can use for SaaS development.
- 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 outsourcing skilled developers or a company, such as the PhP development company, to skilled SaaS developers if your existing team is not ready to tackle the development duties. As aforementioned, PhP can be used for developing unique SaaS products, yet you must analyze and evaluate the expertise of the outsourcing team.
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:
Often termed as SaaS developers, these developers are versatile and are capable of providing multiple software development solutions ranging from mobile app development to website development services to integrating technology stack as per business requirements. However, we have shared three options to pick or outsource a developer or a team as per your resource needs.
- 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.
Convert your Existing App to a SaaS Model Seamlessly
Knowing the viable and cumulative benefits of developing a SaaS can encourage you to use the SaaS platform for future development. Moreover, SaaS's extensive services offer software migrations and upgrades seamlessly.
Follow these four major steps to migrate your existing apps into SaaS apps.
What potential does your application hold in the current market? Analyze the integrated features and then evaluate what new models can be integrated into your app or what can be removed. Also, comprehend the best practice for converting your existing app into cloud SaaS.
Forming a Team
In order to convert your existing app into the cloud, you would need the support of the best and dedicated software development team, whether outsourced or in-house, for superior level conversion. This team must also be able to proffer support and maintenance services for future product changes and new feature integration.
A cloud SaaS app conversion is incomplete without establishing and hosting a cloud environment. Many companies that build software also offer convenient and reliable cloud computing services for all your cloud needs.
Finally, the migration. Analyze the complexity of your app that you wish to migrate. The complexity will also assist you in selecting the right development team with relevant skill & expertise, as well as necessary integration.
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.
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