The SaaS industry is increasing at an annual rate of 18%, making it the fastest-growing market for startups that provide businesses and consumers with cloud-based solutions.
Annual sales for Salesforce in 2022 were $26.492 billion, up 24.66% from 2021.
In 2021, Azure’s cloud services revenue grew by more than 20%.
Do you recall when purchasing software meant rushing to the nearest electronics store or getting a physical CD via the internet? In the recent decade, technology has advanced significantly. The Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery and pricing model now dominates the software industry. Also SaaS is a hot (and sometimes contentious) issue in today’s tech media.
If you’re thinking about developing SaaS solutions in 2022, experts predict that the SaaS market will grow to $716 billion by 2028, accounting for roughly half of all digital businesses worldwide. The solid security of data protection as well as enormous scalability, which together deliver substantial benefits to all platform users, account for the platform’s appeal among providers.
More impressed by the SaaS architecture’s rapid growth and adoption? Let’s learn more about this technique.
What exactly is a software as a service (SaaS) application?
An application based on the cloud that replaces offline software is called a SaaS application. As a subscription-based, on-demand solution, your clients will not need to install it locally on their devices or upgrade the hardware.
Users typically access SaaS solutions using a web browser or other APIs from linked devices, with the software supplier handling all maintenance. A third-party cloud-computing provider is usually in charge of its infrastructure.
SaaS has a 37% cloud shift rate until 2020, which is three times higher than PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service).
Further Reading: Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes In Your Freemium SaaS Application
SaaS app development process
This section will show you how we envision the optimal SaaS app development process. Although this procedure appears to be rather complicated, it is also adaptable to other types of SaaS applications.
1. Idea Generation and Validation
Product ideation and validation are the cornerstones of your SaaS app development process. The creative process of developing ideas and expressing them to the development team is ideation.
On the other hand, validation requires confirming the viability of an idea before its main development.
While the startup does the initial idea validation, the development partner handles the more technical parts.
This checklist can help you generate and validate SaaS ideas:
- Make a SaaS concept.
- Conduct thorough market analysis.
- Define the technological requirements.
- Make a working prototype for your app.
- Examine the prototype’s adherence to regulatory requirements.
2. UX/UI Design
The steps of user experience design and user interface design in a SaaS solution are:
- The goal of UX design is to create a platform blueprint.
- The future platform’s look and feel are referred to as UI.
It’s crucial to remember that any icon, button, or form on the design represents a platform feature.
In other words, drawing a button is far quicker and less expensive than developing one because each button can conceal a bewildering number of logical linkages to multiple entities, calculations, and integrations.
Be cautious with design throughout the Minimum Viable Product phase to stay on budget.
It’s also worth noting that the design will be utilized to deconstruct the saas app development process into milestones and estimate the development costs almost precisely.
3. Development and Testing
SaaS development aims to turn a concept into a functioning platform. This is what we mean:
- The designer provides UX/UI design files.
- The backend engineer then creates the code required to make the features work.
- The frontend developer uploads the design to the server and links it to the backend.
- The QA tester creates and executes tests to identify and report faults as well as manage fixes.
- And the project manager manages and coordinates the entire process from start to finish.
To be honest, it’s impossible to properly define the saas app development process because each company has its own set of standards and methods.
Some businesses, for example, use a fixed-price method with a set scope of work and team structure.
Others use a time-and-materials model, which allows them to scale up or down the scope of work and crew as needed.
4. Select a technology stack
Choosing a tech stack for your SaaS project is similar to selecting building materials for a home. Your web app’s technology stack refers to the tools as well as platforms used to create and run it.
To begin, you’ll need numerous tools to create your platform’s client-facing components. These are well-known and almost universal:
- HTML + CSS
There are several programming languages (and accompanying frameworks) to pick from for server-side development:
- PHP (Laravel)
- Ruby (Ruby on Rails)
A database for back-end data storage is an unavoidable requirement when developing a SaaS product. The two main relational databases are as follows:
Finally, you must decide on a server for your application:
Because each option is best suited to specific use cases, it’s vital to calculate your platform’s scalability, prospective profitability, and start-up costs before deciding.
5. Product Launch and Maintenance
You’ll use GitHub, AWS CodeCommit, or another product launching platform to deploy the SaaS platform.
As the core of the activity, the DevOps engineer – a team member with experience guiding software development through launch – is responsible. Then comes maintenance.
However, most tech entrepreneurs make the common mistake of not having a maintenance budget during this stage. You must address this from the beginning of the planning process.
6. Product Scaling
Before we go any farther, a word of caution, founders rarely consider it, yet you must attract potential consumers at the idea validation stage.
We’re confident you’re one of the entrepreneurs who are considering this.
So, let’s assume that you’ll have your first customers before launching the platform.
In this step, you should collect consumer feedback regularly. Customer interviews, questionnaires, email feedback, and also other methods are all viable options.
It is necessary.
Because regardless of your target demographic, market sector, or whether you’re selling a B2B or B2C SaaS product, you’ll be spending money on the following:
- Addition of new features,
- Analytics and monitoring,
- Product enhancement,
Benefits of SaaS app development services
Moving a company to the cloud has numerous advantages. Here are some of the biggest benefits businesses can get from developing a SaaS application.
1. Minimize Downtime
Businesses that design a tailored SaaS application might save time and money. Traditional software installation and maintenance tasks can be complicated and also time-consuming.
When a company opts for a SaaS provider, they gain instant access to programs via an internet connection and log in. There is no need for installation, and the provider is responsible for all maintenance, avoiding costly downtime.
2. Ability To Scale Over Time
Scalability is another benefit of developing a custom SaaS software solution. Businesses often expand over time, necessitating the purchase of new software licenses, server space, or also the addition of new users. Changing these settings in a SaaS service is as easy as changing the existing plan or subscription.
SaaS allows firms to scale up or down their software according to their requirements. Without giving any early notice, organizations can adjust their usage plan with their provider.
3. Increased Level Of Security
The sophisticated security features are another big benefit of designing a custom SaaS service. Over the past few years, SaaS solutions have gained recognition for providing businesses with a highly secure platform to store sensitive information.
Traditional data storage methods are thought to be less secure than SaaS. Platforms, servers, apps, and also data are protected and managed proactively by data security experts with specialized SaaS solutions.
4. Possibility to update and upgrade regularly
App clones can be created on cloud servers. With app code in the cloud, you may update the app without affecting users’ experience: an updated copy of the app will continue to work while the main version is updated. The revised version will go live after the upgrade is completed, and the prior version can be erased.
5. Easy software installation and updates
Rather than installing SaaS items, users can download them from the cloud and run them in their browser. Furthermore, SaaS solutions can be upgraded in the background without causing any downtime.
SaaS app features
You realize as a business owner that having amazing features as well as functionality in your SaaS product is the key to market success. But what qualities should you pay attention to? These are the top five:
1. Integration capabilities
Your SaaS app should interface seamlessly with other software packages your consumers or clients utilize. This simplifies their lives and also allows them to gather all pertinent information in one location.
Make sure your SaaS product’s underlying infrastructure can withstand the strain as demand develops. Invest in scalable architecture to avoid capacity difficulties down the road.
3. Robust security
Businesses can never be too cautious when it comes to sensitive data security. So make sure your SaaS software is protected from hackers and also other internet risks.
Allow users to customize the look and feel of your app to their liking; this can dramatically increase user engagement and also happiness.
The finest SaaS applications are simple to use, regardless of the user’s level of technical knowledge. Keep things simple yet effective so that people will want to use your app every day.
Stack of SaaS technologies
CMSs, CRMs, creative tools, messengers, audio/video calling apps, and more can all be classified as SaaS products these days.
However, specific IT solutions will be required for most, if not all, SaaS products.
Content delivery network (CDN)
A CDN is a global network of servers, preferably cloud-based, if you’re developing SaaS apps. CDNs are used to disperse network load and improve platform performance. Users will have slower response times with servers situated in all places where your SaaS platform is offered, which will improve the user experience.
Amazon CloudFront, OVH Cloud, and Cloudflare are all CDNs.
Application programming interfaces (APIs)
APIs are used to construct applications without having to start from scratch. Using the API of the social network in question, for example, a website can join or link your social network profiles – Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Scheduling flights, booking a table at a restaurant, streaming, chat capabilities, payments, analytics, and much more are all possible with APIs.
Any SaaS application must have a multi-tenant architecture, often known as multitenancy. This architecture allows several users to access a single program and allows a single server to execute multiple apps. Even if tenants share a database, each “tenant” – whether an mobile app or a user – stays distinct from the others.
A multi-tenant cloud-based SaaS architecture achieves scalability.
Stress balancing systems distribute incoming requests/traffic across various servers to improve application performance and spread the load on databases. In contrast, a CDN distributes material across servers to provide it to consumers faster.
What are the Most Popular SaaS Apps?
We adopted virtual meeting platforms as a result of the epidemic, and the world embraced Zoom, a video conferencing platform with wide arms. Zoom has become an indispensable component of our lives, whether for educational sessions, professional meetings, or personal meetings.
Zoom allows customers to hold virtual meetings, conferences, seminars, as well as events using a powerful cloud platform. Screen sharing, live conversations, admin management, and more easy features are also included. Due to the epidemic, many video communications firms sprang to the surface, but Zoom’s seamless performance and user-friendly design stood out.
USP: It is an all-in-one video communication platform with cutting-edge capabilities and an intuitive user experience.
Another popular SaaS app development solution is Slack. This is a commercial communication platform with a wide range of capabilities.
This includes private and group chat and various forms of file sharing options, all of which are protected by privacy and end-to-end encryption.
Slack is a great way to communicate and collaborate when the email is too official, and texting apps are too casual. Many businesses utilize it as a virtual headquarters because of its simple user interface and connectivity with other apps.
This is yet another CRM that focuses on inbound marketing but has lately expanded its capabilities to include social media marketing and content management.
HubSpot rose to prominence in 2014 after releasing a free CRM that has a slew of useful features and interacts with Gmail and Microsoft Office.
HubSpot is one of the greatest SaaS programs, with customers in 120 countries. It is a fantastic SaaS technology example for organizations looking to improve their inbound operations through smart technical improvements.
USP: HubSpot’s user-friendly interface allows businesses to automate their marketing and sales operations. It provides clients with quick access to all important information, allowing them to make smart marketing and sales decisions.
Netflix Inc. is a subscription and production corporation based in the United States. It offers award-winning TV episodes, films, animation, as well as documentaries on several connected devices. Netflix is also the most popular entertainment and media brand globally, with millions of users worldwide.
They began by allowing customers to rent DVDs over the mail. In 2007, they began offering streaming media and videos on demand. Netflix’s headquarters are in Los Gatos, Santa Clara County, California.
USP: Netflix’s whole value proposition is based on its ability to provide high-quality entertainment to its viewers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This promise includes access to a large library of various content. It also offers on-demand streaming and no advertising.
5. Atlassian Jira
Jira is a valuable SaaS tool for developers and project managers who wish to track and manage the workflow of software development projects. It was created by Atlassian, a SaaS product development business.
When the notion of “Agile project management” became popular, Jira enabled it to follow the same methodology. Jira is a great SaaS model example for breaking down SaaS software development paradigms.
USP: Jira is appropriate for various users, including developers, project managers, engineers, as well as non-technical workers. Its interaction with third-party applications allows you to manage your tasks more efficiently.
Specifically, with faster technological advancements, SaaS apps have gradually taken over the industry. As technology advances, business owners and other employees focus on keeping up with the best. And new products that will pique the interest of the general public. As a result, we should see an increase in SaaS business models over time.
Each of the following methods and recommendations is important for a successful SaaS app development process. Many additional suggestions and methods, on the other hand, are vital to the success of your SaaS app. However, the most important ones include conducting extensive research at each stage of the SaaS app development process, developing appropriate applications with the required functionality, focusing on problem-solving, offering free trials, and more.
Markovate is a well-known mobile app development company that specializes in Android, iOS, and web app development. We’ve helped a lot of entrepreneurs along the way by acting as tech partners and helping them bring their product development ideas to life. For any questions or concerns, contact us.
I’m Rajeev Sharma, Co-Founder and CEO of Markovate, an innovative digital product development firm with a focus on AI and Machine Learning. With over a decade in the field, I’ve led key projects for major players like AT&T and IBM, specializing in mobile app development, UX design, and end-to-end product creation. Armed with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Scrum Alliance certifications, I continue to drive technological excellence in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.