SaaS, or “Software as a Service,” is slowly replacing the traditional business model for organizations that create all types of software. The market for SaaS solutions is anticipated to reach $307.3 billion by 2026, driven by the expansion of public and private cloud services and the increasing number of smart devices.
SaaS is the preferred approach for software solutions due to its low costs, flexible price structure, customization, and automation. Being one of the most popular trends in software, it is appropriate for a wide range of businesses in various sectors, including retail, banking, marketing, healthcare, and travel.
What is SaaS?
An alternative business model to conventional software licensing is SaaS, or Software as a Service. These programs don’t require physical installation on a user’s PC because they are hosted in the cloud. Developers don’t have to sell their applications with lifetime licenses or wait until the following year’s edition to offer feature upgrades when using the SaaS method for software distribution and maintenance. Businesses use a subscription model to promote their software as a Service (thus the term) as a substitute.
SaaS benefits for users
Users may profit from SaaS products’ accessibility, instantaneous and routine upgrades, scalability, and stability, in addition to the affordability of cloud apps.
Accessibility: After signing in, cloud-based web apps are available from any device, anywhere globally. Users merely need a reliable internet connection to use SaaS apps efficiently.
Periodic and quick updates: SaaS online apps offer a significant benefit over mobile and desktop apps, which still require users to download new software versions to receive updates. Users seldom even notice when and how apps are updated since web-based apps are updated automatically, ensuring they always use the most recent version of the program.
Scalability: Users can upgrade their plan in a few clicks if their needs change. The same is applicable for downgrades.
Reliability: A network of servers known as a “cloud” may be found anywhere in the world. The program will continue to function even if one of the servers is offline.
Advantages of developing a SaaS app
If you’re thinking about developing a SaaS application, you’ve undoubtedly considered the advantages of the SaaS business model. To fully understand what SaaS app development may provide you, let’s list them.
Ability to enter an expanding market: Given the advantages that Software as a Service may provide consumers, it is not surprising that the SaaS business is expanding. BetterCloud predicts that the SaaS market share will grow over the next several years and that by 2025, 85% of corporate apps will be SaaS-based.
The capacity to draw a sizable client base follows naturally from the primary advantage. You have more opportunities to draw in a large audience when organizations decide to move to SaaS apps. Moreover, the software is inexpensive even for startup companies with tight finances, thanks to cost-effective monthly subscriptions.
Persistent, consistent revenue: SaaS developers can obtain a comparatively constant income stream through subscriptions thanks to the SaaS business model. They may therefore plan and carry out consistent development projects that keep their consumers satisfied and paying subscribers.
Six Stages For Developing a SaaS Application
SaaS software development is unique since SaaS apps are cloud-based; thus, it’s crucial to follow six processes to create a successful product: planning, a discovery phase, application design, architectural design, development and testing, and maintenance and further development.
Step 1. Planning
When preparing to construct a SaaS app, you should start with this. The foundation for creating a successful application is sound planning. In addition to utilizing the appropriate technology, a SaaS application’s success depends on in-depth market research, audience analysis, defining the app’s purpose, and consideration of its key features.
Although planning is often the duty of a stakeholder, you can also approach your development partner for assistance. A seasoned IT firm will provide you with business analysis (BA) services to investigate your situation and offer you the most acceptable options for breaking into and succeeding in the targeted industry.
Step 2. Discovery Phase
A discovery phase is when you organize your ideas for creating SaaS applications and generate a tonne of documentation that will aid your development team in creating the product you desire. A business analyst schedules multiple meetings during the discovery phase of a project to gather information about your project’s specifics and produces papers including the software requirements specification (SRS), risk assessment and mitigation strategy, feature breakdown list, and cost estimate.
You receive other deliverables throughout the discovery process in addition to these materials. Additionally, a BA aids in defining the ideal development team structure at this stage so your SaaS platform may be built on schedule and within the budget set.
Step 3. Designing Application
You must consider the user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) while designing online applications. It’s crucial to choose the interface before developing a cloud-based SaaS application to ensure that it completely fulfills the demands of your target audience.
Consider your target audience’s devices while designing your SaaS platform’s user interface and user experience. Mobile devices and desktops may use SaaS apps for your users to work comfortably at the office, at home, or while on the move. A UI/UX professional will create designs for devices with various resolutions.
Step 4. Designing Architecture
A successful application that complies with the technical specifications of stakeholders is built on solid software architecture.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most widely used method for creating cloud-based architecture. As SaaS design is cloud-based, databases, storage, and services are situated there rather than on servers. Although there are numerous AWS alternatives, Clockwise Software professionals tend to favor AWS for the projects for our clients. Our preference for this cloud service stems from several factors.
Flexibility: Developers have access to almost any database and programming language. Software developers may use AWS to access more than 200 services that work with both Windows and Linux.
Scalability: Amazon Web Services provide scalability options straight out of the box. App owners may quickly grow their apps with a few clicks if they need to.
Security: AWS provides the highest level of protection for customer data and is the global industry leader in cloud-based services. AWS is the top choice for developers and business owners because of its secure data centers and encryption options.
Pricing: The pay-as-you-go mechanism used by AWS helps consumers to avoid overpaying as their businesses grow. Additionally, AWS offers cost-effective free packages that allow small enterprises an opportunity to create reliable cloud-based programs.
To prepare your high-level architectural design, a software architect should be hired, regardless of whether you decide to use AWS or another provider for your SaaS project. The design acts as the blueprint for further development and describes the parts and relationships in your app.
Step 5. Development and Testing
The first two phases in creating cloud apps may not have been evident, but this one is straightforward and doesn’t need any explanation. SaaS developers work on your application’s front and back end during this phase. Quality assurance (QA) engineers verify that each capability, alone and collectively, functions correctly.
It’s vital to note that testing and development are iterative processes in software development, especially if we’re talking about a SaaS firm. Developers of SaaS don’t create the entire application at once. They often begin with a minimal viable product (MVP) that has only the most crucial functionality to satisfy the fundamental requirements of your target market.
They may get input from early adopters once they construct a SaaS platform MVP and deploy it, then decide which current features to enhance and which new ones to create. Agile is an iterative method of software development that is popular, particularly among startups.
Deployment is the last step in the iterative development process. The deployment process involves making an MVP version of a cloud-based SaaS product accessible to end-users. During this stage, a DevOps expert or another team member with appropriate knowledge prepares all of the new code’s deployment-ready components. They also integrate the complete codebase into production.
Step 6. App maintenance and further development
Set your sights on evaluating the success of your MVP after it is made accessible to consumers. You should collect user input, examine it, decide what can be improved, and ascertain what additional features your users require throughout this process. SaaS developers on your team may assist you with both problem fixes and future product planning at the same time.
Although not cloud apps can solve every business problem, the SaaS model has swiftly gained acceptance because of its advantages to both users and application developers. To create a SaaS platform, you should be prepared for a six-step development process to launch a high-caliber product on the market. SaaS apps provide several key advantages over conventional software, including cheaper subscription costs, improved accessibility and availability, round-the-clock technical assistance, and on-demand scalability.
It might take months to assemble a team of experienced specialists with significant SaaS development backgrounds, risking the loss of your competitive edge. In this aspect, working with a pre-vetted software development company with a track record of creating SaaS apps is an adequate substitute for creating an in-house SaaS development team.