How To Develop A SaaS Product? Best Practices & Process

With time, technology has dramatically changed and evolved. SaaS (Software as a Service) is a new sales model that is displacing traditional software licensing. The SaaS delivery and pricing model now dominates the software industry. In today’s tech media, SaaS is a popular topic. 

In this article, we talk about the SaaS product development process which will help you to gain an understanding and a clear idea of how to develop a SaaS product?

What Is A SaaS Application?

Software as a service, or SaaS, refers to using the cloud to distribute licensed software that customers can pay for on a subscription basis wherein the ready software is provided over the Internet. It means that a customer can use any device with a web browser and an Internet connection to access the required software. In a word, SaaS allows businesses to save money on expensive hardware by storing data and apps in faraway data centers. SaaS users do not have to worry about maintenance, compliance, or security in this way.

Modern SaaS technology is available offering a wide selection of configurations. It enables the creation of platforms for connecting apps, integrating Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, and analyzing large amounts of data. As a result, understanding how to create a SaaS solution is a wise investment. The following section of the article is focused on the same. 

How To Develop A SaaS Product?

Product development for SaaS is a work in progress. For creating a market-differentiated and pleasurable product for clients, continual learning, upgradation, and application are required. The SaaS product is the most important factor in client acquisition, retention, and growth. At least one SaaS application is used by 80% of enterprises.

The term “software as a service” refers to the delivery of programmes as a service over the Internet. You utilize the Internet to access it instead of installing and maintaining software, which eliminates the need for expensive software and device maintenance.

SaaS Product Development Process

  • Market Research 

To begin with, one should determine whether it is a smart idea to develop the SaaS product or not. Examine the market segment that you are looking at to enter. If the on-premises strategy wins out, consider assessing the model’s advantages as well. You will be able to define the high-level market requirements as a result of this. Then, in tandem with the crystallization of your vision, write a target market description. This will help you determine your target audience, market size, demographics and expectations.

  • Validating Idea

After understanding and analyzing the market, it is now time for you to validate your software idea. This step will help you in syncing your idea and the target audiences’ expectations with the information that you have gathered from the initial step. The main purpose of this step is to make sure that your software idea has potential and that it can cater to the audience that you are targeting. Here the team sets its priorities in accordance with the goals that the software aims to fulfill. 

  • Design 

You must make decisions about the usability and the user experience during this phase. You must prioritize what should be included in the product and what should be saved for a later release. This phase culminates in the creation of a development roadmap. During this process, your main ability will be to focus on your vision and communicate it clearly to your team. This allows the team, which largely consists of UX and analytics, to make decisions that are in line with the purpose that the software is aiming at. 

saas product development process | Mindbowser

Fig. SaaS Product Development Process

  • Decide 

This step entails planning various pit-stops and developing the roadmap of the entire project. It focuses on making decisions on the product’s various aspects like its scope, technology stack, multiple goals and KPIs and more. The project managers arrive and define the product’s scope, including the team, its compositions, and others like the timeframe, cost estimates of the various activities for the entire development process. Your web app’s technology stack can be considered as the fuel that is used to create and run it. Here all the important decisions regarding the development of the software are made. 

  • Development 

This is where the recipe is finally put to use to produce the final dish! Here all the efforts put in the multiple spheres come together to yield what is desired. This stage of the process also brings out some risks associated with the software building mechanism. Low-quality development, ineffective procedures, or even missing the product scope entirely are all conceivable dangers that can root up during the development of the software.

But, with proper understanding and testing, all hindrances can be dealt with. Here an appropriate environment is also set for developing, testing and launching the software. Along with all of the above-mentioned, this step includes the packaging, branding and marketing of the software. 

  • Launch

This is a crucial step in the software building process. When the software goes live on servers, it is tested in an integrated software environment to ensure that the entire system is working properly. This testing is done to see if the programme meets the requirements it was built to meet. The application’s development teams are tasked with discovering bugs.

When the application is put on live servers and users have access to it, flaws that may have escaped notice during the standard application or process testing are discovered. Those bugs are examined, assigned to a specific piece of code, and traced back to any previous changes to ensure that the entire system is not affected. 

  • Maintenance Server

This is the final step in the software development process. The teams utilize a staging server to validate that the code runs and is compatible with production configurations and architecture. This is the project’s final location, and when it is staged onto a live or a production server, it is regarded as finished and authorized by everyone involved and is finally ready for public usage. At this stage, the product is being launched and is being made available to users

SaaS Development Best Practices

  • Self-service And Customization 

Users should be able to administer their own SaaS solutions rather than being compelled to employ specialists. Allow internal or external users to adopt a SaaS service to meet their specific needs without having to write code. Provide simple APIs in your SaaS architecture so that consumers can more easily customize the platform.

Do not forget to include detailed documentation. They may get more value out of your SaaS design by allowing them to integrate the tools they already use or want to use. 

  • Minimal Downtime

While developing a high-availability SaaS solution, downtime is rarely tolerated by SaaS users. They understand that prolonged service disruptions lower customer satisfaction, resulting in lost customers, revenue, and competitive advantage. When users of SaaS applications contact you with an issue, they expect to receive adequately tested updates and assistance quickly. 

  • Data Security 

Because they are concerned about losing control of their data, most companies choose a monolithic or on-premises design. Because data breaches are such a huge worry, more companies are planning to invest in cybersecurity than ever before in order to avoid costly breaches. Making RBAC (role-based access control) a core component of your SaaS design can help to increase data security.

RBAC is a data access control approach that prevents different users from accessing and changing data that is unrelated to their role in the company. Users can assign administrators, vendors, end-users, contractors, and other roles using RBAC. 

  • User Behavior Monitoring  

After gaining a better grasp of the user patterns, product features can be developed. User behavior also aids businesses in anticipating their customers’ demands. Twitter, for example, discovered that many of its users spend time reading articles and used the data patterns to propose items to them, as well as introducing a bookmark option.

Customer-driven development enhances SaaS product uptake, assists organizations in developing features that are helpful to customers, and improves overall product quality through usage data. Organizations can identify important features required to serve customers, study behavioral trends, and offer ongoing value to the product through understanding client interactions. SaaS solutions develop over time as they are used, as technology advances, and as consumer needs change. 

SaaS Development Challenges 

  • Scalability 

One of the challenges posed by the SaaS product development is its scalability, that is, its scaling plan, which interacts with multi-tenancy. In fact, because we do not know what the future holds, the ability to foresee and take initiative will promote efficient work.

Because of its importance in business growth, it is thought that a scaling plan should include both immediate and long-term visions. In the short term, it would be advisable to concentrate on resolving a specific number of clients in the scaling strategy. 

  • Security 

The true pillars of dependable SaaS software are security and stability. These services are growing increasingly popular, which has both positive and negative implications. On the one hand, it provides more choices for users and higher-quality services because it forces every service provider to compete. However, not everyone will be able to keep up with the rapidly expanding market.

In the end, your preferred security company may be forced to close due to a lack of competition. When this happens, you will be faced with the difficult problem of dealing with data portability. It is a huge problem because it means that all of your time and money put in a certain service, as well as your critical data asset, could be lost.

  • Reliability 

There are hazards and concerns about the fact that your data is not truly under your control, in addition to fears about the SaaS provider’s servers shutting down for good. On the plus side, you would not have to worry about configuring, managing, maintaining, or upgrading your cybersecurity. As a result, you lose some control over your data.

For example, if something goes wrong and your data is lost, you will have to contact the service provider, wait for their response, and only then get an explanation of what went wrong. It all relies on the level of customization provided by the provider, which may be limited. The SaaS provider is in charge of the data storage duties. That may be a comfort, but it also means a loss of control, which may lead to a lack of reliability. 

  • Monetization

The monetization issue that stands here is that the vast majority of SaaS developers want both immediate and long-term payment. It is a concern about investing in a potentially critical aspect of the business that may or may not be up to the mark and can lead to dissatisfaction of the consumer. Some companies may even require you to pay a year in advance.

Once your payment is done, only then do you get access to the service. However, this does not give security to all clients. The service will continue to be provided in accordance with the contract, but the quality and security may change. There are concerns that consumers will end up with an application that no longer updates itself, compromising its use and safety and more

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Conclusion

Owing to the benefits it provides to both users and application developers, the SaaS model has swiftly gained popularity. The article gave out some of the most useful tips and tricks for the creation of a kick-ass SaaS software. It is now up to you to expand upon it and create your product. Follow our advice and make minor tweaks to suit your product development cycle and gain a clear understanding of how to develop a SaaS product?

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on contact@mindbowser.com

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