Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to a unique software licensing model that has become hugely popular recently. If you remember well, once upon a time, we used to buy software packaged in a CD from the local electronics store. Those days are gone simply because software is now available over the air or the internet.
Now software is offered to you with a subscription model, and the developer company takes full responsibility for maintenance and updates. This is what Software as a Service (SaaS) is all about. There are several reasons behind the popularity of the SaaS model of software development.
What makes SaaS software so popular?
The software as a Service (SaaS) model refers to cloud-hosted software delivered more as an internet-based service than a locally installed software. Some of the key advantages of this cloud-hosted SaaS software include the following.
- Cost competitive: With the cloud-hosted SaaS, you only need to pay for the resources used instead of purchasing software and maintaining a hardware unit.
- Scalability: With the evolving and growing needs, a SaaS plan can be upgraded with just a few clicks.
- Reliable server performance: Cloud servers placed worldwide ensure great performance, and the downtime of one server cannot affect the performance as other nearby servers quickly take over.
- Security: Cloud service providers cater g to leading enterprises use state of the art security protocols and tools to ensure optimum data security.
Key steps in developing cloud-based SaaS product
Now that the advantages of cloud-based SaaS software solutions are explained let us explore the key steps in developing cloud-based SaaS products. So here we explain the key steps
Understand the priority of customers
The first and foremost step should be evaluating the market demand for the respective SaaS solution. Next, you need to evaluate how the SaaS product will impact the customer’s life and business with the software features.
What problems will the SaaS software solutions have, and are they very crucial to the life and business of your target audience? Does your planned SaaS product has current market demand, or do you need to reach out to customers convincing them about its value propositions for solving their problems? All these aspects you need to evaluate.
Studying the competition
Suppose you want to create a unique value proposition with your SaaS product and enjoy better customer appreciation converting in more subscriptions. In that case, you need to know what other similar SaaS products you are competing with.
After identifying your competitors, it is vital to know how your software stays ahead of others in competition and how you offer a better product. To understand how your target market resonates, it is always better to reach out with a basic MVP product and get customer feedback.
Knowing project requirements
Now, as the SaaS app idea is clear and you have made a market analysis, it is time to figure out all the technical requirements for the project. The requirements should be categorized into OS platform, technology stack, design requirements and resources.
At this stage, it is advisable to plan the development roadmap with the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) principle in mind. The MVP approach to development will help keep the features down to basics while keeping options open for further value additions.
Planning 3rd-party integration
Generally, the SaaS software products that are used in enterprise environments are expected to work alongside other software apps and tools that are existing for some time. Therefore, compatibility with third-party or legacy software solutions remains a key consideration for companies to opt for a SaaS product.
When building SaaS software, you need to plan the integration of third-party software tools meticulously. For easy integration with other software, it must have open application programming interfaces (APIs).
Wisely choose a technology stack
As of now, you have made the project requirements clear, and you know the OS platforms you are targeting and the kind of features your app is going to offer. Now it is time to go deeper and choose the right technology stack with which your software product will be built.
All through the development process of a SaaS project, continuous communication and iterations are entertained. Generally, SaaS projects use agile development methodology to ensure constant iteration, continuous value addition and continuous testing.
Testing and Maintenance
The QA team has a rigorous job for every SaaS product until the product is tested in the target OS environment and passes the beta testing phase. After that, a SaaS product goes through extensive testing phases ranging from performance and stress testing, security testing, usability testing, to unit testing.
When it comes to SaaS applications, continuous support and maintenance play a crucial role. Generally built for enterprise environments, SaaS software products deserve a committed support team who proactively addresses every issue and comes with value updates from time to time.
Cloud-based SaaS applications have quickly risen to prominence as it offers a cost-effective solution to customer problems making both businesses and their audiences happy. Most importantly, it saves a business from committing to a long-term IT infrastructure and resource handling.