What is SaaS?
Software as a service (or SaaS) also known as on-demand software, or hosted software refers to the model of delivering services over the Internet. What it means is that the service is accessed via Internet, which in turn frees you from complex hardware and software management as you do not have to install or maintain the software by yourself. SaaS runs on servers of the service providers who are responsible for the software’s security, maintenance, availability and performance.
As such, with a SaaS approach, the software development company does not sell a software with a one-time license fee. Instead, the software, hosted on the cloud, is marketed as a service on a subscription basis.
Let’s understand the entire model with the help of an example. Adobe Photoshop migrated from being an on-premises software model to a SaaS model in 2012. At first it was sold to consumers for a one-time flat fee. Now, instead of one-time price, people interested in the software must sign up for a monthly subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud. The popular software starts at around $10 a month, whereas one-time fee was around $700. The advantages of such a model are pretty obvious. A low starting fee means everybody including students can afford it. Additionally, the service can be cancelled at any time if the buyer so desires.
Step-by-step guide for SaaS app development
SaaS software development has its own distinctiveness, which is understandable given the apps are cloud-based. It is therefore important to rigorously follow all the phases involved in developing a good SaaS app or software.
A successful SaaS product development basically involves six steps. They are: planning, discovery application and architecture design, testing, maintenance and further development.
Rigorous planning is prerequisite for building an effective software. The success of a SaaS application is not solely dependent on the technology used. It also involves taking into account various factors such as thorough market research, proper study of the target customers, the primary purpose of the app and the important features that it will contain.
The bulk of the planning, no doubt, is a stakeholder’s duty, but an organization can always take the help of a reputable software development company to help you enter the market and efficiently target the audience.
This phase involves the preparation of documents that will help the development team build the desired app. There are different types of documents prepared at this stage, including feature breakdown list, risk assessment, budget estimate, etc. The optimal team structure is also decided at this stage which helps in the development of app within the given time frame and the estimated budget.
This stage involves making decisions about the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX), so that your app is successful in meeting the demands and expectations of your target audience. One of the most important factors to consider at this stage is to properly think about the device on which the concerned app will be used. SaaS software work on both laptops and smartphones, which means the app need to be developed keeping in mind the resolution of the viewing device.
SaaS software are hosted on the service provider’s servers or clouds. It means service provider is responsible for storage, maintenance, backup, storage and services. It is imperative to choose a well-established SaaS product development company as a good firm can offer the desired flexibility, scalability and security all within the desired budget for a high-level architecture design.
Development and testing
In this phase, developers work on both the front end and back end of the software. Also, quality assurance (QA) engineers are involved closely in this phase as they check that each component and feature is working as per desired expectations both individually as well as part of one system. It is important to remember that development is a gradual process as the most basic version of the app is developed and launched, and subsequent additions are made as per the users’ feedback.
Maintenance and further development of the app
Once the app is launched, the focus should be on assessing its performance. The prime objective should be to gather user feedback, analyze it and determine how things can be further improved. Moreover, the developers in this stage should focus on fixing bugs and enhancing app functionality.
Businesses are increasingly preferring the cloud for the various benefits like scalability, cost-effectiveness and security this model offers. SaaS product development has taken off in a big way recently owing to the host of features and benefits it offers both to end users and developers. A good software development company by following al the six steps can help you enter the market with a high-quality SaaS product.