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June 24, 2024
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5 Things to Consider When Developing SaaS Application

When you have decided to build a SaaS application, there are a lot of things that you need to consider. Strategic foresight and meticulous planning usually stay behind the most successful software development project.

In order to help you make the first step in SaaS development, we have made this guide. Get acquainted with five things you need to consider for building a successful SaaS product.

Successful SaaS development: What do you need to consider?

So, you have an idea of a market-changing SaaS application and are eager to turn it to life. What’s next? What should you think about before diving into the development process?

1.Architecture type

When choosing architecture for SaaS application development, there are two options: monolithic and microservices.

Monolithic architecture

Monolithic architecture is, in fact, one large codebase. It’s a traditional software architecture type where all components of an application are tightly integrated and run as a single unit. With the appearance of microservices, monolithic architecture became outdated. For example, a world-known streaming platform Netflix transitioned from a monolithic architecture to microservices model to scale each of its services independently.

However, if you are planning to build a SaaS app with simple functionality and no plans for scaling in the future, monolithic architecture may be a perfect option for you as it’s easy to develop and deploy.

Microservices

If your application consists of several services (like an e-commerce platform, for example), distributed architecture like microservices will definitely be a better option. This architecture type allows to develop, deploy, scale, and update individual components of an application independently. You can also choose a different tech stack for each service.

So, although microservices architecture is a default choice for the majority of modern applications, monolithic architecture may still be a resource-efficient option for simple applications with no plans for scalability.

2.Software development partner

If you don’t currently have a complete software development team ready to start your project right away, you are probably wondering how to find the necessary specialists or software development partners.

It may seem tempting to choose a SaaS platform development partner based on such factors as location and low price, but these factors can’t ensure the high quality of the product you will get in result. 

What can ensure the success of your product is relevant experience. For example, Clockwise Software has experience in various industries such as marketing, real estate, logistics, and others. If you were planning to enter one of these markets with your own SaaS application, this company would provide you with relevant expertise.

This said, when cooperating with third parties, be it freelance specialists or software development companies, the main thing you should prioritize is experience. So, start by screening through portfolios and testimonials of your candidates.

3.Pre-development research

It doesn’t matter what type of SaaS application you are planning to build: it’s essential to know the current market state, your direct and indirect competitors, and their strong and weak sides.

However, how can you equip yourself with the necessary information before launching the SaaS software development process? The answer is - conduct pre-development research. It consists of such activities:

Identification of needs.

Start by identifying the needs and pain points of your target audience. By understanding what users are looking for, you can tailor your SaaS application to address their needs.

Competitive analysis.

This analysis will help you highlight the advantages of your SaaS application over existing solutions and address any shortcomings that competitors may have.

Growth potential analysis.

Understanding the current state of the market will help you estimate the potential of your SaaS application, allowing you to build long-term strategies for scaling and expansion.

Identification of trends.

Staying updated on market trends, technological advancements, and evolving user preferences are crucial elements of building a successful SaaS application. You have to know what features and functionalities you should include in your application to stay ahead of the competition.

Risk identification and mitigation. 

Risks are an integral part of any project. They may delay or even destroy the bright future of your SaaS application. The early risk identification and development of mitigation strategies will help to minimize their negative effect on your project.

To sum up, pre-development research will help you to identify user needs, spot your competitors, find out about your growth opportunities, and identify current trends as well as risks.

4.Monetization model

Choosing the right monetization model for a SaaS application is a really tough task. On the one hand, you want to start earning as much money as possible on your startup; on the other hand, you have to make sure that the pricing model is attractive and transparent for the users.

To make the right choice, you have to consider the most suitable use cases for each monetization model. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  1. Freemium allows everyone to use a basic version of the application for free. Advanced features can be unlocked via paid subscriptions. The main benefit of this model is the opportunity to attract a large user base that can then be converted into paying customers. However, you need to prove the value of premium features.

Choose Freemium if your application has features that can be offered for free without undermining its value. This model is also especially effective for SaaS apps with a clear upgrade path, where users can clearly see the benefits of premium features.

Examples: Dropbox, Evernote, Mailchimp.

  1. Pay-per-use model allows users to pay based on their usage of the product, such as the number of transactions, storage space used, and so on. The main benefit of this model is its transparency that allows attracting new users with ease.

It’s suitable for services where usage varies greatly among users or where scalability is a significant factor, such as cloud computing platforms or communication APIs.

Examples: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Twilio, Google Cloud Platform.

  1. Tiered pricing offers different pricing tiers with varying levels of features, functionality, and support. Users can choose the tier that best fits their needs and budget.

This model is useful for accommodating the diverse needs of different user segments, from individual users to large enterprises, while maximizing revenue potential.

Examples: HubSpot, Salesforce, Slack.

These are the most popular SaaS monetization models.

5. Scaling

Now, you may think that the main thing is to launch your product successfully — the rest will wait. However, planning for the future from the start is one of the keys to success. That is why you should make sure your product is scalable.

The app’s scalability depends on various factors. The main of them are architecture and tech stack choice:

  1. Architecture

As we have already mentioned, the choice between monolithic and microservices architecture types depends on the app’s specifics. In terms of scalability, microservices is a win-win option. You can scale each service independently and deploy upgrades without influencing the entire application.

Another consideration that influences architecture’s scalability is its tenancy model. It defines the level of data isolation. There are two tenancy models: single-tenant and multi-tenant. The first one provides the highest level of data isolation and, consequently, better security. However, the vast majority of SaaS applications employ multi-tenant architecture, where a single instance of the application and its infrastructure serves multiple tenants. This tenancy model allows for quick scaling and makes it easy to add and remove features and resources.

So, unless your application requires superior security, we recommend using a multi-tenant approach.

  1. Tech stack

The tech stack behind your application is another major factor influencing its scalability. A well-thought tech stack choice can significantly enhance an app's scalability by providing the necessary tools and frameworks to handle increased loads and adapt to changing demands.

For example, Python and Ruby are known for their simplicity and ease of use, making them great for rapid development. However, they are not the best choice for scalable applications due to their interpreted nature and potential performance bottlenecks.

Meanwhile, JavaScript, alongside its ecosystem of frameworks and libraries, is an increasingly popular choice for building scalable SaaS applications. Node.js, a server-side JavaScript runtime, allows building scalable backend services. JavaScript frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue.js have gained widespread adoption for building interactive and scalable user interfaces.

The choice of a tech stack depends on various factors encompassing your budget, development team structure, goals, and so on, but, choosing scalable development technologies, you will make your application future-proof.

Final word

In a world where technological advancement changes so quickly, making sure you have considered all important factors is crucial for a successful outcome. So, if you have started with meticulous planning, you are probably going the right way.

Summing up, we can highlight five factors that you need to consider when developing a SaaS application: SaaS architecture, software development partner, market state, monetization model, and scaling. 

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Last Updated 4 weeks ago

About the Author

Communication Square drives your firm to digital horizons. With a digital footprint across the globe, we are trusted to provide cloud users with ready solutions to help manage, migrate, and protect their data.

Communication Square LLC

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