Today the business world is engaged with cloud solutions, and SaaS development is one of the ways to improve business performance and accelerate digital transformation. However, this is a term that has confused a lot of people and if you’re one among them, let me resolve it for you.
What Does SaaS Stand For?
Software as a service or SaaS stands for a third-party application available over the Internet with no physical connection to any other device. In contrast to a conventional approach, the software is hosted in the cloud repository accessible via the web or an API.
The core difference between the traditional and cloud-based app development lies in the level of control. Cloud solutions are managed by 3rd party vendors, including access management, security control, and availability.
For example, Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 are SaaS, providing productivity applications over the network. For businesses, there is SaaS for sales management, customer relationship management, financial management, human resource management, etc. The leading SaaS providers include Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, and Microsoft.
How Businesses Can Benefit From SaaS Development
SaaS operates on a pay-as-you-go model, offering businesses flexibility. For example, there is no need to purchase and maintain on-premises hardware and software. Instead, the companies are charged for the features used and can cancel the subscription plan if the business doesn’t require a service.
SaaS solutions can be easily scaled in parallel with business expansion. However, it requires updating the subscription plan and starting using additional functionality to meet ever-rising company needs.
Any cloud service vendor thinks of security issues to guarantee high IT system protection. However, most providers offer a standard set of security tools that may not always address all the company’s security needs.
Third-party services enrich your SaaS app experience. Moreover, SaaS providers can help you integrate your own internal systems; thus, all the data and processes will be controlled from one place.
How to Build a SaaS Software From Scratch
In order to deploy a SaaS product, you’ll need to decide on a cloud platform that best matches your business needs. Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and Google Cloud Platform are the most well-known cloud service providers, offering a bunch of tools for successful SaaS development.
Now, let’s move on to the core stages you should go through to deliver high-quality SaaS software.
Think of the Value You Bring To Your Clients
You most likely want to build a solution people are already familiar with. There are a lot of successful SaaS products on the market that deliver good-quality services. Thus, your task is to define a unique selling proposition (USP) to gain the first users. However, it’s not sufficient to come up with a brilliant idea. Your app should bring real value to customers to make them subscribe to your service.
Conduct Market Research and Study Competitors
Having analyzed the market, leading competitors, and target audience, help you create a SaaS app that will stand out from the existing cloud-based solutions.
Draw Up Project Requirements
Before appealing to a reliable IT vendor, you have to define a feature set for your future product. No developer can’t start working on a product without strict project requirements. Commonly, software functionality is divided into two groups: basis (MVP) features and advanced ones. MVP features address basic user needs. In contrast, sophisticated functionality enhances customers’ experience. Therefore, it’s better to start with MVP app development to check whether your idea is worth further investment.
Consider User-friendly UI/UX Design
Customers are pretty demanding today. So, they tend to abandon your app if it has a poor and tricky design. So, to develop a profitable SaaS app, you need to think of an intuitive and attractive design.
Decide on Pricing Strategy
What is the purpose of a SaaS application if it doesn’t bring profit to its owner? Pricing strategy is an integral part of SaaS development. Rather than offering a product as a one-time purchase, it’s better to implement a subscription-based model. However, such an approach requires offering several subscription plans to meet different clients’ needs. It is also good to provide some functionality for free or provide a free trial period.
Determine Tech Stack
Selecting the right tech stack is challenging no matter what type of application you build. All the requirements, features, and project mockups should be submitted to software developers. They choose the appropriate technologies to develop your SaaS platform based on the information provided. Bear in mind that you need to keep up with the latest SaaS trends, so it’s recommended to pick up the tools enabling you to scale up the solution.
SaaS Development Cost
Unfortunately, no software engineer can tell the exact cost of creating a SaaS platform until they know your requirements. The final price will vary depending on many factors, such as features complexity, cooperation model, number of 3-party APIs, and developers’ hourly rates in different regions.
How much does it cost to create a SaaS app? You need to multiply the time required for product development by the team’s hourly rates.
In turn, the time depends on the functionality complexity. The more sophisticated the features are, the more time it requires for implementation. For instance, the developers need approximately 2632 hours to build a Slack-like app (MVP version) for iOS and Android.
As I mentioned earlier, the price is affected by your technical provider’s location since the hourly rates diverge from county to country. I have scrutinized the hourly rates in different regions using Upwork, Clutch, and GoodFirms platform and calculated the SaaS development cost in popular tech hubs:
- Eastern Europe: $131,600 (based on $50/h)
- Western Europe: $236,880 (based on $90/h)
- United Kingdom: $210,560 (based on $80/h)
- North America: $263,200 (based on $100/h)
- South America: $92,120 (based on $35/h)
- India: $65,800 (based on $25/h)
- Australia. $263,880 (based on $90/h)
As you can see, the rates vary across the globe. You can deal with software developers or hire experienced engineers overseas. However, it can be difficult and costly to find required expertise in local markets. North America and Australia have the highest rate, but price doesn’t always match the quality.
Software as a Service is growing rapidly, offering businesses a new method of delivering application software. You don’t have to worry about hardware aspects, application support, and license. You can still operate your IT system, but it’s much easier to maintain and faster to deploy.