All about User-Centered SaaS Application Development 
Software as a Service (SaaS) offers a new approach to Application development software at a rapid pace. This model allows users to pay only for the services they use. Thus, it makes profit predictable over the long run. As a result, building a saas application can increase your business’s potential. Today the market offers numerous excellent SaaS solutions. G Suite, Slack, Salesforce, and other SaaS solutions have revolutionized business. What makes SaaS apps so popular with businesses and service providers? How to build SaaS products? This article aims to dive into all the details of building a SaaS application.
What is the SaaS Model?
Software-as-a-Service or SaaS allows users to access web applications remotely. Any user could access the software through a browser on cloud servers. A host keeps the application up-to-date and maintains it. So users don’t have to worry about installing it themselves.
What is SaaS Application Development?
Cloud-based applications are created through SaaS development. This process involves creating documentation, designing, developing, testing, and deploying software.
SaaS Applications Architecture
SaaS application architecture can be categorized into several approaches.
Multi-tenancy means sharing an infrastructure with many tenants. At the same time, it isolates each tenant’s data from the others. It is possible to implement multi-tenancy in two ways:
- A single app instance and a single database. The database in your cloud environment is accessible to all users. Despite its ease of implementation, this approach has limited scaling capabilities, adversely affecting the app’s overall performance and user experience.
- There are several databases for one application instance. New users are only directed to another database after each database is filled up. Having more resources increases the responsiveness of software to users. Implementing this approach requires more resources and is much more expensive.
Customer-specific software is called single-tenancy. A single-tenancy model is more secure. However, it is more difficult to maintain than a multi-tenancy model.
- Horizontal SaaS
Regardless of the industry, horizontal SaaS apps serve a wide variety of businesses. A company can use these apps from multiple niches, such as accounting or marketing.
- Vertical SaaS
Vertical SaaS apps are developed for business verticals. Businesses from different industries cannot use them. Instead, they offer feature sets tailored to different segments of users.
Types of SaaS Apps
The types of SaaS apps that can be created depending on the industries they serve include:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM systems manage customer data and operations. The service is suitable for both B2B and B2C eCommerce businesses.
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Software-as-a-Service ERP systems allow businesses to pay as they go. It tailors SaaS ERP systems’ features to their specific needs.
- Billing and accounting
Business SaaS applications are not typically tailored to billing and accounting. As a result, companies can choose the subscription plan that best suits their size, employees, customers, and partners.
- Project management
Many project management and collaboration tools are offered on a subscription basis.
How to Build an Application Based on Software-as-a-Service?
Let’s examine the 5 stages of the SaaS application development life cycle:
- Generate and Validate ideas
- UX/UI design
- Development and testing
- Product Development and Launch
- Product Scaling
Here we take a closer look at each item on the checklist.
Step 1: Generate and Validate Ideas
The ideation and validation of products are at the core of your creation process. The ideation process involves creating ideas and sharing them with the development team. Validating an idea involves ensuring its viability before core development.
A startup executes the preliminary idea validations. The development partners handle the technical aspects. The checklist for generating and validating SaaS ideas:
- Develop a SaaS idea
- Survey the market extensively
- Define requisite technical parameters
- Develop an application prototype
- Ensure that the prototype complies with regulatory laws
The design phase begins once you’ve conceptualized your idea.
Step 2: UX/UI Design
A SaaS product’s UX/UI design is comprised of the following stages:
- In UX, platforms are designed as blueprints
- The UI refers to the way the platform looks and feels
The platform will include any icon, button, or form that appears on the design. It is cheaper and easier to illustrate a button than to develop one from scratch. Logic connections between entities, calculations, and integrations can lie behind every button. Keep your budget in mind when designing the Minimum Viable Product. As previously discussed, we will determine development prices based on the design and define milestones.
Step 3: Development and Testing
SaaS apps are created by converting a design into a live platform. As a result, we mean the following:
- Designers provide UX/UI design files
- To make the features work, the backend engineer must write code
- Frontend developers deploy designs to servers and connect frontends to backends
- QA testers develop and run tests to detect and fix bugs
- In addition, the project manager manages and coordinates the entire process
The development process is hard to describe because every company has its own standards and approaches. Fixed-price models may include fixed scopes and structures. Alternatively, time and materials can determine the scope and size of the team. Let’s now talk about launching and maintaining your product.
Step 4: Product Development and Launch
A DevOps engineer is responsible for guiding software through its launch phase. Next, maintenance begins. Next, maintenance begins. The most common mistake tech entrepreneurs make during these phases is not budgeting for maintenance. At the beginning of the planning process, you need to sort this out right away. You should allocate approximately 25% of your development budget to SaaS apps maintenance.
Step 5: Product Scaling
In this step, you should constantly collect feedback from your customers. You can do this through customer interviews, questionnaires, email feedback, etc.
If you are designing a SaaS solution for a B2B or B2C market, your maintenance and scaling spend will be on the:
- Adding new features
- Monitoring and analytics
- Enhancement of products
At present, the SaaS market is worth $176.62 billion, and that number is expected to rise quickly. With SaaS, employees can access productivity tools, document sharing, and collaboration services. It keeps them engaged, informed, and productive from home. Users benefit from SaaS apps in numerous ways. Installing and configuring the software takes less time and costs less. With SaaS solutions, you can scale and integrate with other SaaS applications. It is easy for users to use and allows them to test upcoming software features in advance. However, SaaS development may be quite challenging. SaaS becomes an excellent choice for all business sizes. Investing significant time and resources into in-house solutions is not always efficient. When you have a SaaS project, outsourcing can help.
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