SaaS Application Development: A Definitive Guide

Krunal Shah

Apr 29, 2022

7 min readLast Updated Apr 29, 2022

The rise in SaaS applications adoption and usage has been widening the growth scope for the SaaS company over the past decade. With SaaS application development coming to the spotlight, more and more companies, startups, and entrepreneurs are opting for the SaaS development framework to develop their products and grow their businesses. According to recent statistics, 70% of the company software/systems/tools/apps that are used around the globe, are SaaS applications. And this is why SaaS application development has emerged as one of the most profitable and easy-to-start business ideas in recent years.

To give you an even clearer picture, 85% of the software used by various organizations will be SaaS by 2025. No doubt that opting for a SaaS development framework for SaaS application development can be a great idea now to leverage the full market potential of the SaaS sector - B2B or B2C. It is not mandatory that you have to be from a technical background. All you need to do is know the right steps for SaaS application development. And in this blog we will guide you through the SaaS application development process, how to hire SaaS developers or choose a SaaS product development company, the right SaaS development framework, setting up a SaaS budget, and many more. So, let’s get started!



Why SaaS Application Development?

SaaS products are taking over. Be it automating billing cycles or recommending products on an e-commerce store, SaaS products are simplifying complex tasks while assuring minimized errors. Due to this reason, the SaaS application market is growing at a rapid pace offering innumerable opportunities to the market players.

As stated in a recent market report, the global SaaS market is set to reach $208 billion by 2023 from its $152 billion benchmarks in 2021. This explains well why new businesses are getting inclined towards SaaS application development at an increasing rate. No matter which type of market you want to target - B2B or B2C, or which segment is your niche - marketing or finance, the growth scope is lucrative for SaaS application development. And so, next, we are going to walk you through the steps, cost, and more about SaaS app development.


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A Guide to SaaS Application Development: Detailed Steps

The Saas app development process can be divided into several stages, each stage having its purpose and goals. Let’s have a look.

Business Planning

The global SaaS application market is not only lucrative but strictly competitive and fragmented. The very first step of your SaaS business planning is to decide what will be the market sector - B2B or B2C. Then you need to be more detailed to chalk out a complete business planning for SaaS application development. The prime pointers to address in this phase are listed out below -

  • Which sector are you targeting? There are a lot of options to choose from, like finance, marketing, management, IT, and others.

  • Based on the sector chosen, decide which problem statement your SaaS product is going to solve? Like, if the SaaS product is meant to be targeted to management, then your problem statement can be related to CRM (Customer Relationship Management), like how to streamline or automate the activities. And so on.

  • It is also a good practice to do a SaaS budget estimation at this stage as this will help you have a realistic idea about the whole business, development, and resources planning.

  • Outline the present resources you have and also have a clear idea of the technical and related expertise needed for the SaaS application development. This will help you have the right time and cost estimation as you go ahead.

  • Decide the continents/countries or regions or region that is going to be your target market.

  • Have some rough idea about how you will want to scale up your business in the future, what will be the period for a certain growth etc.


SaaS Market Research

The SaaS market is vast and based on your business planning, you should target the specific regions of your interest first. You can either go for research tools or simply do manual research that should suffice for the SaaS application development.

Point to be noted, even if your target market is a regional market, always have a clear idea of the global market or at least what portion of the global market your target market holds. This will help you set your business vision and goals properly.

Thorough market research includes target audience as well as competitive analysis. Some of the must-have pointers to incorporate in your research -

  • Who are the top market players and what are their strategies?

  • What type of SaaS applications are they developing and what is the target audience response.

  • The demand-supply graph for similar SaaS applications in the market.

  • The current regional and global market volume, value, and forecast growth rate.

  • Past 5 to 10 years market value, growth rate, and demand-supply graph.

  • Present target audience behavior and purchase pattern.

  • Target audience pain points.

  • Competitors' pricing strategies and monetization models.

  • Target audience segmentation and analysis based on demand, specific areas, lifecycle values, and other factors.

  • How your business goals are aligned with the present market.

  • How well does your audience respond to the new entrants with SaaS products in similar categories?

This information will help you have an in-depth market idea and hence better market positioning once you are done with your SaaS application development. You can also run audience polling and surveys to get a clearer picture.


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SaaS Application Prototyping

Application prototyping is the designing process of your software including the prime features and architectural parts to be developed. Starting from chalking out the relevant integrations to selecting the proper database or cloud provider - you need to plan these all and design accordingly for successful SaaS application development.

Apart from deciding on the key features and solutions based on your SaaS application, such as billing automation, financial information storing, workflow management, implementation of AI/ML-based recommendation algorithms, and others, you also need to decide the type of application for your SaaS app development. There are mainly two types of architecture for SaaS application development - single instance and multi-tenant.

A single instance in SaaS app development refers to the fact that such software serves a single customer. And a multi-tenant architecture implies that software or related infrastructure serves multiple customers. You can choose any of them based on your requirements and preferences.


Development

The SaaS application development phase is the core part of the process where you need to choose the model or type of development, tech stack, and overall method. Either you can hire SaaS developers (in-house) or, you can opt for third-party services or SaaS development company.

As the SaaS market is highly competitive and so is a good SaaS product, building it from scratch by yourself is not an option to consider unless you have very in-depth knowledge and you are confident that you can handle, fix bugs, maintain and upgrade as and when needed. Unless you have full clarity on SaaS product development, it is recommended to not invest your time and resources in trial & error methods. If you have a tight budget, you can also hire expert freelancers. However, in all these cases, always go through their portfolios, proven expertise, and relevant experience in working on the specific tech stacks or infrastructures.

Along with development, you need to also look after the migration aspect during the SaaS application development. You must ensure seamless and easy migrations in different scenarios such as physical to cloud, physical to virtual, virtual to cloud, and virtual to virtual, to name a few.

Furthermore, you need to have some basic idea about the preferred tech stacks to ensure that the SaaS application development process is going in the right direction. Some of the best tech stacks to pick up for SaaS application development are JavaScript (NodeJS, MeteorJS, ExpressJS), Ruby (Ruby on Rails), Python (Django, Flask), PHP (Laravel, CodeIgniter), and Scala (Play). You can pick up the one as per the expertise and discuss it with the professionals if needed.


Testing & Launching

Once the deployment phase is over, you need to test your product to find and fix any possible bugs. If you opt for developing an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first, then this process will be even further simplified. Because you are testing and fixing issues in the MVP stage itself your final product needs less rework.

Some of the must-have testing to be covered after the SaaS application development are business logic, UI, platform compatibility, scalability, data integration, security, and privacy. Also, it is recommended to focus more on the core features/solutions to not only make them bug-free but even more competitive.


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Also, you need to calculate marketing costs, research and implementation costs and others if any. Based on the regions, tech stacks, product type, time is taken, testing results, and others the cost can vary. The following table will give you more clarity on it.


Wrapping Up

SaaS products have ever-growing demand and to align with your target audience requirements, you need to come up with your own unique SaaS product. While the above guide will help you with SaaS application development, or hire SaaS developers, you will need constant research and maintenance even after your product is launched to secure its market position and optimize the solutions.

To build your competitive SaaS product and ensure your SaaS business growth, you will need expert services & Solutions. And here, at Third Rock Techkno, we have it all for you. Our professional developers and testers team with enterprise-grade expertise provide a complete solution to launch your product and reach your business goals. Have a look at our portfolio and contact us to start today.