Software as a Service (SaaS) is one of the fastest growing segments of the IT industry, as many tech enthusiasts and start-up founders are embracing it. Services like Netflix, Slack, Dropbox, and others are examples of game-changers in the SaaS world. These services are located on a remote cloud server network, and customers have to subscribe to access and use them. SaaS products are becoming a fast growing IT segment in the world today, because of their flexibility, affordability and expansive feature sets that can solve many problems in the real world.
Developing SaaS is an art in itself as much as it is a science. It is a constant process of finding solutions and creating new strategies to meet market needs and satisfy customers. Whether you are creating a web-based or mobile-based SaaS, it must be scalable and affordable. Developing SaaS that bridges the gap between scalability and affordability can be as challenging as rewarding.
Technology research and consulting company, Gartner, forecasts that the revenue of public cloud services will exceed $480 billion by 2022. Also, research from 99firms revealed that over 80% of businesses use a minimum of one SaaS product. This reflects how rewarding SaaS development can be. However, certain practices must be observed in the development of a Software as a Service.
What Are the Best Practices for SaaS Development?
The global pandemic was an eye-opener for the SaaS sector. People globally began to adopt different SaaS solutions. Recently, more SaaS products are being introduced to the already competitive market. If you are looking to develop a SaaS product, here are ten best practices that you can easily adapt:
1- Choose The Customer’s Satisfaction Over Yours
When it comes to SaaS development, it is more important to do the right thing than do something right. You have excellent ideas, and these ideas are valid. However, you must understand that you are not the one who will be using this product; your customers are. Hence, you have to create a product that satisfies your customers’ needs and solves their problems.
In developing a SaaS product, you have to work your way from the end down to the beginning. This means that you start the creation process from the customer right up to yourself, the creator. A SaaS product will thrive when you can successfully identify a problem and develop a solution for it.
Human needs are insatiable, and you can bank on that to remind yourself that there is always a problem that needs to be solved. You can redevelop an existing product and add extra features to be at an advantage. You can also interact with your prospective customer to know what they want and figure out how to give it to them. What matters is that you put your clients first in the development of SaaS.
2- Your SaaS Product don’t need a Mobile App, but have to be Mobile-first
The rise in the adoption of SaaS products has led to demand for a better customer experience. When you take a look at globally accepted SaaS products, there is something worth noticing. Companies like Google, Amazon, Zoom, and many others, can be accessed on mobile devices.
People who use these SaaS products are always moving from one place. These individuals will appreciate the power to perform tasks without being on their desktops. No one wants to install a desktop-only SaaS and another mobile-only SaaS to perform the same service.
Hence, your SaaS product must be integrated on mobile devices. The mobile-first design is another ideal practice in SaaS development. Ensure that your product is easy-to-use and offers a great user experience. When users can navigate your product intuitively, they are more productive and interested in the product.
3– Constantly Upgrade Your Products
In SaaS development, you don’t have to wait till you create a perfect product. If you meet the requirements for a SaaS product and get approval, you can launch immediately. Allow customers to test your product and take feedback – good or bad. Use their feedback to create upgrades to improve the customer experience.
While creating upgrades, you must ensure that you work with specific deadlines. Customers want improved quality, but they do not want to wait forever to get it. A good way to learn what to upgrade in your product is by customer interaction. Constant communication and prompt feedback can hasten your pace in the creation of upgrades.
4- Prioritize The Features of Your Products
In SaaS development, it is wrong to attempt to create a solution for everyone. If you try to do this, you will not be relevant to anyone. You need to start by creating features for a specific set of customers and build your way to a larger client base. To do this, you can follow the Reach, Impact, Confidence, and Effort (RICE) framework.
First, you need to have a reach. This is the number of people who you expect to use a feature within a specific period. For example, if 100 people subscribe to your product weekly, your reach for a new feature can be 20. This means that out of these 100 people, you expect at least 20 of them to try out a new feature.
When you marginalize your reach, the next thing is to see the impact of the new feature. You can do this by checking how many people in your reach tested the feature. If 18 people tested the feature, it means that 90% of your customers liked the feature. This is a high impact compared to the remaining 10% who didn’t use the feature.
Your reach and impact can be used to figure out how much confidence customers have in the feature. If the impact is high, then the feature can stay, and vice versa.
The final part of the framework is the effort. The effort refers to the processes that were followed in creating a new feature. Using the RICE framework, you can decide if a new feature should remain or be removed from your product.
5- Put Your Stakeholder on the Same Page
It is easier to reach your goals if everyone on your team shares the same vision. Top SaaS companies create a process before embarking on a SaaS development. Ensure that there is clarity on what value your product is designed to provide for its customers.
If asked, members of your team should provide the same or almost similar answer to these questions;
SaaS development is a continuous process; hence, your product must be designed for improvement. Have a long-term plan and stay consistent till you achieve it. Think about present actions that will cause a problem in the future. Then, find out how your product can help to solve this problem for a targeted audience.
As you develop your SaaS product, ensure that you invest a lot of resources into security. Making your customers feel safe while using your product is a critical part of SaaS development. Finally, improve your user experience with A/B testing. Develop your product to be scalable, and you can multiply your revenue exponentially.