SaaS applications are the way that most companies plan to build their IT infrastructure going forward.The benefits of choosing SaaS over other options are too great to ignore, and companies of all sizes have taken notice.
For the companies involved in SaaS application development to create these services, it is a great opportunity to create systems and resources or products and services that can change how businesses function. Here is how you can build a cloud-based SaaS application in six steps.
Steps to Build Cloud-Based SaaS Application
Step 1: Define Your Product Strategy
SaaS application development begins with defining your product strategy. This strategy outlines:
- What your product is supposed to do
- How it is supposed to do it
- Why it does what it does, and what value that provides
- Who it is supposed to provide value for (target audience)
- How much you intend to spend on it
- What returns you expect to gain from it
It is essential that your strategy lays out an effective plan for you to finish the production of your app. By clarifying many of the details before you even get started, you can marshal resources more effectively.
In short, a good strategy shows you what you need to do and gives your teams a way of focusing efforts toward the same goal. Otherwise, there is a big risk that you will build an app that does not perform well in the market, and wastes a lot of your resources in the process.
Step 2: Select Your Development Tools
In the SaaS implementation process, the tools that are used for building the product will have a big impact on its success. There are a lot of tools to choose from, so this step may be more difficult than others. Much of your later work will depend on which tools you choose. Take the time needed to determine which tools can work best for your needs before committing to anything.
For example, if you are building a website, you will have to choose a content management system. If you are building a mobile app, you will have to choose a programming language. If you are building a software-as-a-service application, you will have to pick a range of technologies that align with the intended outcomes of your product.
Whatever type of product you are building, you will have to make some choices about the tools that you will use. In doing so, you need to consider the following:
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of the tools you have chosen?
- Will it let you create software with the intended features that you planned?
- What is the ease of use of the tools?
- How much training will be needed?
- What are the costs of the tools?
- How much will they cost to maintain?
- Can your team use the tools that you have chosen?
Ultimately, you need to choose tools that let you create the software that you want with the least amount of friction. This may take some time and experimentation to find the toolset that is right. However, it is worth the time and effort to prototype some options and investigate different tools. Even if they won’t work for this project, the knowledge you gain may help you on the next project.
Step 3: Create Your Data Architecture
The data architecture is the way that the data is structured and stored. It is particularly important when you are building a cloud-based SaaS application because the data can be distributed across many servers.
The data architecture will help ensure that the data can be accessed quickly and easily by all users. It will also help protect the data from things like cyber attacks and data loss.
As you begin this process, consider the following:
- What data needs to be stored?
- How much data needs to be stored?
- What data needs to be protected against cyber attacks?
- How will the data be accessed?
- Who will need to access it?
- How will the data be distributed across the cloud-based application?
Using a cloud-based system has major advantages over other options. If you do decide to stick with the cloud-architecture, make sure that you structure data in a way that improves security. To get the best framework for SaaS applications, base your architecture decisions around security more than anything else to avoid major long-term problems like data breaches.
Step 4: Build Out the User Experience
The user experience is the way that users interact with the product. It encompasses all of the interactions that a user has when using the product. It also includes the interactions that the user has with the business behind the product.
The user experience is a critical component of a successful SaaS application. You need to design it carefully. The good news is that there are many tools and methods that you can use to design the user experience. You can use user research, personas, and user testing to get a better idea of how the product will be used. You can also use design tools like storyboards, flowcharts, and prototypes to help you build an effective user experience. You can also use user feedback to continually improve the user experience.
Step 5: Build and Deploy the Cloud-Based Service
When all of the planning is done, begin building the product. SaaS products are generally built using an MVP method where the product is developed to its minimum amount of usable product, and launched. Then, the product is worked on more to make continuous improvements rather than waiting for a fully developed product to launch. This gets you to market faster to get you feedback on your design.
Step 6: Monitor and Learn From Your Users
As your product reaches the market and its end users, collect as much feedback as possible. Use this to make improvements to your design and add new features that align with what your audience wants. This will drive sales to new clients while maintaining a solid user base.
Work With SaaS Development Experts
Cloud-Based SaaS application development can be tricky, so work with skilled SaaS development experts. At KitelyTech, we help companies develop the services and IT resources that they need to succeed. Call us at (800) 274-2908 so we can help you develop your SaaS product.