Currently, SaaS is the largest segment of the global public cloud services market. The growing SaaS industry provides equal opportunities for all businesses. It concerns enterprises from startups to tech giants – and any size in between. It explains why traditional software companies, like Microsoft and Adobe, decided to look into that direction too.
Indeed, the time is ripe for developing a SaaS application now. But however tempting it may be, do not dive headfirst with launching a SaaS product because sometimes, it can be very challenging. That is why we have prepared a guide on the topic “how to choose a SaaS development company” that will be your best bet.
What are SaaS application development services?
SaaS, or software-as-a-service, is a software delivery and licensing model. It provides the distribution of the software application on a subscription basis.
When using SaaS, you will not have installation files, folders, and documents on your computer. All data is hosted on the service provider's servers. This is the so-called "cloud" storage on the network.
You get remote access to the program and can work from anywhere there is an Internet connection. At the same time, there are SaaS that you can buy and install on your server.
Revenue in the SaaS segment is expected to reach a market volume of $344 billion by 2027. That is why it comes as no surprise that SaaS technology is widely adopted by different types of software applications nowadays. The most popular domains are as follows:
- Customer relationship management or CRM (like Salesforce);
- Extended producer responsibility or EPR (like NetSuite by Oracle);
- Human resources or HR (like Calamari);
- Accounting and invoicing (like Workday);
- Social media marketing (like Buffer);
- Content marketing (like Marketo Engage);
- E-commerce (like BigCommerce);
- Email marketing (like MailChimp);
- Project and data management (like YouTrack by JetBrains).
A huge benefit of the SaaS model is its cross-platform accessibility and auto-update functionality. You can reach the newest app version from any device with an Internet connection. It sounds easy enough, but is SaaS development that easy too?
We have to admit that SaaS app development is not a simple task but a time- and resource-intensive project. Such a model requires permanent availability and zero-downtime deployment to allow app usage at any time.
Another challenge is to build and maintain a truly customizable system, and it is one of the main reasons why users love SaaS applications. Also, any software-as-a-service product requires custom third-party payment integration and subscription lifecycle management. It provides easy and convenient payment options for customers.
SaaS application development stages
To ensure compliance with all the requirements, we advise SaaS development to be divided into five main stages, as explained below.
Research & discovery. This stage implies gathering and assessing the client’s expectations and product requirements. Also, it involves collecting and analyzing information about the SaaS market and target audience. Based on this, business goals and requirements are formulated.
Product design. In the second stage, your SaaS development agency interprets the product’s design.
Product development. The next phase is responsible for the creation of the first version of the product or MVP (minimum viable product). The MVP is a version of a product with minimum features to satisfy early adopters and receive feedback for future development.
Optimization and QA (Quality Assurance). This phase includes thorough testing of the software and fixing any defects or bugs found. Testing is a subset of all the stages in the modern software development cycle. The QA process finishes when the product meets all the requirements.
Full deployment, monitoring, and support. The concluding stage starts when the app production environment is open for all users. Your SaaS development company monitors and solves all the issues that may appear.
What to look for in the right SaaS development company?
When it comes to choosing a SaaS development agency, there are a few things you should keep in mind. In this piece, we'll look at some of the critical factors you should consider choosing a SaaS development partner.
Expertise in SaaS app development
Software-as-a-service products are usually associated with connected cross-business and fast innovation leveraging solutions. This makes standards for SaaS product development companies increase markedly.
Beyond that, the market is extensive and diverse, offering a wide range of SaaS development services. Thus, when you are seeking for a solution in a specific domain, search in respective areas of competence to ensure your objectives will be met.
Above all, your aim is to hire an experienced SaaS development company with the right team that has expertise in the right type of project. It is essential because professional SaaS companies will consider your preferences and requirements. That is what it takes to suggest the business model, UX/UI design, and development tools that will give the impulse to your idea and make it lucrative.
Competent SaaS application development companies can prove their proficiency with case studies overview. You need to explore the vendors’ websites or their accounts on Dribble or Behance.
Are you wondering about what to look for in the portfolio of the software development company? Put your mind to the faced challenges, added functionality, project complexity, usability, and UX/UI design.
You can find useful evidence in the detailed completed projects that we are happy to share with our customers. It allows us to visualize our technical expertise and experience in delivering SaaS applications.
You are also welcome to see our designs for projects on Behance.
SaaS development approach
A competent approach to SaaS development is the key to your confidence in the quality of the product. Let’s consider the aspects you should pay attention to when choosing the company.
In software development, methodology always plays a significant role. How does the SaaS development company manage its time and resources? How do the software development teams handle scaling and adjusting to growth? Make sure you have asked yourself the questions above. After that, you need to discuss your requirements and expectations with your SaaS development partner.
We recommend sticking to the agile approach when searching for a team that will develop a SaaS application for your business. The agile methodology fits into software-as-a-service development perfectly due to its speed and flexibility. That is why implementing this approach will allow making changes at any stage of software development.
Choosing an agile approach will give you more control of the project management and execution.
At Codica, we use agile for all our projects. Below is an image that shows our custom software development process based on the agile approach.
Being the agile team, we hold weekly and daily standup meetings. This helps us to see the close goals and expected deliverables.
Also, it is essential for us to get feedback from a client at all stages of the software development process. This helps us to optimize the software life cycle.
For an efficient software development process, we use such instruments as Jira, where a PM creates tickets for developers, Trello, Slack for communication, and others.
Further reading: Agile vs. Waterfall Methodology: What is the Best for Your Project
Communication and code review
The SaaS development company delivering high-quality software must have a streamlined communication system. Questioning mitigates business risks by unlocking value in organizations, states Harvard Business Review. It is also a sign of a healthy and motivating work environment that boosts the software development team’s effectiveness.
Regular communication with the client and reports on the time spent (time reports) are mandatory for our agile approach.
Clear communication with a client is vital for a project’s success. At Codica, we have a call with our client every 1-2 weeks. Thus, we keep them informed of the work being accomplished for this time period.
Another big factor is performing code reviews. Mozilla Developer Guide states that it is a crucial point in validating the design and patch management. This practice makes the code more consistent, concise, and robust.
Creating a minimum viable product is a must-have step in SaaS development. Experienced developers understand the power of an MVP and its principles. Building a SaaS application must start with designing an MVP. It will contain only the features required to solve the users’ critical problems. It allows you to reduce development costs, quickly test your idea with real users, and generate revenue as soon as possible.
Below you can see a short video about MVP by our sales manager, Taya. Here, you will find out what an MVP is in business and how it can benefit you.
Do you know that the Snyk state of cloud report for 2022 found that 80% of companies faced a big cloud security issue last year?
Most of the security risks are connected with software-as-a-service cloud security. This could be attributed to the fact that the data are available via the Internet and stored with a third-party provider.
So, it is extremely important to care about your SaaS product security. Top software development companies always pay great attention to this aspect. These are a few steps you should take to secure your SaaS product:
- Create a detailed SaaS security guide,
- Exploit a secure custom software development life cycle,
- Configure automated backups,
- Implement security controls.
Indeed, the right software development company will create your SaaS product securely. In this case, your product will comply with all SaaS security standards. These are PCI DSS, HIPAA/HITECH, GDPR, and others.
For more detailed information, read our SaaS security checklist prepared by Codica’s DevOps experts: SaaS Security Guide: How to Protect Your Product and User Data.
Cloud migration is the process of migrating business apps from a provider's own on-premises infrastructure or cloud to another provider's cloud platform.
Cloud migration services for SaaS applications are a usual practice. Sometimes entrepreneurs may want to pick the model from SaaS to PaaS or IaaS. Companies may need different solutions depending on their size, the type of business, and the degree of development of their IT infrastructure.
So, your SaaS solutions need to be scalable and flexible. In this case, the cloud migration process and switching between cloud models will be more cost-effective and time-saving.
In general, cloud migration services can help with price reduction, digital security, and deployment performance enhancement. And also, cloud migration can boost the high overall efficiency of the solution.
So, ensure your potential software development agency has expertise in cloud migration. Thus, you don't need to change a development partner in the future and spend time hiring another one.
At Codica, we have been providing cloud migration services and will eagerly help you. However, we recommend to build the cloud-based app from the start. Because the cloud model provides flexibility and increases the cost-effectiveness of the business.
Another useful option for verifying the credibility and reliability of the SaaS development company is to see reviews from its clients. And nowadays, the modern market provides many resources where this information can easily be found.
Look through the platforms for ratings and reviews on worldwide IT service providers, such as Clutch and GoodFirms. These platforms collect actual and honest feedback, not only five-star positive testimonials. That is why you should check Clutch and similar services to find your best bet.
Clutch uses a variety of factors to evaluate companies that provide SaaS development services. It considers client reviews, market presence, experience, industry recognition, and other metrics. Below you can see the review given by one of our customers.
Another way of getting a sense of the reliability of the SaaS application development company is to check its website, blog, and social media. Visit the software development agency site and analyze its content, design, and usability.
Did the SaaS development company website get your attention? Are the design and functionality of it modern and up-to-date? If the answer is no, the odds of getting a high-quality web product with a great look and feel are very slight.
You can also pay attention to the companies’ blogs, where they share their expertise and technical and business insights. Consider it as an additional source when assessing the SaaS development company.
Programming technologies and tools used in SaaS application development have a major impact on the end product. This is called a technology stack, and it is a huge deal in custom software development.
Are you wondering what is so important about the technology stack? It will be the core of your application’s performance, security, scalability, and maintainability.
There is no universal answer to that matter because it largely depends on the specific project’s demands. Yet there are some things to be taken into consideration.
Note that deep expertise in a specific set of technologies is a better choice than wide specialization. One cannot master everything. Search for a SaaS application development company that is known for its deep domain expertise.
But first, you need to define the requirements for the solution stack. Ask yourself – and Google – the following questions about the programming languages that will be the base of your tech stack.
- Which one of the programming languages is the most suitable for your main features implementation?
- What is the community and talent landscape around it?
- How mature is it? Does it have many libraries and tools to work with?
- What is the situation with maintenance and security?
- What are the dependencies?
- How does it affect time-to-market?
Cloud computing platform
Cloud computing platforms can crucially help to develop SaaS fast. The top software development firm that specializes in SaaS should have familiarity with the next cloud platforms:
- Microsoft Azure;
- AWS (Amazon Web Services);
- IBM Cloud;
- GCP (Google Cloud Platform).
Tech stack at Codica
Below you can find other technical solutions we use for SaaS application development.
Surely, each project is individual. So, we select the tech stack for specific requests of our clients. In any case, it will be a well-thought-out and suitable choice for your project.
SaaS application development is a complex and demanding task. That is why you need to give serious consideration to the choice of the software development team. Mind that when creating a platform from scratch, you need to entrust the development to a full-cycle software development team.
So, what team will bring your SaaS application to reality?
- Project manager;
- UX/UI designers;
- Back-end and front-end developers;
- QA engineers.
The professional software development company will cover all aspects of SaaS application development, addressing all the stages of it.
Codica's expertise in SaaS development
From 2015 onwards, the Codica team has helped multiple startups and established SaaS businesses to succeed. We love to create software that rocks by providing high-end development, maintenance, and support.
We are happy to share our passion for cloud solutions when solving any SaaS application development challenge:
- SaaS product development from scratch;
- Third-party services integration;
- Existing SaaS application refinement;
- Migration to the cloud.
We are keen to build bright SaaS solutions for a variety of software types. You can just go through our list presented below and pick the one for you.
Our awesome SaaS project for the bakery business
CakerHQ is an Australian SaaS-based platform for bakery businesses that connects customers and cake makers. Its purpose is to simplify the cake booking process and business administration.
The client, Liza, aimed to get a platform that helps with business administration optimization and helps people find a baker near them.
This video shows how this successful SaaS application we developed for Liza works in real life.
We have built a fully-fledged SaaS platform for bakery businesses. And now, it is an expanding platform offering convenient solutions for both customers and cake makers.
How did we do it? The skilled experts in our SaaS product development company conducted profound research. Then, based on this and the client’s business requirements, we designed and implemented the required features. The functionality includes but is not limited to the following:
- Intuitive and pleasing UI/UX;
- Easy and efficient search options;
- Mobile and desktop optimization;
- Convenient messaging system;
- Simple quote system to send dessert requests.
The Codica software development company helped set CakerHQ apart from the rest of its competitors. This project stands out with a convenient, secure, and user-friendly solution.
Here is proof from its owner that the platform is workable and popular in Australia.
We have covered the key points you need to consider when opting for the right SaaS application development company.
Firstly, get to know the expertise of the software development company by checking its portfolio and client reviews. Then, find out about their SaaS development approach, their technology stack, and the team structure they follow. Put all these puzzles together and break the SaaS ground with an experienced SaaS product development company.
Here at Codica, we make SaaS application development robust, scalable, and secure. Feel free to contact us to discuss your idea. Our experts will gladly share their expertise and make your project rock.