How to Develop a SaaS Application
Providing services online is more than just a marketing trend for many companies. This opens new opportunities for businesses, allowing them to quickly grow their customer base, expand to new markets, and increase revenues. Software developers have also started to recognize the value of moving online. Those companies that have been long offering their solutions in the form of licensed software are transforming them into SaaS applications, enhancing them with cloud technologies.
The adoption of SaaS cloud technologies is happening rather fast. According to the State of SaaSOps research by BetterCloud, the average rate of SaaS apps used by companies has grown 5 times from 2017 to 2020. Moreover, it’s expected that by 2025 only 15% of all companies’ software will be non-SaaS.
Today, businesses from any industry can empower their digital solutions with SaaS from retail to marketing, to finance, to healthcare. In this article, we’ll look closer at SaaS and explain what SaaS applications are, why many businesses opt for SaaS application development services, and how to build a successful SaaS product.
What is a SaaS Application?
Software as a service or SaaS is an alternative business model that is quickly gaining traction among software providers. Using this model, software developers host their applications in the cloud and provide them to the end-users on-demand. It means that software providers don’t sell lifetime licenses to their programs anymore, instead, they offer their services on a subscription-based model which is paid yearly or monthly. Meanwhile, SaaS users don’t have to install any software and can access it under a single account from several devices via an Internet browser or APIs.
More and more businesses consider converting their software to SaaS as this model makes their products available to a wider audience. For example, such techno giants as Atlassian, Salesforce, HubSpot, DropBox, Adobe Photoshop, and many others have become more accessible for SMEs as well as individual users as they have to pay only a small fee for utilizing high-quality and feature-rich products.
Types of SaaS Applications
SaaS applications can be found in a great number of industries. Nevertheless, this model doesn’t work with all kinds of services. For example, if a company provides a one-time service, it’ll be quite challenging to convince its customers to buy a monthly or a yearly subscription. This way, SaaS is a great option for the companies that offer their services on a regular basis.
Usually, SaaS applications are divided into two major groups – B2B (business to business) type apps and B2C (business to customer) type apps. Let’s have a closer look at the two types and which SaaS apps can be developed for them.
SaaS applications for B2B
There is a wide range of applications that can be built SaaS for B2B services. They usually include:
- Enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs) – is enterprise software for managing complex processes in companies. It can include various modules, depending on a particular company’s demands, e.g. inventory, supply chain, accounting management, CRM and HRM systems, and many others.
- Customer relationship management software (CRM) – is a popular SaaS solution many businesses choose to effectively maintain and manage their customer base. This type of software helps businesses monitor marketing campaigns, quickly serve their customers, track product delivery, and much more.
- Human resources management software (HRM) – is the software used by resources departments for managing staff from gathering data about present and potential employees, to benefits management, to the estimation of employees’ performance, and more.
- eCommerce apps – this software allows online e-commerce businesses to manage their services and workflows, including supply chain management, inventory control, payment processing, automated invoicing, and everything needed for a successful e-commerce platform operation.
- Project management tools – SaaS project management tools are a popular solution many businesses opt for to effectively estimate and manage their projects. These tools allow teams to stay on track with the latest project updates while keeping the project budget and timeline under control.
- Collaboration tools – since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, online SaaS collaboration tools soared in popularity. Many teams moved online and started using video conferencing platforms, collaborative software such as Google sheets, messaging working apps, and more.
- Marketing software – is a SaaS application that helps marketers create, launch, and track their marketing campaigns on various platforms online. Using marketing software, businesses can monitor their performance online and better adjust their offerings to customer demands.
SaaS applications for B2C
As mobile internet has become a common phenomenon and more and more people started accessing it daily from virtually anywhere, the number of online services started quickly expanding and growing in popularity. Today, the most frequently used general public cloud-based applications are:
- Streaming platforms – American streaming services like Netflix and Spotify are used far beyond the US borders. People from all around the world can watch videos and listen to music from practically anywhere. Of course, streaming services aren’t limited only to these tech giants and there are many more global and local platforms that offer this type of service.
- Graphics, video/audio, and text editors – online translators, image and video editing services are used by thousands and thousands of people for various purposes from blogging to personal needs, to work.
- E-learning apps – learning on the go is an efficient use of time for many e-learning app users. Therefore, online learning apps attract major audiences, allowing their followers to master their skills while they’re outdoors. E-learning apps generate substantial revenues and many startups consider this niche when building their SaaS solutions.
Advantages of Software as a Service
Conventionally licensed software is drastically losing its competitiveness in comparison to SaaS solutions. This happens mainly because both SaaS providers and SaaS users gain plenty of benefits from this type of software. Here is why SaaS is so popular.
From a user perspective, SaaS products are:
- Accessible – cloud-based applications can be reached from anywhere, any time, and from any device, once there is a stable internet connection.
- Automatically updated – with SaaS solutions, users don’t have to deal with downloading the latest applicatio