July 25, 2022

What Is SaaS Application Development?

Rodion Salnik

Co-founder, Brocoders

15 min

To date, software as a service (SaaS) has emerged as a world popular business model for developing web and mobile applications and has generated countless success stories. SaaS delivers software applications through the cloud and allows businesses to operate at an unparalleled scale, creating a stacking effect for revenue and demanding high multiples in their valuations.

Global SaaS share market

With software as a service, instead of installing and maintaining software applications on your desktop, you use the cloud to access them, which significantly eliminates the need for expensive machines. In software as a service development, a software developer or organization distributes software in such a way that the product is permanently hosted in the cloud. To host the application, an independent software vendor (ISV) may hire a third-party cloud provider, or the cloud provider itself may be the software supplier like in the case of more giant corporations, such as Google and Microsoft.

Why Your Business May Need SaaS Development?

A faster and more reliable Internet, along with lower barriers to entry into multiple markets, has given the green light for a new generation of SaaS tools and made SaaS a new trend that continues to develop quickly. Software as a service has greatly impacted the information technology world due to its remote connectivity and management. According to Gartner’s research, today, four trends are shaping the future of the public cloud, and SaaS is one of them. The SaaS industry is worth $176.62 billion, an increase of about 5x since 2015 when it was worth $31.5 billion.

north america saas market size

SaaS solutions are among the fastest-growing IT industry segments, with a real-time growth of 18% per year. Being subscription-based and centrally located on a remote cloud network, SaaS models are becoming the go-to solution for many organizations. While the pandemic hit the global business and the economy hard last year, the growth of cloud computing has continued at a rapid pace. Gartner predicts end-user spending on public cloud services to reach $482 billion in 2022 and exceed 45% of all enterprise IT spending by 2026.

SaaS has been nothing short of revolutionary - and it has the revenue to show for it. (Forbes).

Today, 99% of companies on the market use at least one SaaS solution to run their businesses, while 93% of chief information officers state SaaS adoption can help their businesses grow and achieve their goals. According to a BetterCloud survey, companies estimate that 70% of the business apps they use today are SaaS-based. They also expect these digits to reach 85% by 2025. It was also discovered that larger companies tend to use more SaaS applications than younger organizations. Thus, young companies (1-2 years old) on average start out with 29 apps, and by the time they are 3-6 years old, this number spikes to more than a hundred SaaS applications.

total saas apps

SaaS apps are often considered the heart and soul of IT and have much to offer for businesses regardless of size. If used properly, software as a service can help your clients save money, time, and human resources. It can also provide streamlined focus and greater productivity by eliminating software maintenance and incompatibility problems. SaaS can also help make employees more engaged, allowing them to work safely, stay productive and motivated, and contribute to the organization's overall success.

The most common SaaS types include:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM is a central place for companies to store and analyze customer data.
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP). ERP integrates all of the processes that are necessary to run a business.
  • Project management. This SaaS type helps teams organize, track, and complete project work.
  • Human Resource software. SaaS HR software tracks employee work hours, schedules interviews, and automates payroll and onboarding.
  • Communication platforms. These platforms are used for instant messaging, file sharing, video calls, etc.

For companies developing and hosting SaaS products, this model has multiple advantages that contribute to their success in this industry. The main benefits for SaaS founders include:

  • Growing market demand. The demand for SaaS solutions keeps increasing by 18% each year, with 99% of companies using at least one SaaS solution to run their businesses.
  • Wide-reaching audience. The SaaS-based products are compatible with all the platforms that use a contemporary browser, including iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, and X, making them accessible to a broad audience.
  • Recurring revenue. The subscription-based model allows SaaS businesses to create a stable customer base, generate recurring revenue, and reduce the costs and time required to attract new customers.

At the same time, for customers and businesses purchasing from SaaS companies, the main benefits include:

Costs

Software as a service can provide significant savings for companies. It eliminates the upfront purchase/installation and ongoing costs like maintenance and upgrades. Instead of spending large sums of money to install hardware, SaaS applications can be easily downloaded and maintained. Software as a Service can be especially advantageous for small businesses as it provides access to expensive, high-powered software that would not otherwise be available through conventional purchasing methods. In addition, pay-as-you-go models allow companies to pay only for what they use and not overpay for unused licenses.

Time

Benjamin Franklin said, “Time is money,” and SaaS can save both time and money, allowing companies to reduce costs and eliminate extra work hours and downtime. Most SaaS applications don’t require a long installation, making this process as simple as having an Internet connection and acquiring a log-in. Additionally, software as a service apps tend to have a shorter learning curve, allowing faster adoption among employees.

Compatibility

With the conventional software installation method, application updates can often be costly in terms of time and money. With SaaS, subscribers can log on to already upgraded services and avoid compatibility issues and wasted time because of the version discrepancies between employees.

Flexibility and Simplicity

The pay-as-you-go model provides scalability and accessibility. As the SaaS software is hosted externally by a vendor, you can easily change your user plan without advance notice. Moreover, SaaS cloud services allow subscribers to access the software easily from any location.

Companies of different sizes have already benefited from the SaaS use appreciating its security, integration, and ease of use. For the moment, the TOP 10 biggest SaaS companies include

  • Adobe Inc. Market cap: $187,4 billion;
  • Salesforce, Inc. Market cap: $175,8 billion;
  • Intuit Inc. Market cap: $107,5 billion;
  • ServiceNow, Inc. Market cap: $94,8 billion;
  • Atlassian Corporation Plc. Market cap: $46,6 billion.
  • Shopify Inc. Market cap: $43,6 billion;
  • Block, Inc. Market cap: $41,7 billion;
  • Autodesk, Inc. Market cap: $40,6 billion;
  • CrowdStrike Holdings, Inc. Market cap: $38,8 billion;
  • Snowflake Inc. Market cap: $37,5 billion.

At the same time, the TOP 10 fastest-growing SaaS companies in 2022 include:

  • Hopin. Revenue growth rate: 24900%. This all-in-one event management platform allows users to host events, analyze the event data, sell tickets, and engage with attendees.
  • Virus Geeks Inc. Revenue growth rate: 11567%. This SaaS mobile application is helping people gain access to molecular diagnostic testing and provides organizations with the right technology to manage data effectively.
  • Everlance. Revenue growth rate: 10534%. This automatic tool tracks tax-deductible business mileage and expenses.
  • Yanu. Revenue growth rate: 8340%. Yanu is the world’s first contactless robot bar serving drinks, communicating with clients, and handling payments.
  • Plausible Analytics. Revenue growth rate: 5650%. This fully open-source web analytics tool has no cookies and is fully compliant with GDPR, CCPA, and PECR standards.
  • Casebook PBC. Revenue growth rate: 4300%. Casebook PBC is a Human Services platform expanded from child welfare solutions to provide the best-in-class experience.
  • Locale.ai. Revenue growth rate: 3900%. This end-to-end SaaS platform is designed for making operational decisions. Using strong map-based analytics and detailed metrics, Locale.ai optimizes business operations.
  • Radius Agent. Revenue growth rate: 3536%. This flat-free, full-service brokerage with over 75k members was also recognized as the best real estate app for 2022.
  • Knapsack. Revenue growth rate: 3355%. This SaaS tool helps companies build and maintain a design system through built-in tools like theme management, automated package updates, pre-built content blocks, and more.
  • Coralogix. Revenue growth rate: 3233%. Coralogix uses a cutting-edge pipeline Streama, which analyzes data in real-time and creates snapshots of the system state for long-term trend analysis, allowing businesses to monitor, visualize, and analyze their observability data.

What about the future of SaaS, and which companies are expected to adopt it the most? Due to the pandemic impact, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are scaling. They are more agile and respond to market needs faster than big-brand competitors. Due to this, SMBs are predicted to be the most immediate market for SaaS. As software as a service presents a low barrier to entry with enterprise services available at an affordable operating cost model based on usage or user-based pricing, SMBs can integrate SaaS into their workflow with practically zero friction. Moreover, SaaS services are available with a free trial period, which attracts SMBs as it reduces the risk of being overwhelmed by a platform that either doesn't have the required functionality or, conversely, has redundant functionality that confuses users.

Large organizations will also benefit from SaaS, as, in this way, they would be able to re-engineer their processes and take advantage of the cost, scale, efficiency, ease of use, and security benefits that come with SaaS use. Every business is looking for new growth opportunities, and the flexibility provided by SaaS will ensure they don’t miss this opportunity and unlock new growth potential.

How to Develop a Software-as-a-Service Application?

Today, cloud computing has grown exponentially into a vast and complex ecosystem of technologies, services, and products. Cloud models underlie most new technological advances, demonstrating excellent resiliency, flexibility, scalability, and speed. New wireless communications advances, such as 5G R16 and R17, are also pushing cloud adoption to a new level of broader, deeper, and ubiquitous usage, giving rise to a multi-billion dollar economy where many cloud providers compete for the rapidly expanding cloud market share. The main differences between SaaS and web applications include:

Web ApplicationSaaS Application
Apps are hosted on a server.Apps are running on cloud infrastructure.
Apps can be accessed via a browser.Apps are accessible via both a web browser and a program interface.
The back-end is single-tenant.The back-end is multi-tenant, which allows for sharing costs and resources.
Most web apps are limited by scalability and availability.Apps are unlimitedly scalable as per NIST requirements.

According to the Gartner forecast, end-user spending on cloud services will reach the mark of $482 billion by the end of 2022, with SaaS ($171,915 billion), IaaS ($121,620 billion), and PaaS ($100,636 billion) being the major players. Let’s check what the difference is between these terms.

Type of cloud computing service modelModel descriptionAdvantagesDisadvantagesExamples
SaaS (Software as a Service)SaaS companies provide software that can be accessed through a web browser without installation and maintenance.Easy to use; Accessibility; Scalability.Limited integrations; Limited customization; Minimal control.Dropbox, HubSpot, Zoom, Slack, Zendesk
PaaS (Platform as a Service)These platforms allow developers and DevOps teams to build, test, run, and manage customizable apps over the internet.Simplicity; Speed; CollaborationRuntime issues; Legacy system integration issues; Limited operations.Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, OpenShift
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)Provide users with a cloud-based alternative to on-premise IT infrastructure without the need to buy and manage hardware.Flexibility; Cost-effectiveness; Control; Availability.Training; Security; Legacy system security.DigitalOcean, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud.

Cloud ubiquity is a trend that continues to expand. Additionally, the pandemic has brought economic, social, and organizational impact, which also serves as a catalyst for digital innovation and global adoption of cloud services.

Organizations are advancing their timelines on digital business initiatives and moving rapidly to the cloud in an effort to modernize environments, improve system reliability, support hybrid work models, and address other new realities compelled by the pandemic (Brandon Medford, Gartner).

The SaaS model offers numerous benefits for businesses, providing affordable costs, scalability, and reliable protection without requiring special equipment. Let’s look at the main steps in developing the software as a service application and how to build a SaaS product from scratch.

Saas development process

Idea Generation and Planning

The creative process of generating project ideas and communicating them to the development team is the foundation of any software development life cycle (SDLC). Once a stakeholder has requested a project and decided on a conceptual idea, the next step is validation, which entails verifying the idea’s viability before core development. During the product idea validation stage, you have to answer three questions to find your product/market fit:

  • Can it be built? Find out what you need to develop a product - expertise, capital, equipment, etc.
  • Should it be built? Determine if there is a demand or need for the product. Weigh its chances of success in the market and potential profitability.
  • Will people be able to use it? Choose the product features and determine how complex it will be. Note that people should find it easy and convenient to use.

The next step is idea testing. It includes:

  • Conducting extensive market research;
  • Defining required technical parameters;
  • Creating the application prototype;
  • Checking the prototype for compliance with the regulatory requirements.

Once the customer has decided on the idea of the project and approved it, the planning stage begins. Analysis and planning usually mean looking into

  • Alignment. Does the project connect to the company’s goals and objectives?
  • Resource availability. Do you have the necessary specialists and tools to take this on, or do you need to hire a development team?
  • Project scheduling. How does this project fit within the other tasks of the company?
  • Cost. How much is the project going to cost? What pricing strategy is best?

The planning phase should include all the departments involved in this project, including key stakeholders, project managers, developers, business analysts, UX/UI designers, and others. You should have enough information at the end of the phase to create a high-level scope of work (SOW), which brings together everything from project details to schedules, terms, and expected outcomes.

Results

As a result of this phase, the founder must know what system he will make, how it will differ from competitors, who his primary customers are, and what is his marketing strategy and pricing model. For example, he may choose between the following SaaS pricing strategies:

  • Cost-plus pricing. Also known as cost-based pricing, this model is one the most prevalent, especially for startups. With this SaaS strategy, you sell your products at a higher price than it cost you to create them, to make a profit. For example, you can add a 15-20% profit margin to the amount it cost you to build a SaaS product to make a profit.
  • Value-based pricing. With this pricing strategy, you’re aligning the price of your SaaS product with the value it provides for the customers. Instead of simply calculating the expenses, you must research your target audience to learn their needs and requirements and find out what they value most in your SaaS product.
  • Competitor-based pricing. With this pricing model, you’re setting the prices for your product based on your competitors’ pricing without the need to do extensive customer research or calculate your business expenses.

Vendor Selection

After the project idea generation and planning stage, a vendor selection process comes. During this stage, the founder chooses a vendor or decides who will develop the product. For example, you may find your business partner on Clutch.co or its alternatives.
clutch.png

Before hiring a vendor for collaboration, you can consider the following steps:

  1. Analyze your business needs. Decide on the most critical aspects of the project before hiring a vendor. You can also create a business requirements document to detail tasks and deliverables that may be needed.
  2. Make a list of potential vendors. When you create the necessary deliverables for the product, you can begin the search for vendors. Your management team may rank potential vendors based on the services available, budget, and timeframe and contact each candidate to send a request for information (RFI).
  3. Meet candidates. When the shortlist of potential candidates is created, you can reach out and schedule a meeting with each vendor to clarify any project details, confirm pricing, and verify they can meet the deadline.
  4. Review RFPs and clarify the details of the collaboration. As potential vendors return requests for proposals, the team deciding on the right vendor can meet. Research the work history of each vendor, his commitment to product completion, and customer testimonials.
  5. Write a contract. Once confirming pricing details and scheduling, the hiring company may make an offer to a vendor and consult with executives and the accounting department to verify contract objectives and deliverables. A contract typically includes vendor compensation and payment terms. It may also include stipulations for vendor termination and provide protections for both parties in case of disagreements.

Technical Requirements

The next step in developing software as a service application is understanding the project's technical requirements. Depending on the vendor the founder decides to work with, the technical documentation can be compiled independently along with the CTO of the project or with the help of the vendor. At Brocoders, we help our customers to collect the technical documentation needed for product development.

Every piece of software needs to solve a customer problem, so the following questions can be asked to understand the project’s specifications:

  • Who is going to use the software and why?
  • What problem does the software solve?
  • What sort of data input/output is needed for the project?
  • How will security/privacy be handled?
  • Do you need to integrate with other tools or APIs?

The technical requirements phase is the moment when you might start sprint planning (in the case of using an Agile software development process) or break large tasks into smaller, more actionable steps.

UX/UI Design

The next stage of SaaS application development is to start designing what the software will look like and how it will function. A design may consist of mockups, wireframes, user stories, user interaction design (UI design), user experience design (UX design), accessibility design, functional prototypes, etc.
UX_UI
UX and UI terms are often used interchangeably but actually mean different things.

  • UI includes anything a user may interact with to use a digital product or service. It stands for the look and feel of the future platform and represents the point of interaction between users and a digital device or product. UI design is about the appearance of the interface. It includes everything from screens and touchscreens, keyboards, sounds, and lights. When developing a SaaS app, a UI designer should think about icons and buttons, typography and color schemes, spacing, imagery, and responsive design to make the user interface of a product as intuitive as possible.
  • UX evolved as a result of UI improvements and is about creating a blueprint for the platform. UX design is not about visuals but interface functionality. It focuses on the overall feel of the experience and encompasses all aspects of the end-users interaction with the product. UX designers are responsible for ensuring that the company delivers the product or service that meets the customer’s needs and think about how easy it is for the user to accomplish the desired tasks. When developing a SaaS application, UX designers work closely with UX researchers, UI designers, product teams, and marketers to conduct qualitative user research and improve the experience.

Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works. (Steve Jobs).

Software Development and Testing

The primary task of this phase is to turn a design into a live platform. The development stage consists of solution architects and software developers working together. The solution architect team is responsible for the architecture and infrastructure level solutions, while a dedicated development team writes the source code for the SaaS applications using the technical stack chosen during the technical requirements phase. The main steps in SaaS development and testing include:

  • The design team provides the UX/UI design files for the platform;
  • The back-end engineer writes the code for the application features to function;
  • The front-end developer deploys the design to the server and connects the front-end to the back-end;
  • The QA tester runs tests to find and report bugs in the app work and manage fixes;
  • The project manager controls the entire process and coordinates it at all stages.

The information and data security team is also involved in this phase as it helps implement the SaaS development best practices that are related to security and governance.

Product Deployment

When everyone agrees on the proposed functionality and design of the software, it’s time to build it in accordance with the requirements and SOW. This phase is the most complex and riskiest stage of SDLC. The main activity in the SaaS platform deployment is executed by the DevOps engineer or the dedicated DevOps team working on automating the workflows, creating a CI/CD pipeline, and guiding software through its launch phase.

The primary goal of the product deployment stage is to stick to SOW, avoid scope creep, create clean and efficient software, and push it into production. In most companies, the deployment phase is automated using a continuous deployment model or Application Release Automation (ARA) tool.

Maintenance and Updates

The SDLC doesn’t end with a software launch. It is a “lifecycle,” so the ending of one phase is thus the beginning of another. Once people begin to use the software, they will undoubtedly find bugs, ask for more functionality, and request new features. According to Coralogix, the data logging analytics company, 75% of a developer’s time is spent on debugging, which is, on average, 1500 hours a year.

Customer needs are constantly evolving, and these requests need to flow back into your product backlog of the task list to be prioritized and become part of your product roadmap.

This phase of SaaS application development also includes basic upkeep and maintenance of the software to ensure uptime and customer satisfaction. A widespread mistake most tech entrepreneurs make in this phase is not having a budget for maintenance. You need to discuss it at the initial planning stage and note that an ideal SaaS maintenance budget should constitute about 25% of your development budget.

Product Scaling

Once you launch the SaaS platform, you get your first customers, and an essential thing to do at this stage is to collect customer feedback and SaaS metrics. Tracking the SaaS metrics can help you measure the business growth, improve your marketing and sales strategies, and much more. There are many metrics to choose from, so you can prioritize the ones most important for your business. Some of the TOP SaaS metrics in 2022 include:

  • Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR). This metric predicts how much revenue a business can expect from its customers yearly. With ARR, you can measure and forecast business growth year-over-year.

How to calculate: ARR = Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) - Monthly Recurring Revenue Churn (MRR Churn) x 12 months.

  • Churn Rate. Losing customers can be detrimental to your business, so churn rate is a vital metric to keep track of. This metric calculates the percentage of customers lost over a specific period.

How to calculate: Churn rate = (number of lost customers over a specific period/total number of clients at the beginning of this period) x 100.

  • Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). The metric calculates the revenue that the business expects to generate on a monthly basis. MRR can help you measure overall profitability and is often used to calculate ARR and total contract value (TCV).

How to calculate: MRR = Average Revenue per User (ARPU) x total number of monthly users.

  • Customer Lifetime Value (LTV). LTV or CLV calculates the total revenue you can expect each customer to generate from their acquisition until the end of the contract.

How to calculate: CLV = average order value x average number of yearly transactions x average customer lifespan in years.

  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC). This metric calculates the total money amount a business spends to get a new customer over a specific period. Calculating CAC can help you understand which sales and marketing strategies are the most effective in bringing in new customers.

How to calculate: CAC = total costs spent on acquiring new customers over a specific period/total number of customers acquired over this period.

  • Conversion Rate. Acquiring more customers is an ultimate goal for all businesses, and conversion rate is one of the most critical SaaS metrics typically tracked by marketers. It measures how many people visiting your website convert into customers.

How to calculate: Conversion rate = (total number of conversions/total number of your website’s visitors) x 100.

  • Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). This is one of the most useful SaaS metrics if you are looking to track and plan your business’ growth. It calculates the total revenue your company generates over a specific period.

How to calculate: ARPU = total revenue generated per period / total number of paying customers per period.

  • Burn Rate. This metric calculates how much money your business spends per month. It can help you determine cash runway and evaluate how many months your business can survive without generating revenue.

How to calculate: There are two types of Burn Rate - Gross Burn Rate and Net Burn Rate. Gross type measures how much your business spends per month and helps you understand how long it can operate without revenue. Gross Burn Rate = total monthly spending. Net Burn Rate measures the difference between your total money revenue and total spending, showing if you’re spending money in a profitable way. Net Burn Rate = total monthly revenue - total money spending (Gross Burn Rate).

Tracking the SaaS metrics is a key to overall business success, and you should understand which of them are the most important to your company.

Regardless of your target audience, market sector, or type of SaaS solution (B2B or B2C), your maintenance and scaling costs will be related to

  • Analytics and monitoring;
  • Addition of new features;
  • Product enhancement;
  • Support.

You can collect customer feedback using questionnaires, reviews, or email feedback. Whatever method you choose, it will help you continuously improve the product, perform analytics and data monitoring, and provide customer support.

The required team

Team composition A SaaS development team usually doesn’t have a fixed number of members as it always depends on the project requirements and budget. There are different approaches to assembling a software development team to build a SaaS application, although the positions you will need on a SaaS development team always include:

Project manager

Project managers manage the SaaS SDLC, assign tasks to team members, set up project timelines, and constantly monitor the project’s progress.

Business analyst

This person is responsible for analyzing the software’s role on the market, the problems it aims to solve, how much the project will cost, its present and future scope, and everything else related to the project.

UX/UI designer

When developing the SaaS-based application, UX/UI designers build the user experience and interface for the app, creating a user-centered design that is aesthetically pleasing and aligns with your brand.

Back-end developer

This person works on the application’s server-side logic and ensures its functioning in accordance with the plan created in the requirements. Back-end developers write web services and APIs used by front-end and mobile application developers.

Front-end developer

A front-end web developer is a person most people think of as a “web developer.” He is responsible for implementing visual elements that users see and interact with in a web application by tuning design into code using JavaScript and frameworks.

QA engineer

The primary task of this specialist is to test the SaaS app to find any bugs, issues, errors, and defects before it gets launched in the market. According to the Qualitest poll, 8 out of 10 people find bugs in applications they regularly use, whereas, for 88% of the users surveyed, bugs are enough to abandon an app completely. Minimizing the number of bugs before product deployment and fixing them quickly after the launching is essential for user retention.

Challenges of SaaS Development

SaaS product development has been a game changer over the last decade. By using a cloud-first strategy, CIOs are able to streamline their business operations while saving money and increasing productivity (Forbes).

Besides benefits, SaaS application development poses some challenges and risks as businesses must rely on vendors to build the software, keep this software running, track and report accurate billing and provide a secure environment for the business data. The most common pitfalls that your development team may face include:

Security

Cloud security is often cited as one of the main challenges for SaaS applications. These apps carry an enormous amount of information that can be accessed from any device with an enabled web browser. It increases the risk of being hacked. Every business founder should ensure all the products delivered to clients are secure and their personal information has a high level of encryption. To provide this, SaaS database service providers use SSL and TLS security protocols to encrypt communications between a user and a server and between two users.

However, this security isn’t enough to provide the level of data handled by SaaS solutions. To provide cloud service customers with guaranteed security, countries are beginning to adopt laws governing the development processes and management of the platform. One such example is HIPAA compliance for US healthcare software.

Integration of third-party services

Most often, SaaS applications have many features embedded in the platform. Some of them can be created from scratch, while others can be built by third parties and integrated via APIs. Integrating third-party features can be challenging as technical requirements are usually very complex.

The payment system is one of the most common third-party features in SaaS applications. Each payment solution like PayPal, QuickPay, Stripe, Skrill, and Braintree has API documentation guiding users through the implementation process. One of the best solutions to overcome this challenge is to hire a development team with a knowledgeable QA that will perform all the necessary manual and automated tests to ensure that the integrated third-party service works appropriately.

No-downtime deployment strategy

Each SaaS platform should be updated regularly, and the main challenge here is that it is often inaccessible to users during maintenance. Traditional systems overcome this challenge by notifying users about downtimes while performing an update, but the SaaS platforms must be permanently online. Maintenance teams adopt a no-downtime deployment strategy to ensure uninterrupted operation of the SaaS app, also known as a Blue-Green deployment.

In a Blue-Green deployment, the current version of an app, which is already in production, is running on top of the “blue” environment. When it’s time to update the application, it is deployed in a different environment called “green,” which is maximally identical to the “blue” environment. Once the new environment is validated, 100% of the traffic is redirected to it, making the old environment idle. The “blue” environment can be used as a stand-by in case of a fault or as a template for the next update.

What type of team to choose for partnership? Cost of SaaS Development

Another crucial factor for the success of the SaaS application development is the type of development team you choose. There are several options for team types, and you may be confused about which one is ideal for developing your SaaS platform. All the teams offering saas application development services differ in their cost, but the price shouldn’t be a decisive factor for a SaaS company. Strive for the best partner instead of looking for the cheapest option and trying to get the best value for money. In order to help you find the perfect fit for SaaS-based app development, we've rounded up the ins and outs and average costs of the top team types.

Type of TeamProsConsCost
In-house development teamBetter understands the project as it works within your office space. Minimal influence of third parties on the project. Full control over the source code.Taxes, salaries, medical expenses, and workspace are needed for the team. Costly and time-consuming hiring process. No guarantees you’ll find the team you need.$120,000
Local development agencyMore natural idea-sharing process. Minimal time zone and cultural differences. Both parties are under the same legal jurisdiction.Costly option in most cases. A large budget is needed to build the MVP.$180,000
Freelance developersExperienced freelance developers can offer you deep insight into the SaaS development intricacies. Freelancers are easier to find and cheaper to engage. Flexibility in case of upsizing or downsizing the development team.Freelance developers can switch to another project and fail deadlines. It’s challenging to check the knowledge and skills of the developer. SaaS development requires long-term cooperation, which may be a problem for freelance workers.$50,000
Outsource development agencyAccess to qualified specialists all over the world. Better cost-value ratio. Scalability of the created products. Faster project delivery. A great diversity of technologies.Need to control the activities of the team. Risk of data leakage. Time zone and cultural differences.$60,000

Don’t rush into a decision picking a reliable SaaS application development company. Choose a team of specialists that have demonstrated both a good understanding of your business model and technical knowledge of SaaS. Check the team’s project portfolio and be specific about their past cloud computing projects. In addition to the portfolio, look at the success rate of previous SaaS products the team has built and assess their ability to create another one. What’s most important - note that you choose not only a skilled team with previous SaaS experience but a reliable partner that will be involved in all project details and with whom you will cooperate for a long time.

Brocoders case studies

Brocoders is a technical partner for building web-based and mobile app products. We work with the clients regardless of their location and time zone and, for the moment, have successfully implemented 85 projects worldwide. Our featured SaaS projects include:

CondoGenie

Industry: Real Estate

Location: Canada

Condogeenie

CondoGenie is a multi-functioning platform for condominium management, enabling condominium boards, owners, and managers to increase accountability, transparency, and collaboration.

The CondoGenie solution was designed to improve condo management and cover all the communication gaps within condominiums and their management companies. The solution supports an infinite number of users and allows all the interested parties to stay and communicate directly on one platform, as well as receive urgent assistance for any problems that may happen to their housing.

During the 18 months, Brocoders team of PM, Business Analyst, Product Designer, QA Engineer, Back-end and Front-end Engineers, and one DevOps proved the ability to handle large-scale international projects smoothly. We built a next-gen platform with a host of collaboration and communication features that users in Condominiums, Stratas, HOAs, and Co-Ops would love to enjoy. CondoGenie has an intuitive and easy-to-navigate interface that helps users post events and news of a condominium to keep everybody informed about condo life and the documents that are important for residents.

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LadderOut

Industry: HealthTech

Location: Sweden

LadderOut is a mental health coaching software that supports people who require additional help in breaking free from adult content use. The LadderOut program was designed to help quit porn with research-based information, interactive videos, and skill-building activities.

Brocoders helped bring to life this innovative idea and created a client-oriented solution designed to aid people in breaking the cycle of pornography use. With a team of Front-end Developer, Back-end Developer, UX/UI Designer, and PM, Brocoders helped the client to deliver a revolutionary product that has demonstrated superior quality and stability of the internal recovery program and currently includes more than 1560 active users on the platform.

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Adact

Industry: Martech

Location: Estonia

Adact

Adact empowers businesses and institutions in building engaging, interactive gamification campaigns for marketing, sales, and communications.

The main priority of the Adact team was implementing a user-friendly interface design. The specifics of the model implied the provision of their clients with automated features that must facilitate them in creating the gamification campaigns so that the front-end side should streamline the desktop browsers and be straightforward for end-users.

Brocoders team of PM, UX/UI Designer, Front-end Developer, Back-end Developer, DevOps Engineer, and QA Specialists have built a seamless platform, conquering initial product testing with over two million interactions. The campaign gathered over 18,000 leads in ten days, with nearly half a million users completing the game.

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ConvertHero

Industry: Martech

Location: USA

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The creators of the ConvertHero service found that up to 80% of website visitors will never return to the site they visited. With exit-intent technology, this service tracks online visitors’ mouse movements on a webpage, detects the moment when a visitor is about to leave and allows you to show them a targeted offer (discounts, free subscriptions, etc.)

Brocoders team used Ruby on Rails and React.js to develop the service that would allow you to:

  • Choose from templates created by professional designers;
  • Customize each element of the pop-up according to the website design and brand image;
  • Choose the exact time you want the pop-up to appear;
  • Get detailed results for your campaigns.

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EveryPig

Industry: Agritech

Location: USA

EveryPig is a first-of-its-kind pig health and production management platform aiming to serve animals, producers, and consumers by improving animal health and increasing transparency in the food chain. The project idea originated because of the problem that veterinarians couldn't react on time without receiving the actual pigs' health data. Most often, the information based on paper barn sheets and check-ups went too late to the office. A custom software solution was born to digitize the recording process of the data, enabling caregivers to provide veterinarians with meaningful data about:

  • Symptoms;
  • Water consumption:
  • Temperature;
  • Medication usage.

The software was also designed to allow attaching photos and videos of pigs to the daily check-ups. Receiving it on time, veterinarians can make a diagnosis and recommend the treatment.

The Brocoders’ task was to refine the project's MVP and help stakeholders prepare for the sales operations on the market. With the team of PM, Front-end Developers, and Back-end Developers, we complete the first release of EveryPig, accomplishing the following tasks:

  • Refine the UI/UX based on mockups provided by the EveryPig team;
  • Ensure the smooth operation of the features in the browser;
  • Implement cloud data storage for media files.

The project was developed using the sprint system/ Each of the sprints lasted three weeks and ended up presenting new features. We keep working on the EveryPig, adding new features, and providing complete technical support. EveryPig currently hosts over a million images from various companies in the cloud, helping its AI engine predict mortality and stop disease outbreaks.

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Conclusion

The SaaS market is currently worth $176.62 billion, and it’s far from the limit. In the spring of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic gained momentum, lots of companies worldwide closed their offices. Many businesses have survived closures and avoided mass layoffs by moving away from more traditional workplaces to work from home, distributed teams, and virtual workspaces, and SaaS played a critical role in this process. SaaS provides employees with instant access to high-quality, low-cost productivity suites, collaboration tools, data- and document-sharing services, and other key applications, keeping them informed, engaged, and productive in home-office settings.

To date, SaaS apps offer numerous benefits to users. They reduce the time spent on the installation and configuration of the software and provide beneficial cost savings. SaaS solutions are scalable and have integrations with other SaaS offerings. They are easy to use and allow users to test the software functionality or a new release feature in advance.

SaaS is an excellent decision for businesses of any size, although its development may be quite challenging. In-house solutions are not always efficient as they may require significant time and resource investments. This is where outsourcing can come to the rescue of your SaaS project. Hiring a trusted SaaS outsourcing development team at Brocoders ensures that your SaaS product is in safe hands.

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