SaaS Application Development

Top 6 Considerations for SaaS Application Development

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product development business is growing at a fast pace, attracting organizations across industries. More and more companies are investing their resources in SaaS application development and rapidly moving to the cloud. Gartner has anticipated that SaaS solutions will generate revenue worth around $105 billion in 2020, a $20 billion jump from what they had predicted in 2019. 

The primary reason businesses prefer a SaaS-based architecture is that it offers them scalable and robust applications in the cloud at a lower cost on a pay-per-use basis. In a highly competitive and challenging marketplace, SaaS applications enable businesses to become more flexible and agile. Leveraging the SaaS model is also fundamentally a faster way to achieve greater business value. However, an organization must take these six considerations into account while hiring a SaaS development company. 

  1. Multi-Tenancy

    Multi-tenancy is a type of software architecture wherein a single instance of an application serves multiple customers, enabling the developers to leverage a common infrastructure and codebase to extend their services across clients economically. A multi-tenancy architecture also makes it easier for the developers to maintain the application. However, security is a primary concern because multiple tenants share a joint infrastructure, posing a risk to each other in terms of data loss, misuse, or privacy violation. Your SaaS application development company is responsible for ensuring that your application, based on multi-tenancy architecture, enforces authentication, and authorization to provide access to sensitive information. The best solution is a SaaS platform with in-built tenant management and data management modules. 
  2. Scalability 

    While traditional applications restrict the number of users, modern SaaS applications, with a cloud-hosted application and database built inherently scalable to handle the load, allow an unlimited number of users to access the application. When it comes to SaaS applications, the database’s size keeps expanding with ever-increasing users and their transactions, impacting the database performance, leading to increased transaction time and poor user experiences. A well-designed SaaS application helps you to handle scenarios with multiple users accessing the same data easily. SaaS applications, built on the latest technologies and infrastructures equipped with load-balanced servers and a strong layer between the data and the application, ensure that the backend data scales separately from the business logic and presentation layers. 
  3. Security

    Security is a critical aspect of a SaaS application, primarily ensured by the SaaS application development company and the cloud infrastructure provider such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Modern SaaS application architecture ensures your company’s data is segregated and accessible only to those individuals intended to access it. Data security and integrity are of prime concern to organizations looking to switch to SaaS, preventing most businesses from migrating to the cloud. The Security-by-Design (SbD) approach to security enables the SaaS application developer to incorporate an infrastructure design that automates security controls so that you can build security at every level of the IT management process. The SbD approach is not new, but the rise in public cloud adoption has made it more significant. Recently, AWS has been actively promoting the approach and formalizing it for the cloud audience.
  4. Integration

    A well-built SaaS application seamlessly integrates with other applications through APIs. An experienced SaaS application development company ensures that the required APIs are available to enable integration with other SaaS or on-premise applications. The APIs visible to third-party developers allow them to extend the SaaS platform’s capabilities. The SaaS model seamlessly integrates with CRM and ERP solutions such as Salesforce Sales Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales, SAP CRM, and Oracle CRM on Demand to foster marketing and customer support interactions. However, as a word of caution, while integrating APIs adds value to the SaaS platform, all precautions need to be observed to avoid exposing the APIs to security risks. 
  5. Technical Alignment with Business Model

    In some instances, the business model creates technical design constraints for the SaaS application, the primary issue being resource usage.  The latest SaaS applications enable the resource usage to scale simultaneously (or at a lesser rate) as the revenue. Another consideration is supporting the billing model of a business. If you are billing at a metered rate, your SaaS application reports the basis for that metering accurately.  
  6. Minimal Downtime

    Besides your internal systems and networking teams, the onus of ensuring minimal downtime rests with your SaaS application development company. While most SaaS application development services providers promise 99% of uptime, some even guarantee you an uptime of 99.9%. However, according to multiple reports from IDC, Gartner, among others, on average, companies experience 12 incidents of unplanned application downtime each year. 

    Here are some situations that your SaaS application needs to handle to provide uninterrupted services:

    •    Database or application servers being down
    •    In case of a third-party server being down, only losing that part of the functionality

    Since the cost of downtime is exorbitant, disaster recovery planning is necessary for organizations to mitigate the risks. Furthermore, ask your SaaS vendor to test your disaster recovery plan in a temporary environment rather than affecting your application’s live environment. Some other measures that businesses must observe or ask their SaaS application vendor to provide to minimize the risks caused by frequent downtimes include:

    •    Timely upgrades and security patches 
    •    Debugging or troubleshooting
    •    Server restoration including files-only, bare metal, and VM snapshots
    •    Regular backups

Closing Thoughts 

A well-designed SaaS application is a win-win situation for your business and your SaaS application development services provider. Although a SaaS application model presents a plethora of opportunities, these six considerations are elementary for a company to ensure long-term success.  A robust cloud-based SaaS solution takes care of security and scalability and provides ease of use along with leveraging on the economies of scale.