SaaS applications are becoming commonplace in the modern business environment. They provide valuable technological solutions to countless users and companies. When it comes to robust SaaS solutions, finding a suitable development partner can make the difference between success and failure.
By now, it’s undeniable that IT-powered products are absolutely pivotal for modern business growth. From mobile and web apps to websites and custom software solutions, companies worldwide are starting to see these products’ potential as unparalleled propellers for business success. Even for small businesses, having an app, straightforward customer service or marketplace chatbots, or a website can bring significant changes in how they interact with their customers, provide their goods and services, and accomplish their business goals. However, IT and modern tech-related subjects don’t come easy for everyone. Not everyone has the time or the skills to develop, implement, and maintain most of these tech tools. Additionally, manually installing, uploading, and updating software products can be a nag, and let’s face it, no one wants to do it. Here’s where software as a service (SaaS) comes in.
Software as a service plays an essential role in modern business success, operational efficiency, and resource optimization. It is bound to replace traditional software models and outdated approaches to software development due to its many benefits both for business owners and their customers. Nonetheless, while app developers, or even people who interact with technology every day, might handle all IT and computer-related topics with some dexterity, most business and app owners don’t have a clue where to begin. For this reason, it is crucial that, if you’re considering implementing your own SaaS solution, you find a capable and skillful SaaS development partner to handle this massive undertaking for you. And this is what this article is about.
So, how do you choose the right SaaS development partner? Where do you find one? Let’s find out together.
What is SaaS?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past years, you’ve probably purchased some type of software product at some point in your life. Whether in a business scenario or at home, we’ve all purchased a piece of software, gone home, manually installed it on our computer, ran it every time we needed to use it, and updated it when the program prompted us to do so. That is the traditional software approach, where you would buy and manually install your program of choice. Alternatively, a software as a service, or SaaS, approach is a software-delivery model where all applications are licensed and delivered over the internet using cloud-based apps. A SaaS model provides you with a complete software product without the need of manually installing it or being responsible for its upkeep or maintenance. Instead, you simply purchase your software on a pay-as-you-go basis–kind of like a subscription–from a cloud service provider. This provider is responsible for all the underlying infrastructure, data gathering, maintenance, and overall upkeep of the software product. And, since all the infrastructure is located in the SaaS provider’s data center, they are responsible for the hardware and software’s functioning and security, ensuring its availability and confidentiality. To put it plainly: you simply pay and enjoy!
SaaS is gaining traction and has become extremely popular as enterprises worldwide begin to adopt it and reap its undeniable benefits. As a matter of fact, the SaaS market reached a value of $171.9 billion by the end of 2021 and is expected to surpass an annual growth rate of 17% for 2022. In addition to these figures, BetterCloud found that the bigger the company, the more SaaS solutions they implement, showing that companies with over 1,000 employees use over 150 SaaS solutions. Judging by these figures, we can safely conclude that SaaS solutions are obsoleting traditional software models, and companies of all sizes, from startups to heavy hitters such as Google or Amazon–and everything in between–are diving head-first into the SaaS universe.
So, now that you’ve decided to develop your own SaaS solution and understand what SaaS is and how popular it has become, it’s time to dig into the benefits of SaaS applications so you have more context and can make a better decision.
Benefits of developing a SaaS application
SaaS has countless benefits for its users, including lower operational costs, better accessibility, increased scalability, and ease of use, especially for non-tech savvy employees or users. But, what are the benefits of developing a SaaS application for you and your company?
- Better revenue stream: Compared to regular apps, where you have to develop a sometimes complex monetization strategy, SaaS applications have a subscription-based model. As a result, you as a vendor can easily keep track of how many monthly subscribers you have and predict your revenue stream based on that number. You can also easily implement the necessary marketing strategies needed to secure a certain number of subscribers to reach your monthly or yearly revenue goals.
- Accessibility: Whether you decide to go with a desktop or a mobile SaaS solution, all your users have to do is have an internet connection and set up their account on their selected device. They don’t have to download and install a software or program or need any tech-related knowledge to start using your product. This simplicity and user-friendliness are part of what makes SaaS applications so attractive and efficient for both users and vendors.
- Scalability: As your users’ business or use case scenario grows and becomes more complex, you can quickly provide them with scaling options without having to scale your app simultaneously. Users can simply upgrade their monthly subscriptions as their needs change and scale their businesses with one click.
- Updates: Since it runs on the cloud, you can update your SaaS application centrally and continually without impacting business operations and service for your users. There are also no testing pitfalls that may slow down the development cycle of your app, and you can ensure updates are applied as soon as they come out.
SaaS applications have significant benefits for your and your users. They can positively impact your revenue and the quality of the service you provide for your users, as you can see. However, despite their popularity, not everyone is familiar with the technology behind them or the delicate process of building SaaS applications. It’s not the same to construct traditional software as it is to create a SaaS application, and it can seem intimidating to non-experts to identify those differences and understand everything that goes into SaaS solutions.
In addition, they have specific requirements and specifications that make SaaS development very specialized, meaning you should approach it with care. In consequence, no matter how tempting it may be, do not dive in headfirst blindly and think you can develop your own SaaS application. This process is very challenging, and only a knowledgeable and capable SaaS development partner can successfully pull it off.
But where do you find a SaaS development partner? How do you choose the right one? These questions and more are why we’ve prepared this guide on choosing the best SaaS development partner.
How to choose the best SaaS development partner
Experience in SaaS development
As we already learned, SaaS solutions are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, the market for SaaS development solutions is growing and getting more diverse, and the competition is increasing as we speak. Moreover, the standards for robust SaaS development are rising markedly, and the demand for SaaS-oriented developers is gaining momentum fast. Of course, this growing popularity doesn’t make it easier for you to choose a SaaS development partner, but it does make it that more important for you to conduct thorough research to make sure you’re selecting the best. Thus, during your hunt for a SaaS developer, we suggest you start by scoping out those companies with a proven track record of developing SaaS applications and solutions.
First and foremost, an experienced SaaS development company should have a robust website to showcase their strengths, skills, experience, and background in SaaS development. In addition, they should have case studies, reviews, and an explicative portfolio where you can find tangible proof of their expertise and whether or not they have worked with companies in your industry. Additionally, you should also look for proficiency in different technologies, especially those relevant to your product, and how skilled they are at applying them to ensure you’re choosing a SaaS development partner with sufficient expertise and skills in all things SaaS.
Portfolio and reviews
Following the logic above, make sure you look for actual, tangible proof of your SaaS developer’s background. Experience is crucial, but evidence and validation of that experience in action are just as substantial. Therefore, finding out whether a development company can translate its expertise and skills into actionable insights and innovative products is paramount for you to make an informed decision. So, look for case studies, portfolios, and reviews to ensure the development partner you choose can prove their competence in the SaaS solutions field. Study these sections on your candidates’ websites and look for challenges, goals met, measurable results and KPIs, project complexity, team size, UX/UI design, and functionalities. If, for whatever reason, you’re looking at a development company that has no portfolio, case studies, or reviews, then you know you should take a step back and leave.
As for reviews, aside from checking their websites and portfolios, you can visit their profiles on rating platforms like Clutch and GoodFirms. These pages are extremely useful when searching for development companies because they provide a 360 view of a company’s performance in their specific industry, highlight the industry’s top performers, and showcase client reviews and ratings that are translated into worldwide or region and market-specific rankings. Additionally, the client reviews featured on these platforms are genuine and often come with the reviewer’s contact, so you can reach out to them and get first-hand testimony of how a specific development company performs. In that sense, these pages are a handy tool to double-check whether a development partner’s reviews and information on their website are truthful.
If you’ve never used ranking platforms before, here’s Foonkie Monkey’s Clutch profile as an example, with honest reviews, average costs per hour, company size, industry, focus, and portfolio. There, our potential clients have all the information they need to make an informed decision and make the right choice depending on their needs.
We’re sure it goes without saying, but you certainly want a high-quality, high-performance, efficient, updateable, manageable, and sustainable SaaS application. You can have all these and more only if you choose a SaaS development partner that is always at the forefront of the latest technologies, frameworks, tools, programming languages, and trends in the development world. We call this a technology stack or tech stack, and it is paramount for the development of your application. Why? Because the type of technologies and tools used in developing your SaaS product and how they’re used have a significant impact on the quality of the end product. These technologies will be at the core of your product’s performance, so how proficient a development company selects and uses these tools will make the difference between a mediocre product and a stellar one.
What’s more, if you have some knowledge or have done some research regarding these technologies, you can find a SaaS development partner specializing in a specific tech stack of your liking. For instance, if you know that Node.js works best for SaaS applications, you can seek a development partner specializing in Node.js. Of course, expertise in a specific tech stack is a perk that can work to your advantage. Still, a developer with broad specialization in several types of frameworks and tools can also provide added benefits that can boost your app’s performance.
At Foonkie Monkey, we focus on frameworks and technologies like Java, Xamarin, Ruby on Rails, AWS, Vue.js, and Flutter, to name a few, to give our clients a broad scope of tools to develop high-quality and innovative IT-powered solutions.
Team structure and work methodology
SaaS application development isn’t just about technical knowledge, reviews, and comprehensive tech stacks. The human aspect of application development is a crucial yet often overlooked part of choosing a development partner. Hence, we suggest you give serious consideration to the quality and expertise of the development team that will work behind the scenes of your brand new SaaS application. Why? Because there’s not just one developer or agency owner who will be working on your application. When you hire a capable SaaS app development partner, you’re entrusting the development of your product to an entire team of people with different skills and expertise. This group of people must be fully prepared to give birth to your idea and should work together and complement each other to make sure you get the best possible product for the best possible price. In that sense, try to look for the following roles when seeking a SaaS development company:
- Project manager
- UX/UI designers
- Business analysts
- Software developers
- Scrum masters
- Backend developers
- Frontend developers
- QA engineers
Mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all team structure to SaaS development, but these are the leading roles to look for in a development partner if you want a genuinely durable and high-quality product.
In custom software and app development, the development methodology plays a pivotal role in determining the quality of a product. You don’t just assign tasks and point fingers and expect everything to get done with the snap of a finger magically. While that may work in other industries, in the development industry, development methodologies greatly influence how a company manages time, budgets, team collaboration, and workflows and how these elements affect scaling and product quality. The two methodologies we recommend are Agile and DevOps.
Both these methodologies have the same end goal: deliver software and mobile applications as fast and efficiently as possible without compromising the product’s budget or quality. Although they have some differences, both approaches offer benefits such as cost reduction, faster deployment, efficient team communication, easier testing processes, reduced risk and error rate, high scalability and flexibility, and improved product quality. So, in that sense, we strongly recommend you look for a SaaS development partner who is proficient at any of these development methodologies and knows how to use them to streamline their processes.
Ask your questions!
This article is all about guiding you in your quest for a SaaS development partner. Still, you’re free to not take our word for it and ask questions regarding subjects we failed to touch on today or some on which you may want to dig deeper. So, here are some additional questions we suggest you ask your potential SaaS development partner:
- How do you ensure the security of your products?
- How do you control the integrity of the code?
- Who will own the source code of my SaaS application?
- Do you provide technical support after deployment?
- How will you help me achieve my business goals?
- Do you suggest we develop an MVP first?
Now you’re ready to find your SaaS development partner!
As with anything in life that is worth it, hiring a SaaS development partner is no easy feat. Above all, you need to find a company with the skill sets, team, principles, practices, costs, and methodologies that match your and your product’s needs. No matter how popular they are or the size of their market share, the crucial thing to look for is their ability to bring your ideas to life successfully. SaaS applications are only going to get more popular, and the competition for developing them will only get more fierce. So, do your research wholeheartedly and follow the guidelines in this article to make the best decision for you and your company. Or, if you’re still overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, you can contact us, and we can discuss your vision together and bring your idea to life!
At Foonkie Monkey, we constantly evolve and adapt the latest cutting-edge technologies to deliver high-quality, durable applications that stand the test of time.