Five things you must consider before building a SaaS solution
Posted by Mark
5 minute read
When it comes to building a Software as a Service (SaaS) product, there’s a lot to consider. Think about how the tool will be used, who will use it, where they’re located and why they need this service.
With an abundance of SaaS tools on the market already, your product should prove invaluable to your users from day one. Before writing the first line of code, make sure the end product is fit-for-purpose and exceeds your user’s expectations every time.
What is SaaS?
Software as a Service (SaaS), sometimes known as on-demand software, is typically accessed by an internet browser or an app. Unlike typical computer programmes, you don’t need to download SaaS products to your PC – instead, you can tap into the tool from wherever you are.
Examples of popular SaaS products include Salesforce, Google Apps, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Hubspot and Slack. Often these products will be accessible online via a desktop app (see Slack), but they are just as easily used from the browser. The flexibility of SaaS is what makes it so popular in the mobile age.
Things to consider when building SaaS
Every great product design starts with a problem – that’s why we call it a SaaS solution!
A SaaS solution typically solves a common user problem. A great example of this is our work with Optinze to develop a platform to allow businesses to engage directly with their customers, and capture their marketing preferences. The problem here was that businesses have lots of valuable customer contact information locked inside their CRM (Customer Relationship Management), but no actual consent to market to them.
By starting with the problem at hand, we were able to develop a cloud solution that empowered businesses to build their own themed consent portal using a Wix style editor, integrate it with their CRM and then re-engage with their customers.
Bespoke or out-of-the-box?
Before you start from scratch on building a SaaS solution, you should carry out a period of market research. Does a similar solution already exist? Is there an out-of-the-box solution that meets your users’ needs? Or an open-source tool that you could adapt to a white label product? Remember – often the simplest solution is the best one.
Who is working on your SaaS product? From software engineers to UX & UI designers through to a diligent QA team, it’s important to be surrounded by people you can trust when building a new cloud platform.
Often sourcing the right talent is the hardest part, so why not tap into Zaltek’s expert team of engineers and designers to support your SaaS product development? Whether it’s boots-on-the-ground or a strategic oversight you require, we’ll provide flexible support to your existing team.
Your users’ behaviour
What technology does your typical user already embrace? By creating solid user personas, you can ensure that all Information Architecture (IA) and UX & UI design fits seamlessly into the lives of your users. You want your SaaS to be accessible from the get-go, so focus on what your user expects before trying to nail the more complex elements.
Your end goals
Bringing us back to the first point, ask yourself: what do you want to achieve? When working on a big project like this, it’s easy to get sidetracked. Avoid distractions by actively reviewing the development cycles, working in sprints and tapping into your CTO’s unique strategic perspective. Don’t have a CTO? Don’t worry – we provide CTO As A Service (CaaS), too.
At every stage of the process, take time to assess whether the work is still meeting the brief and you are working towards creating a viable solution for your product.
Need help or simply want us to take the reins in building your SaaS product? Get in touch with Zaltek Digital today to find out how great technology can bring real value to your organisation.