SaaS app development has been gaining momentum in recent years. With the proliferation of cloud services, a growing number of developers are taking advantage of these. And the big winner has been the user who can now access powerful applications without a hefty upfront cost. But what does this mean for enterprises and developers considering a SaaS? Below, we delve deeper into the fascinating world of SaaS mobile app development.
1. Understanding SaaS
Back in the 80s and 90s, enterprises and desktop users requiring specific software would have to purchase it in physical form. Many popular software packages came in big boxes and featured thick manuals and one or more floppy disks or CD-ROMs. With online access becoming more common in the 2000s, software distribution switched from physical media to digital downloads.
But over the past decade, users have gradually made the switch from digital downloads to cloud services. Many developers have taken advantage of this proliferating cloud infrastructure and offer their applications as a Software as a Service (SaaS). The main draw of SaaS is that users can access these applications without needing to download them. Since SaaS applications run in the browser, users don’t have to worry about compatibility issues and updates.
And unlike packaged and downloadable software, SaaS users don’t have to pay a steep upfront fee. The majority of SaaS offerings operate under a subscription model and usually offer a free tier. However, one of the key advantages of SaaS is that all data is stored directly on the cloud. Enterprises have extra surety that they won’t lose data due to employee error or neglect. And since cloud services have become so robust and ubiquitous, they’re perfectly suitable for mobile app development.
2. How SaaS App Development Differs
Every developer embarking on SaaS app development should consider how it differs from custom app development. SaaS is a good choice for smaller developers that need to make an impact in the market. It’s easier to attract paying customers with a SaaS with a limited development and marketing budget. Furthermore, it’s usually quicker to deploy a SaaS than a more monolithic application or custom app.
But every paying SaaS user expects constant updates and the introduction of new features that enhance workflow. Thus, developers need to respond quickly by updating their SaaS at a regular cadence. They may also need to upgrade their cloud infrastructure to deal with the additional demand when necessary. Custom app developers usually don’t have these cloud-centric considerations. And they prefer to offer solutions that better integrate with an enterprise’s existing software.
3. How Do SaaS Mobile Apps Scale
SaaS mobile apps scale incredibly well, and it’s a key reason why so many enterprises use them. And given how powerful and robust cloud infrastructure has become, it’s possible to serve millions of users concurrently and continuously. So, any enterprise that plans to grow its business and reach new users should consider deploying SaaS mobile apps.
But how do custom apps hold up to mobile apps in this regard? Well, unless a custom app’s built to handle huge traffic spikes and high computational loads from the get-go, it will struggle to deliver satisfactory results. Furthermore, it becomes challenging to scale a custom app at a later stage.
4. SaaS Mobile Apps Have Limited Integrations
While SaaS mobile apps offer plenty of pros, we should discuss a few of their cons. Most enterprises use several applications for the smooth operation of their day-to-day business processes. Sooner or later, an enterprise will need to integrate all these applications with their flagship SaaS. But most SaaS platforms usually lack all the integrations and APIs to make this possible.
That’s why enterprises that use many applications should consider custom mobile app development. The developer can create integrations for each piece of software and make these work flawlessly. Therefore, enterprises can run all their applications without experiencing downtimes at regular intervals.
5. Maintaining SaaS Mobile Apps
In a general sense, it’s easier to maintain a SaaS mobile app than a custom alternative. However, this doesn’t mean that the SaaS solution is always ideal. Think long and hard about all the updates and upgrades that you’ll need in the foreseeable future. And the reason why this is so important is that most SaaS providers only offer a limited amount of updates and upgrades.
It’s never a good idea to have your enterprise applications so dependent on third-party vendors. They can change their roadmap and terms of service (ToS) whenever they like, and these changes can affect your business adversely. With a custom solution, you’ll be future-proofing all your mission-critical applications by ensuring that all updates and upgrades are always implemented when you want them done.
6. Why SaaS App Development Timeline Isn’t Better
Don’t jump into SaaS app development because you’ve heard that it’s faster to implement. While you may save time and money initially, your SaaS may fail if it doesn’t line up with your business needs. Take the time to carefully plan your app and determine whether to go with a custom or SaaS solution. Consider how secure your data system should be, and choose custom app development if you need maximum security.
7. Creating All In One SaaS Mobile Apps
If you’re planning on developing an all-in-one SaaS mobile app, you’ll need to consider a few things. Large, complex applications are difficult to pull off, especially for smaller and inexperienced teams. Furthermore, your SaaS should run flawlessly on a variety of devices. Some users may not have access to a smartphone and may prefer to access your app via a desktop or smart TV. It’s vital to accommodate all these users to ensure the success of your app.
Ensure that your all-in-one SaaS mobile app brings unique and valuable features to the table. And optimize these features so that they provide users a more efficient workflow. Ultimately, you’ll want to give users plenty of reasons to keep using your app over alternatives.
8. How SaaS App Development Affects Business Productivity
The success of SaaS applications largely depends on how well they onboard new users. And every good SaaS should also enhance existing business processes and facilitate productivity. In a best-case scenario, an enterprise should find a SaaS platform that suits its needs.
But every business is different, with its unique challenges, demands, and needs. And it may become difficult to find a SaaS platform that fulfills these needs. Therefore, it’s better to go with a custom solution designed for a specific business. Not only is this a more robust solution, but it can lead to better productivity since the custom app tightly integrates with existing processes and workflows.
9. Main SaaS App Development Issues
Mobile app development always throws a curveball or two, and the same applies to the creation of SaaS apps. Since every SaaS is reliant on the cloud, developers should always prioritize security. They’ll need to take extra care in how they store data and how they authenticate users. Any data losses or security breaches will tarnish the reputation of their SaaS and subsequently lose users.
Developers should also ensure that data synchronizes properly between their mobile and desktop apps. Moreover, calendars, documents, and task lists should synchronize without causing any conflicts or errors. The last thing you want is to frustrate users and ruin their workflow if the apps they use most don’t synchronize or work properly.
SaaS mobile apps have been growing in popularity in recent years. And while they offer plenty of pros, they’re not always ideal for all enterprises. If your business has unique needs and requirements, you may want to go with a custom solution. Contact us today to learn how NS804 can help you develop versatile apps that solve business problems.