CTOs or software architects are responsible for making innovative products and optimizing technology costs. The type of architecture you choose shows how much control you have over data, infrastructure, and customization options. SaaS or Software-as-a-Service model is one of the significant architectures that enable you to provide customer services anytime and anywhere.
Additionally, SaaS eliminates the maintenance work that comes with a local software installation, such as purchasing, installing, and maintaining it regularly.
So, what are SaaS products, and why are organizations switching to it? What best practices can organizations take to be in this competitive cloud world?
Also Read: SaaS Product Development: The Complete Guide
Let's begin by defining SaaS architecture and covering the best practices to ensure efficient and cost-effective SaaS architecture design.
What Is SaaS Architecture?
Wondering what Saas architecture is about?
Software-as-a-service is one of the fastest-growing paradigm shifts in cloud applications and will continue to grow its importance and sophistication. It is a way to deliver software, the provider of the software host one or more applications to make them available to customers over the internet.
The Saas industry is exploding, and the model allows multiple companies or organizations to access the same hosted application, operating system, hardware, network, and other components.
An organization can use the same architecture, or the engineers can employ an Application Programming Interface to customize the SaaS solution according to their needs. It allows customers to pay a recurring subscription fee to access SaaS-based products.
You don't need to purchase a full copy or install the software on every computer, as SaaS vendors handle all technical issues. The convenience and accessibility have forced organizations to adopt SaaS product in this competitive market. However, it also brings new challenges for technology developers and providers.
SaaS Development Application Best Practices
Let's see how Saas solution can benefit your organization cost-effectively by following some of these best practices.
Adopting Microservices Vs. Monolithic Architecture
Developers many times swear by the monolithic architecture approach. The thinking is that you can build, patch, or make changes without affecting the entire application in a monolithic system. It is a good idea if you're not creating a complete production environment using a monolithic approach. However, opting for microservices architecture will anticipate the growth of your organization since making changes later is often tricky.
Microservices architecture empowers organizations to decouple applications into a collection of data and services you can deploy, test, and patch each service independently. Take the example of Netflix. The most successful streaming service uses different microservices for billing, watch histories, recommendations, identifying devices to optimize the viewing experience, and adding copyright to all its files.
With microservices, different dedicated teams can manage independent services, code each in a different language, and deploy another on a separate infrastructure.
Centralizing To SaaS Operation
Organizations transitioning to SaaS providers is a paradigm shift impacting people, technology, and processes. Once organizations shift to SaaS application development, they must provide them as a service irrespective of location, industry, and services. The end-users have purchased a fully managed service that meets all standards; therefore, they don't expect to point at it to work correctly.
Saas-based application eradicates lengthy installations, quality maintenance, ability to support customers and make updates regularly. These efforts impact operations, finance, and sales. Therefore, the shift to being a SaaS provider forces organizations to become more centrally managed, cohesive and cost-effective.
Silos and inefficiencies can become unstainable, whether managing internally or needing to partner with a third party. To avoid errors, stay up to date and remain competitive in this cloud era, the Saas application development allows organizations to standardize their configurations, implement automation whenever possible and operate agilely.
In addition to delivering applications and services, Saas application development also ensures their solution easily integrates with customer environments, whether in cloud, on-premises, or hybrid.
Gone are when the complex configuration and service provider took hours to onboard stages. Building and managing APIs will help SaaS providers to ease the process of data exchange or infrastructural and operational alignment.
Adopt The Subscription Model
Instead of paying a total for the right to download a product, end-users prefer SaaS applications or products. The pricing model has shifted from annual large-chunk payments to much smaller monthly payments.
Therefore, SaaS development partners now need to build products that can be priced accordingly. It means they must develop each feature so that the level of programming, compliances, and services matches the subscription level. For example, a FinTech firm can build an e-Payment for its customers to make payments within one country at one price level and another payment method to make international payments.
New Level Of Security & Compliance
The journey to the Saas often means shifting your business model and culture. It also means security incidents such as hacking or leaking of information are the direct responsibility of a SaaS company and can damage your reputation. Therefore, SaaS development must be prudent to save the company's data from hacking or leakage. SaaS developers must include processes to determine how long the data is stored and how it is removed from any databases.
Organizations must also follow data privacy regulations as these regulations are constantly changing. GDPR and HIPAA guidelines enable teams to encrypt specific data at all levels. It is essential to meet all security measures, and compliance before any organization launches its product.
Building Of Multi-Tenant
Being a SaaS application provider, you can share computing resources between multiple customers by leveraging multi-tenant architecture. There are fewer instances of resources when a single-tenant environment is better than a multi-user environment. Here are two ways you can implement a multi-tenant approach.
A single application instance with several databases will make end-users enter your environment and access different databases simultaneously. It enables each database to fill a certain level before redirecting new users to another database. As a result, organizations scale more efficiently and concurrently provide more resources to users. The approach, however, requires substantial investment from the beginning since organizations need more resources.
In contrast, using a single application instance with one database allows all the end-users to access the same database until it fills up before redirecting them to a new one. Although deploying this way is faster and cost-efficient, it limits scaling and restricts app performance.
Enables Scalibity And Minimal Downtime
As your SaaS application grows, it scales your business while generating increasing transactions, queries, and metadata. Therefore designing the SaaS architecture to autoscale efficiently and handle the increasing load without deteriorating performance is essential.
Also, develop a SaaS solution that is highly available for users. Because they seldom tolerate downtime. And all of this should be in line with the current SaaS trends as well. Lengthy service outages reduce customer satisfaction, resulting in losing potential customers.
Build Your SaaS Application For The Future
The SaaS industry is growing and has become complex and demanding to accommodate the latest technology- IoT, AI, 5G, and more. Thus, it gives many opportunities for an organization to succeed and scale its business. Therefore, looking at all angles of SaaS, from account management to compensation structures to meeting assumed expectations for seamless security to even the SaaS frameworks. Organizations that have an eye toward efficiency and try to improve end-user requirements end with better chances to thrive in the evolving market.
Building a SaaS product or application isn't about code or choosing an architecture. It's about:
- Choosing the right solution for your potential users to ensure sustainable growth.
- Considering the appropriate opportunities to scale your business using SaaS best practices.
- Following the proper framework when developing your product.
In conclusion, it's a long path filled with essential decisions that you must take thought out from the beginning to minimize risks of failure and increase the chances of growth, choosing the right outsourcing product development team.