Launch you SaaS application
  • Dec 1, 2023
  • 14 min read

How to Build and Launch a Successful SaaS App

  • On Startups

  • SaaS

CTO Vitalii Samofal's photo
Vitalii Samofal



Over the past 7 years, the SaaS industry has increased 500%. Now, it’s worth over USD 195 billion. So, SaaS apps are on the rise. But why? And how can you benefit from it? Keep reading to learn about SaaS, including

  • why developing SaaS is a good idea,
  • what is the difference between traditional and SaaS apps,
  • how to make a SaaS application, and
  • what you need to consider when building SaaS.

🌐 What is a SaaS application?

So, what is SaaS? Software as a service is a software licensing model. Software owners provide clients with access to their apps via the Internet. In return, they receive regular payments. The subscription-based payment model is an important part of any SaaS project.

The Importance of SaaS in Modern Business

SaaS applications make up around 70% of corporate software use. They offer many benefits to users and software owners.

📈 Why develop SaaS? Advantages for product owners

So, why should you build software as a service? Here are the top benefits of SaaS development for software providers:

– Steady and predictable revenue

A steady and predictable revenue is a blessing for any business. It provides financial security. This allows businesses to confidently reinvest in business growth. And stability helps to attract investors. Risk mitigation is also higher.

Thus, revenue stability contributes to long-term business success. This makes SaaS software development an excellent business model.

– Strong code security

One of the greatest advantages of SaaS product development is strong code security. With traditional software, you give a copy of your code to users. No protective measures can fully guarantee its security. But when you run software as a service, only your employees can access the source code. So, for SaaS apps, piracy is rare.

Strong security makes SaaS apps cheaper. Traditional software providers price apps higher. They need to offset the costs and risks related to piracy.

– Comprehensive statistics and customer insights

If you build a SaaS product, you can easily collect statistics. Customer insights will help you understand

  • which features are more popular,
  • what capacities your clients need,
  • what you can improve and so on.

You can learn more about your target market. All of this will help you make informed business decisions.

– Wider market reach

SaaS projects have a much wider market reach than traditional software. First, small upfront costs and flexible pricing attract small businesses. Second, cloud implementation of SaaS allows for easy worldwide access.

– Simple updates and centralized management

With SaaS, software providers can make all necessary updates themselves. This improves user experience and software safety.

– Competitive advantage

Lower prices, customer support and convenience attract clients. So building software as a service gives companies a competitive edge.

👍 SaaS benefits for users

For users, SaaS experience brings:

– Accessibility

One can use SaaS apps from anywhere in the world as long as there is an Internet connection.

– Cost-efficiency and price flexibility

SaaS applications are cheaper than traditional software. And, they do not demand significant upfront investment.

Another benefit is price flexibility. Every good implementation of SaaS involves several pricing plans. They typically depend on

  • the size of the team,
  • available features,
  • storage and
  • other capacities.

This makes SaaS-based platforms valuable for businesses of all sizes.

– Tech support, automatic maintenance and updates

SaaS technical support is a great advantage. If something doesn’t work well, users can always get help for free. Also, all SaaS updates and maintenance are automatic. This can significantly lower corporate IT costs.

– Data backup and high performance

With SaaS applications, you get all the benefits of the cloud. This means that the data will not be lost. SaaS developers usually provide several layers of data backup. Other benefits are automatic failure recovery, high uptime and fast performance.

SaaS vs. traditional licensed software: comparison table

We prepared a handy comparison table for you. It will help you visualize the main differences between traditional and SaaS software.

Traditional software
Revenue & user pricing
✅ Software owners get predictable revenue. And their clients get lower prices.
❌ Software users pay once and they own software for life. But the price is usually very high. Also, support and updates are limited. So the software can become outdated fast.
⚖️ SaaS security is strong. Software providers are better protected from piracy. And they provide data backups for their clients.
⚖️ Yet, some large corporations prefer keeping their data on-premises. Trade secrets is an example of valuable data that is usually kept on-site.
✅ SaaS development companies provide full support for software users. This includes troubleshooting and regular updates.
❌ Users must take care of their infrastructure themselves. Besides, support and updates are limited.
Performance & speed
⚖️ Any good implementation of SaaS provides excellent speed and performance. But the user must have a fast internet connection.
⚖️ For certain industries, microseconds matter. On-site servers are physically closer to the user. So they can provide computation results faster. 
Market reach & customer insights
✅ You can automatically collect statistics. So, you understand customers better. This allows management to make informed business decisions.
❌ You cannot track user activity. So, you don’t know how clients use your software. You might need to conduct surveys or ask for feedback. This is time-consuming and less reliable.
❌ SaaS dev introduces an extra level of complexity. When building SaaS, developers must ensure multitenancy, scalability and regulatory compliance.
✅ Traditional software is easier to build.
Access & Internet usage
✅ Users can access SaaS applications from anywhere. They just need an Internet connection. One can even open any SaaS web application on a mobile device.
❌ On the other hand, traditional software doesn’t rely on the internet. So, it can work well offline. Yet, nowadays this is not relevant for most companies.

Applications of SaaS: Real-World Examples

There are many successful SaaS apps. Examples of popular SaaS applications are

  • Google Workspace,
  • Salesforce,
  • Slack,
  • Asana,
  • Microsoft 365 and
  • Dropbox.

SaaS apps have many use cases. The top types of SaaS apps are

  • CRMs,
  • Project management software,
  • ERP systems,
  • HR and accounting software,
  • collaboration platforms and so on.

Companies that use SaaS applications represent all industries. From healthcare to automotive, every industry can benefit from SaaS projects.

In the table below 👇, we collected top SaaS application examples by type:

Use case
Popular SaaS applications
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Oracle Cloud ERP, Odoo, Kechie ERP, Sage X3, Plex Platform
Customer relationship management (CRM)
Salesforce Sales Cloud, Zendesk Sell, NetSuite CRM
Collaboration & project management
Slack, Zoom, Asana, Monday, Microsoft Teams, Google Meet
Semrush, Ahrefs, MailChimp,, Google Analytics
Human Resources & Recruiting
Breezy HR, Cloudrecruit, Casefair, Greenhouse, Innerworks
Accounting & Billing
Xero, QuickBooks, Stripe Billing, Chargebee, FreshBooks

SaaS: web, mobile and hybrid apps

Another way to classify SaaS applications is based on how users access them:

– Web-based SaaS apps

The overwhelming majority of corporate SaaS apps are either web-based or hybrid. Web-based SaaS applications run in a browser. This means you can open them in a browser, either on your laptop or a mobile device.

– Mobile SaaS applications

Certain SaaS apps are specifically designed for mobile. Users open them as apps, not browser pages.

– Desktop SaaS software

This type of SaaS is rare. Yet, some SaaS software is installed on a PC. Users still pay for it under the subscription-based model. It usually needs access to the internet to work properly and receive updates.

– Hybrid SaaS apps

If a user can access the SaaS app in several ways, it is hybrid. Often developers combine SaaS web apps with mobile software versions. Sometimes they also add a desktop version. For example, Zoom and Zoho Cliq have all three.

How to build a SaaS app: SaaS Development Life Cycle

Service application development can be divided into 6 stages:

Stage 1: Roadmapping your SaaS solution

The first step is to create the product roadmap for your SaaS app. This is a high-level plan. It should include

  • your business goals, and
  • the general direction of SaaS application development.

This will help you understand your priorities.

💡 Pro tip: How to develop the application that sells?

Make sure that your idea is relevant to the market. Conduct market research and a feasibility study. This will help you a lot down the road. For more tips, check our guide on how to get startup funding.

Stage 2: SaaS application architecture

Designing architecture for a SaaS app can be challenging. You need to make the software

  • fast,
  • scalable,
  • secure,
  • multi-tenant and
  • compliant with relevant regulations.

We will talk more about it in the next section.

Stage 3: SaaS UI/UX design

The next step is to create a UI/UX design. SaaS apps must be easy to use and navigate. Users expect convenience. So, your profit and market share depend heavily on the success of your UI/UX design. But it doesn’t mean that your design must necessarily be intricate or complicated. Often, minimalism is a better choice.

Also, if you create web-based SaaS, the design must be mobile-friendly. This means that your app should work well on mobile browsers.

Stage 4: Software development

You need a strong team to develop a software application. For example, for a SaaS web app, you will likely need a full-stack developer, a designer and a project manager. You can outsource your project to a SaaS development company.

💡 Pro tip #1: Build an MVP first

A minimum viable product is the product version that has only the basic features. You should start with it and add more features later. This will let you test your idea in the market. Plus, this way you can attract first users and raise initial revenue.

💡 Pro tip #2: Do not try to reinvent the wheel

There are many useful tools that experts use to develop software applications. For example, handy SaaS development platforms include

  • AWS,
  • Microsoft Azure,
  • Google Cloud Platform,
  • IBM Cloud and
  • DigitalOcean App Platform.

Each platform offers tools that simplify different elements of SaaS software development. Thus, AWS CodeDeploy automates code deployment. And Amazon Rekognition lets you integrate a ready-made solution for image recognition.

Stage 5: Testing and optimization

Testing and optimization are important for SaaS platform development. Your team should conduct thorough unit, integration and regression testing.

We suggest automating the testing process. This will help you build good DevOps architecture. You can use specialized tools that simplify the testing process. Examples are Cypress, Selenium and SonarQube.

At this stage, you should also optimize app performance. Make sure that the app works fast and can handle high user activity.

Stage 6: Deploying the MVP and monitoring

When your SaaS app is ready, it is time for deployment. This means that you make the app available to the users. Then, you need to monitor its performance. Gather statistics and user feedback. This will help you make informed business decisions about future software versions.

🚧 Challenges in SaaS Application Development

Implementing software as a service is not a simple task. Here are the top 6 hurdles to overcome when you develop a SaaS application:

1. Multitenant architecture

Each company that uses your software should have a separate virtual space. There, they would be able to add users, keep documents, etc. Virtual spaces of different companies should not overlap. This is called multitenancy.

2. Scalability and performance

When you develop software as a service, scalability is key. You need to make sure that your product can grow. You should be able to serve many clients in the future. And some of them might need lots of storage or processing capacities. At the same time, SaaS apps must be fast.

3. High uptime and seamless updates

SaaS applications must be reliable. Any downtime can cost your clients lots of money. So, you must maintain high uptime. This also means that updates shouldn’t interrupt your client’s workflow.

4. Security

SaaS developers must protect client data. First, you shouldn’t lose it. Second, make sure that no one can get unauthorized access. Strong security is also necessary to comply with various regulations. Hence, security measures that developers apply to SaaS apps must be top-notch.

5. Regulation compliance

Each country has specific regulations. This includes rules on how citizens’ data is stored and transferred.

If you sell a SaaS app abroad, you must follow the regulations of your client’s country. This complicates SaaS application development.

6. Third-party software integrations

Businesses use more than one app. And they often want to synchronize data across all their systems. For example, billing software should have access to a CRM. Yet implementing 3rd-party integrations can be challenging.

🤔 Other considerations in SaaS development

Here are a few more things to consider in SaaS software development:

Differences between SaaS and web applications

Remember we discussed that not all SaaS apps are web-based? Similarly, not all web applications are SaaS. Also, the two go hand in hand very often.

If you have a web app but don’t sell access to it, then it is not SaaS. For example, a company can create a web app for internal use. Or software owners can sell software under a traditional model. This means that software buyers choose where to host it. And in the case of a SaaS web app, the software owner provides hosting, maintenance and support.

Non-technical characteristics of SaaS applications

Many aspects are important to the success of SaaS applications. Here are the top non-technical characteristics of profitable SaaS apps:

– Good market fit

Earlier, we advised you to conduct market research before starting development. This will help you understand whether potential users are ready to pay for your product. Research whether it is a good time to release your app. Brainstorm your selling points. Why would your clients choose you instead of your competition?

– Convenience and user experience

SaaS apps must be easy to use. Make sure that subscription and app navigation are straightforward.

– Several subscription options

You should offer several subscription options. This will help attract companies of different sizes. Also, consider having a free plan or a trial period. The first option means to provide a basic software version for free. This can help you attract newcomers. The second option is a free time-limited trial. It is better for converting existing users into paying customers. Or you can include both options. In this case, free version users will be able to get a free trial of premium features.

– Customer and tech support

You should build good relationships with your customers. This is crucial for the success of SaaS apps. So, provide an opportunity to contact you. Also, user feedback is valuable to app success. Users can tell you about existing problems and provide interesting suggestions. But, do not rush to develop new features based on the opinion of one user. Do the research first.

Understanding the Cost of SaaS Development

The costs of SaaS app development vary significantly, depending on the following factors:

1. Project size and complexity

SaaS applications that have more features demand more labor and other resources. Similarly, more complicated features take longer to develop.

2. Team size and seniority level

The complexity of your project determines what team you need. Advanced projects demand senior-level experts. And these people expect higher paychecks. But something simple can be done by junior developers. This is much cheaper.

Also, for some projects you might need to hire a business analyst, a product owner or other specialists. This raises the costs.

3. Quality of your project management

If your processes are well-organized, you will be more efficient. Good project managers align the goals of all stakeholders. They make sure that developers understand these goals. Project managers also prevent bottlenecks, mitigate risks and determine task dependency. The latter is especially important. Otherwise, you can face a situation when expert A cannot start their work before expert B finishes their task. So, they wait and stay idle.

4. Design complexity

UI/UX design can significantly affect the price. Intricate designs with 3d elements are more expensive. For this reason, many startups prefer minimalistic designs.

5. Deadlines

If your deadlines are tight, the price goes up. A good SaaS development company can accommodate your needs. They will assign more people to your project. But this leads to various complexities. So this is more expensive.

6. Your preparation

What you have when you contact SaaS developers matters. Let us imagine that you have done the research. And you know exactly what app features you need. Then, the price will be lower.

7. Location of your experts

Let us imagine that you hire one developer based in New York and another based in Collbran, Colorado. Which developer would expect a higher salary? You already know the answer. Living costs differ. For this reason, having a remote workforce is profitable. First, you don’t need to run an office. Second, your employees don’t need to pay higher living costs and commute every day. So, they can be paid less. And they are happier.

But you can take it even further and hire developers from Eastern Europe. This region has the same working culture as the US or Western Europe. Plus, many Eastern European countries are hubs for software developers. This means that the quality of development services is splendid.

On average, the cost of developing an MVP for a SaaS app is around USD 20,000 to 30,000. But again, the price depends heavily on the abovementioned factors.

🤝 Outsourcing SaaS Development

Do you want a SaaS app built for success? Then, you can hire a professional SaaS application development company. There are two main ways to find developers who are your perfect match:

– Asking your business partners for recommendations,

– Using websites that list SaaS development companies. These include, DesignRush, Behance and Upwork.

Outsourcing brings excellent value and quality. Thus, Eastern Europe has become a mecca for talented developers. For example, Ukraine is home to over a hundred research and development (R&D) centers. They belong to various tech giants. These include Microsoft, Google, Samsung, Siemens, Boeing and Oracle. And the prices there are very reasonable. Hiring a team from Eastern Europe is 64% cheaper than in the UK.

Pro tip: Contact Softkit for a free IT consultation. We will help you better understand your development needs.


1. What is SaaS app development?

SaaS app development is the process of building software as a service. This means you develop a software application that is suitable for subscription-based monetization. Such software must be multi-tenant, secure, fast and reliable. And you need to make sure that it follows the data and privacy rules of your client’s countries.

2. What is an example of a SaaS app?

An example of a SaaS application is Salesforce. They sell subscription-based access to their software. Other examples are Slack, Zoom and Zendesk.

3. How to develop a SaaS-based application?

You need to create software that is

- scalable,

- reliable,

- fast,

- secure and

- compliant with various government regulations.

Then, you should set up a subscription-based payment system. We advise you to use professional SaaS application development services.

4. What is SaaS experience?

Companies that buy SaaS apps pay regularly for access to such software. In return, they don’t need to worry about hosting, maintenance or updates. Good SaaS applications are

- fast and reliable,

- secure,

- scalable and

- compliant with data and privacy government regulations.

5. How to start a SaaS company?

First, you need to run a market research and a feasibility study. These studies examine whether your company can exist and find customers. And you will learn about potential legal, technical and financial risks. Then, you need to develop your business plan. It will guide you through the next steps of company development. We recommend our article on getting startup funding. It is a trove of useful information for aspiring entrepreneurs.

6. What is a SaaS platform?

SaaS platforms are software that is provided on a subscription basis. Software providers host and manage the software. They provide updates and customer support. In return, they receive a stable and predictable revenue.

7. How to develop software that sells? 

Start by running market research. Make sure that there are enough people who want to buy your software. Ask what features users need. Create an MVP and add more features later. You can hire a company that provides application development as a service.