Most Common Mistakes During SaaS development
With the development of cloud computing capacity, the world of SaaS has grown even larger, and more and more companies have decided to enter into this arena. However, like software development in general, SaaS development does not always go as planned, and many companies find themselves facing a wide variety of issues.
In fact, 87% of software development start-ups fail within the first year, and a further 5% end up shutting down after a further two years, making the margins of success very small. Because of this, it is important to avoid the pitfalls that many other developers have committed before if one hopes to bring a viable SaaS product to the market.
Throughout the rest of this article, we will look at some of the most common and disastrous SaaS product development mistakes all firms should be aware of and avoid.
1. Not Using An Iterative Approach
Several decades ago, many software developers began switching to an Agile based development approach in favor of the traditional waterfall method. While the two approaches differ in a variety of ways, one of the most striking differences is the iterative approach, which seeks to produce a working prototype at the end of every two-week period, which can be tested and analyzed before being developed further.
This approach has proven to be successful because it allows developers to focus on functionality. "By taking an interactive approach, it provides developers with a straightforward framework upon which to test, implement new features, and learn what works and what does not," writes Josh Lee, a project manager at State of writing and Boom Essays.
Another critical aspect of the iterative approach is it has potential users try out the software product after every two-week spring, allowing them to give feedback on what they liked, didn't like, and what needs improvement. This approach has proven to be highly effective and is used by many top software developers in the world right now, including GE, Microsoft, and many others.
2. Not Focusing On Functionality
When it comes to software, functionality is king; far too many products have been brought to market that did not focus on functionality and ended up paying the price. Throughout the development cycle, it is easy to lose track of the original vision, and developers began producing a product that does not function the way they had initially intended.
It doesn't matter how extra features a product has or how impressive the UI is; if it does not meet the basic functional requirements, it will not be met with success.
3. Adding Too Many Features
Another pitfall that the Agile revolution uncovered was that most software products have far too many features, and users only use about 10-15% of a software's functionality. Once development is underway, it is tempting and common to continually add new features which can slow down production time and increase the testing period. In some cases, adding new functionality is entirely worth it, but in many instances, developers spend a significant amount of time and money adding features that users do not end up using.
This is why focusing on functionality is essential; it ensures that developers focus their energies on the right things instead of wasting them on aspects that are unlikely to attract more sales. After all, if the average consumer only uses 10-15% of a software's functionality, then they could probably do with cutting out some of the more obscure and not commonly used features.
4. Not Enough Funding
Running out of funding is a major issue for many developed firms, especially start-ups. Just because a company was able to secure funding at one point in time does not meet, they will be able to do so again down the road. "Funding is very much tied to market conditions, and in a downturn, there is significantly less appetite amongst investors and banks to lend money to start-up companies, especially those that have already gone through their first round of funding and still do not have an MVP," writes Oswald Sven, a business writer at Paper Fellows and Lia Help.
Some companies learn that the hard way that each successive round of funding becomes difficult, especially if minimal progress has been made. Some investors may see this as a sign that the developer does not know how to use funds properly.
5. Weak Marketing
Many products fail not because the software is flawed but because the prospective user base does not know it exists. Marketing is a fundamental reality of selling any product, especially those in a highly competitive sphere such as SaaS software development.
All too often, development firms focus so strongly on product development that when it comes time to market the final product, there are few funds left to do so. No matter which way you look at it, neglecting marketing is a sure way to experience product failure.
6. Not Addressing Current Market Needs
In the realm of software development, too many companies end up releasing products that users wanted a year or two ago. Sometimes, this is the result of product development taking too long, but in many cases, it is the result of poor marketing research.
One of the most essential parts of market research is determining what level of need the market has for a product or service. Developing a product with a high level of functionality that does what it says it does is only good if there are people out there willing to purchase the product. If there are not, it doesn't matter how good the software is, no one will buy it.
Another aspect of market research that many companies get wrong is they only look at current needs and don't address trends and where the market is going. Failure to do this can mean the death of a project, and far too many times, this is precisely what occurs.
Elizabeth Hines is a digital marketer and content writer at UK Writings and Academized. In her writings, Elizabeth focuses on the latest tech and marketing trends, paying particular attention to innovations and strategies. In her spare time, Elizabeth also writes for online publications such as Custom Essay and others.