SaaS (Software as a Service) companies are the ones that host an application and make it available to the customers over the Internet. As a result, SaaS businesses are prone to overnight growth and fame. Some applications instantly gain notoriety and go viral. Hence, it is imperative for SaaS businesses to be prepared to scale up at a moment’s notice. To help tackle this problem, a proper growth strategy for SaaS businesses need to be placed. However, this growth strategy is not just mere coding changes and adopting a larger server. It goes much deeper
Here are seven excellent steps that you should take to grow your business exponentially.
- Commitment to DevOps
DevOps has long been considered as a bridge between software development and operations. However, in the early days, the software developers were not the same people who operated the software. Such a condition created a competing mindset wherein the blame for not successfully developing good software was shifted between the two parties. As a result, the development cycles were extended, and lower-quality software was generated at each end.
However, the scenario has changed since then. Now, you should commit you should form a single DevOps team that is solely responsible for constantly improving the software and deploy small incremental changes steadily. This would produce better results in shorter cycles. As a result, it is an excellent growth strategy for SaaS businesses.
- Single Team for a Single Service
Securing your organization from the horrors of everyone working on the same thing is important. Not doing so will lead to multiple individuals converging on a single thing and thus disrupting the entire cycle. It will not only lead to extensive delays but also reduce the trust between the team members. As a result, using a service-oriented architecture such as microservices to build your application is a great possibility.
The strategy involves building your application out of multiple independent services. The services are assigned to the individual development teams. The teams are responsible for every aspect of the service, ranging from development to testing to deployment, operation, and diagnosing. It provides a great groundwork for application responsibility division and management.
To effectively scale your business, you need to evaluate the current state and potential of growth of your business. The most effective method to do so is to understand your application’s performance in all aspects. In addition, it allows you to understand the long term trends and effects of the decisions your team makes.
Each development team should monitor their own metrics and respond to the problems when they appear. First, however, they should report the steps taken and the data thus generated. The data generated can be used to evaluate their decision-making skills and effectiveness.
- Regard Availability Highly
Having a SaaS business requires your application to be online at all times. Customers expect the application to be working at all times. However, most companies today rely on maintenance windows to launch upgrades and fix issues. This is a bad practice for two reasons. Firstly, the maintenance window counts as downtime regardless of the title. This directly affects the revenue and image of the company. Secondly, maintenance windows act as a crutch for companies. It is a given that making changes during the maintenance window is much easier than when the application is online. However, by going offline, you are reducing your availability. It is a best practice and an excellent growth strategy for SaaS businesses to upgrade when the application is online as it will improve the overall quality of your company and better prepare you for growth.
- Understand the Risks Involved
No business is devoid of risks and hazards. Moreover, it becomes inevitable to avoid risks in complex systems such as web applications. However, examining, monitoring, and evaluating risks can be an effective tool to reduce the operational complexity of your business.
Risk management as a step to improve system performance can be an excellent growth strategy as:
- It helps determine the risk associated with the system.
- It helps assess the risks that are critical to be removed.
- It also helps in determining the risk likelihood and severity.
The best method to assess risk with your system would be to use a risk matrix. They would not only help manage the application well but also help communicate unresolved issues with the system.
- Cloud Scaling
Cloud scaling is an unorthodox approach to help your application sustain itself under sudden bursts of traffic needs. It involves the use of the public cloud to serve the application’s needs. It will also help you handle cycle traffic patterns, quickly replace failed instances, and launch test environments for data collection and system upgrades. It is an excellent strategy to adopt for SaaS businesses that are constantly changing and expanding their infrastructure requirements.
- Automation is the Way to Go
Automation has become ubiquitous in the business world. Nowadays, everything is automated, ranging from application testing to deployment. Problem resolution, review, and decision-making processes are eased with automation. Automation removes the human element and thus reduces the chances of single-point errors dramatically. Automation for mundane tasks will also free up time for more creative work. As a result, it is an excellent strategy for SaaS businesses.