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Like any other company, today, you must have robust software solutions for effective resource planning, customer relationship management, and other vital attributes of your company’s key operations. Developing an in-house application and its maintenance can tie up the budget after a certain point; therefore, enterprises are looking for options to reduce their capital investments, while becoming more agile and responsive at the same time.
That’s where the SaaS model comes in. But it’s beneficial only when the SaaS implementation plan is customized according to the business demands, products, organizational dynamics, and most importantly, the current market context.
If you are looking for ways to optimize the SaaS model that fits with the realities of your business needs, it’s time you must consider following the below-mentioned SaaS implementation steps to improve your operations.
SaaS is a kind of pay-as-you-go model that allows users to access the software anytime, anywhere from any device. That means clients do not need to install any hardware locally or need not maintain the software applications at their end. It’s a perfect replacement for all those on-premises hosted applications that are of low complexity and high value. It comes with a long list of blue sky features and benefits.
Let’s first discuss some of the vital attributes of the SaaS model before diving deep into discussing an effective implementation of SaaS process.
Multitenant Architecture: A SaaS model provides a multi-tenant environment by offering a common source code to be shared among multiple users and applications. It is maintained in a single central location. End-users need not worry about updates and security patches since these are automatically applied by the service provider.
Accessibility: SaaS significantly enhances data accessibility over the internet. It becomes easy to manage privileges and monitor data usage. Moreover, it also ensures that the same data/information is available to different users at the same time.
Customization: Applications are maintained centrally and can be customized to match clients’ business needs. An important aspect of customization offered by SaaS is that a single application can be tailor-made to suit the needs of different users.
SaaS can be delivered by using different technologies and models. One should properly review and understand the unique requirements of a business irrespective of technology or model. To develop a bespoke application for a particular business process, one should have clarity of their business goals and objectives at the initial stages of the development. If you wish to unlock its potentials, take care of the following things to use it to your advantage.
Application development must begin with the identification of goals, and setting directives at a very early stage. So, begin the process by determining answers to the following questions:
What is the process that is designed to run the application
What type of user categories are going be catered to by application
What are the provisions for imparting scalability, security, to the application, and how the application is going to handle failover issues
An in-depth understanding of the attributes of the proposed application and proper study of challenges and issues being faced by the existing system, process, or the application in the initial stages of development is a must.
Identification of task force for the development of proposed software application should be done by selecting individuals who are matured enough to understand concepts and technologies. Ideally, the team members should have gained expertise in multiple technologies and should be conversant about the industry’s best practices.
Having understood various business aspects and objectives of the application to be developed, we should move ahead by designing a stable, well-connected, and scalable infrastructure. Infrastructure should consist of a state-of-the-art data center with robust networking architecture. It should also include backup and monitoring tools, and the enterprise-grade system as well as storage hardware.
In addition to these factors, an ideal infrastructure should be optimized for costs and must be backed by well-defined SLAs. We should also take into account other performance factors such as network bandwidth and uptime guarantees. Infrastructure for application development should be supported by robust data recovery services and security measures.
It’s the most crucial step to consider for implementing SaaS. Hosting facilities for application development infrastructure should have seamless public connectivity. Industry-leading telecom providers are known to offer consistent and reliable services. Selection of location of hosting facility should aim at reducing network hops between the infrastructure and end-user.
Having multiple network connections to the data center facility is advisable to reduce the chances of bottlenecks. Bandwidth should be reviewed by understanding the demography of location because bandwidth network speed differs from location to location. Data center connectivity is also governed by system redundancy to handle power outages and hardware failure and testing frequency.
The performance of applications and other testing conditions can be significantly enhanced by using components of optimum quality. Infrastructure components should have well-established functionality and reliability. The use of enterprise-grade components is critical for the assured availability of applications.
There should be a concrete disaster recovery plan in place to guarantee availability of application. Our ability to respond quickly to any disaster situation by restoring operations of application within a defined period will directly impact business availability.
There is no substitute for an effective subsystem for monitoring for assuring timely intervention and to avert possible disasters. The monitoring system must take into consideration OS and application event logs, memory and CPU consumption, and performance of application components including database, TCP layer, application servers.
Once the application has hit the market, we must ensure that it is constantly backed by a responsive resource of customer support. To achieve this, there should be a well-managed ticketing system that is seamlessly connected to a call center. Whatever model or technology one uses, robust and seamlessly available customer support is an essential parameter for the success of any application. Many applications are backed by an emailing system that is enabled by customer support and capable of forwarding support emails to relevant members of the support team.
Service Level Agreements of software applications should be able to clearly define the scope, turnaround time, application availability, and response time.
One of the most important steps in the development of software applications is robust documentation. The documentation must consist of every aspect of infrastructure and components. It will provide a basis for any types of alterations or modifications required to be implemented. Documentation also facilitates users to manage any unexpected behavior of the application.
While the above mentioned steps are key to successfully implementing SaaS, it can be overwhelming and time-consuming to plan. Companies like Go4hosting specialize in taking away all such hassles by offering consultation and implementing the right model for your business.