You are interested in starting your own SaaS. You have an entrepreneurial spirit, and you are ready to make-the-leap from someone else’s employee to a business owner. Slow down.
Starting a SaaS is more involved than spending your time coding and marketing your product. There are essential requirements that every budding SaaS entrepreneur must be aware of in the early days. These are:
- data governance
Let’s take a closer look at each.
When you start your company, your very first concern should be with user security. It is your responsibility to protect your customers from both external and internal threats. The security areas that your company encompasses should include:
- User authentication
- Code auditing
- Malware detection
- Secure payment processing
- Personal security
- Right to access log information
The software and coding that you utilize to provide this security is a matter of personal choice. Stripe is highly utilized among SaaS companies looking for secure payment options. This article from Information Week offers some other tips for
Always think of the customer’s priorities.
Privacy is a key issue for your SaaS startup. Security and privacy go hand-in-hand in that the amount of privacy you can offer and is directly related to your security. When you set up your product, you must do so in such a way that each customer is protected; in accordance with government regulations.
What you must concern yourself with is the privacy policies of every country in which you will offer your product. While you may start off marketing your software to US customers, if you grow and branch out to Europe, for example, your privacy standards must meet EU Privacy laws.
As you move to the cloud, data governance issues are a concern. What is data governance? These are the processes that ensure privacy, security, and compliance. One of the newest areas of concern is the ownership of data. Enterprises today insist that they retain all rights to the data produced, no matter which products they are using.
As governments work tirelessly to control Internet activities, compliance changes rapidly. Compliance, for you, the SaaS entrepreneur, falls into three dimensions: Industry-specific compliance (FINRA, SOX, HIPPA, and others), geopolitical compliance, and enterprise-specific compliance (SSO and authentication).
Compliance can be directly tied to privacy and security, but it must be considered on its own. Compliance often encompasses a broader scope and can result in higher damages if not adhered to.
The availability you can offer your clients matches only the platform on which you have built it. One of the major obstacles for SaaS companies in attracting new customers, and larger customers, is the inability to guarantee a high percentage of uptime.
In order to guarantee uptime to your valuable customers, you’ve got to build your system using multiple redundant systems. Likewise, utilize a number of availability zones. Doing these things will ensure that you are able to offer reliable availability to your clients.
Clearly, the performance of your offering will make or break your business. When you are building your offering, performance should be one of your top considerations. Take advantage of as many performance optimizations that you can. HTML5, CDNs, and multi-tenant architectures are essential.
Your software must be able to work with other software and applications utilized by your customers. What will you offer the customer who needs to transport data between systems? Ask yourself this and come up with a solution. Integrating SaaS and on-premise systems can be a difficult task to undertake. If, though, your SaaS isn’t useful for your customers, you will have no customers to speak of.
Building SaaS products for the single customer is not the same as building for enterprise. Designing and implementing a product for enterprise is a complex undertaking that must be understood. There are factors that go into your new business, such as privacy, security, and performance. When you don’t understand one of these things and how to integrate it into your offering, your company will not move beyond the private sector.
When you utilize products like Stripe, understand HTML5, and can offer your clients a way to integrate your SaaS with their on-site systems, you will find success. If you hope to move into the business sector, take the advice in this article to heart. Without proper research and consideration of best practices, your SaaS company remains stagnant.