Enterprises across all industries are shifting IT spending away from on-premises software and toward cloud-native architectures that capitalize on the flexibility, scalability, time to value, security, accessibility, and overall ROI that is a hallmark of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business model.

As a result, the SaaS software industry is predicted to rise by the end of 2022. That’s why many on-premise software businesses and SaaS startups alike are racing to replicate the success of market giants such as Salesforce, Adobe, and Atlassian.


Mistake #1: Focusing just on low-hanging fruit

Leadership teams and application and product owners have a bias toward action. This inclination can sometimes encourage development teams to focus on the more external components of software development that can be presented to management in update meetings to indicate progress.

This bias for action is neither incorrect nor misplaced—when you commit six months to a project, it’s natural to want to see the rewards of the team’s labor. However, SaaS software development is challenging, particularly in brownfield application development when legacy code does not easily migrate to the cloud for rapid results.

Instead of focusing on difficult and complex tasks such as database modernization, developers are tempted to work on the edges of the puzzle to gain some quick victories and have something to show at the next update meeting.

Skin profound examples frequently include upgrading and updating front-end and backend logic parts, such as building microservices or serverless architecture or designing compute capacity. These gradual modernization efforts may appease leadership teams and make for a more pleasant update meeting, but they can only provide incremental benefits to users and the business.


Mistake #2: Ignoring brainstorming and discovery

Development teams have begun reducing the amount of time spent during the ideation and discovery phases of the development project to deliver visible results as soon as possible.

The response is natural: you can’t start demonstrating results until you’re touching code, and you can’t touch code until you’re out of the conference room and away from the whiteboards.

The desire to stop talking and start acting is strong, but it is misguided. This is especially true for brownfield projects, where there is a strong temptation to wave a magic cloud wand over the old application and begin earning monthly revenue in perpetuity.

 These insights lead to a unique, innovative new SaaS solution rather than an incrementally improved version of an existing application or suite. This is particularly true for greenfield prospects.

Simultaneously, limiting the discovery phase of a brownfield opportunity limits your capacity to ask the kinds of questions that can drastically reduce development time and resources while delivering a better SaaS product to market faster. Questions such as:


Mistake #3: Attempting to address all 12 factors simultaneously. 

Much has been said about the “12-factor methodology” of SaaS application development, a theory that has been adopted around the world as the emphasis on cloud-based apps has grown over the previous decade.

While adhering to these 12 characteristics does not ensure product success in the market, many developers nowadays use the 12 factors as a checklist. 

In practice, however, adhering to all 12 variables can add time and cost to your project without providing a corresponding advantage. Not every application necessitates the highest and best maturity level for every factor, although a few are more critical than others, such as:

  • Codebase – As a best practice, we aim to follow a decomposition pattern, breaking down the code to the shortest size possible. This enables us to apply microservices per codebase, optimizing cloud and modernization benefits.
  • Config – Separating config from code is essential so that code changes can be made and tracked automatically without requiring frequent manual updates via constant deployments.
  • Backing service – When developing a stateless application with multiple versions, treating them as associated resources is crucial. When storage is persistent and regarded as an associated resource, it can be removed and reinstalled with no risk of data loss, downtime, or negative customer effect.


Focusing on the three most important aspects of the 12-factor development process, on the other hand, will optimize the benefits of SaaS development without unduly burdening development teams.

Our profound experience of business acceleration and transformation experience can help you start or accelerate your product modernization journey.