SaaS / AWS

4 Key Challenges of taking your SaaS product global – Part 3: Scaling

Aaron Walker

5 Minute Read

When taking your SaaS product global, there are a host of considerations your organization should take into account. In the last posts of our six-part series  , we addressed the challenges of security and compliance. In this third blog, we'll discuss ensuring your organization can properly scale in an effective and efficient manner, while meeting performance expectations and adhering to ever-changing country specific compliance rules.

What companies face when trying to scale globally

While expanding into new markets is highly beneficial for your organization and can bring a wealth of opportunities, it’s important that your company is ready to deliver a high quality of service in any market that it chooses to be in. Many companies expand their market without full comprehension of how their product will need to scale, and the complexities of each individual region that they are entering. When taking the step to expand, it’s helpful to understand and create plans around some of the following common issues many organizations face.

Feature requests start to become more demanding

Your product might work brilliantly in your company’s country of origin and be perfectly suited to the environment and work styles of the people living there. However, this may not be the case for a global organization. As companies move to new regions, they will often find that users within those regions ask for specific features that were not originally required. For example, a company that sells accounting software that is developed for the U.S. region that moves to Europe will get requests for European specific features and rules that might have to be built out. It can be very tempting for organizations to build out these kinds of region specific features without too much thought — but it can lead to major feature bloat in your SaaS products.

The bloat that can come with building out a wide array of region specific features could harm long-term manageability from a product perspective as your teams will need to scale as well to build those features out and manage your ever-growing complexity. It’s vitally important that your organization acknowledges this as a potential issue and creates plans to help manage and mitigate the rampant growth of complexity within your product as you expand to different regions.

The growth of feature requests ties into another important aspect that your organization needs to bear in mind — once your company goes global, maintaining operational efficiency becomes far more difficult. Most SaaS products start out with a small operations and support team which is relatively efficient and effective. As companies go global, managing support and requests from around the world becomes significantly more difficult to keep up with. As features grow and support needs become more strenuous, it’s critical that your organization has a plan in place to manage new demands.

Your current infrastructure may not be enough for a larger customer base

When considering infrastructure, the performance of your product is important. Having servers and a network that can seamlessly deliver a high-quality experience to your end users, no matter where they are in the world, is crucial for any organization that is looking to go global. However, what is often overlooked is the corporate infrastructure and their ability to communicate with customers so they have what they need to succeed.

Take support cases for example: Many SaaS organizations integrate a support chat feature into their product to enable their customers to ask questions through their product. But what happens when a company goes global and they have customers in time zones that don’t line up with the core support team? Your company could face having to deal with frustration coming from clients who don’t feel they are adequately supported with their product, potentially leading to negative outcomes for your business.

This is why it’s critical for companies to consider how they are going to deliver top-of-the line service to their customers once they’ve expanded their operations outside of their current geography. True global scalability isn’t just about making your product available and operable in different countries — it’s having the processes and people in place to support your product and your customers while having the ability to deliver optimal experiences in any region.

Your organization may not be set up to accept international and cross-border payments 

As your organization moves to become a global powerhouse, ensuring that your payment system is localized for different countries and different currencies is of utmost importance. If you really want to highlight the fact that your product is truly global, being able to display and accept money from different regions helps to smooth out the process of buying for your customers. This also has the added benefit of making your product look and feel like it’s truly a part of your target market and geography. Many SaaS companies forgo this step and keep their prices locked to their home region. However, if your company was to target India as a market, for example, putting your prices into Rupees will help you smooth the buying and consideration processes for your potential customers.

How your organization should prepare for scaling into a global market

Scaling your operations outside of your home region can be a daunting task. Between the infrastructure and business requirements, it can also be difficult to ensure your product will work for the regions you are targeting. There are many factors to consider before your organization takes the leap to make sure that your launch will be successful and profitable for you. One of the best ways to accomplish a global launch is to work with technology partners and consultants who can provide the knowledge and scalable cloud infrastructure to make sure your organization can meet any task put in front of it.

At base2Services, we’ve helped a wide range of SaaS companies rapidly scale their operations to turn them into SaaS powerhouses. Leveraging our comprehensive expertise in AWS, SaaS and our DevOps methodology, we can help your organization get to the next level with a minimum of time investment from your IT team — all whilst ensuring that your cloud infrastructure delivers global scalability, cost optimisation and peak performance.

In our next post, part 4 of this series, you will learn about delivering optimal Performance of your global SaaS product no matter where your customers may be located.

If you're interested in discovering how your SaaS business can thrive globally, we invite you to explore our other informative blog posts in this six-part series. These posts delve into important obstacles and provide valuable global AWS architecture patterns to contemplate

And, if you haven't already, be sure to watch the videos of our webinar on this topic where we go in-depth on each challenge and provide you with best practices, solutions and recommendations.

Ready to take your SaaS product to the next level? Contact us today to learn more about how base2Services can help you succeed on a global scale.

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