Let's start from the basics: what is enterprise software development? Simply put, it is a process whose goal is not to meet the needs of a specific person but aims to meet the needs of an organization that already exists with a system also in place. Enterprise software development is designed based on an environment within an organization, which is where it is going to be used and where it is going to meet a specific goal.
In other words, enterprise app development is basically the process of creating an application or platform that solves crucial problems, reduces inefficiencies, and ultimately improves employees' lives within a company.
Businesses have been spending more on enterprise software development over the years, in fact, global enterprise software spending was at $225.51 billion in 2009, and the figure jumped to 672 billion U.S. dollars worldwide in 2022.
Challenges of enterprise software development
In addition to solving particular problems, Enterprise Software Development aims to improve efficiency, productivity, and business functionality, making it an essential tool to increase a business's competitive performance. However, while a company tries to develop its own software, it can face several challenges. Here are some valuable tips on how to build a successful enterprise application.
Like any software system, enterprise software is a complex structure that works with sensitive data, making it a potential target for cyberattacks and hacking efforts. Plus, as the company changes and the system grows, new elements appear, and the existing configuration changes, making it even more necessary to continuously improve the security system from a technical point of view. Consequently, you will need a good development team always ready to carry out fast bug fixing and preventive measures.
Processing and storage of large amounts of data
Data storage and management is always a challenge, especially with companies' vast amounts of daily data. Most of this data is often unstructured making it difficult to use, store, and analyze. True, data storage requires sophisticated infrastructure that consumes a lot of resources, so depending on your company's needs, you can choose between storing data locally on your own or leased servers. However, cloud databases can be a great solution, as they provide flexibility, stability, and high operation speed.
Need for quick adaptation
If we know anything, markets are dynamic and constantly changing; therefore, companies must change over time and readapt to the market. On that note, as a company grows and changes, so do its problems and needs, making enterprise software development a daunting task. Flexibility and the ability to quickly respond to changes using state-of-the-art technology are important requirements for any enterprise software product; therefore, it's important to keep scalable enterprise software development solutions in mind.
Different teams are involved in an enterprise software development process in various stages; without a proper organization, this can lead to some chaos, increasing development time and costs. That is especially true when you are pressed for resources or face a tight release deadline. Therefore, it’s crucial to have a well-thought project development strategy and a straightforward workflow since beginning your software development life cycle.
Finding the right talent
Finding experienced developers with the necessary skills your company needs is always a challenge. Moreover, when it comes to enterprise software development, the challenge gets more complex as a general developer won’t be enough; you will need to find a specialist with the right set of skills to meet your company’s current needs and develop the right software solution. Keep in mind this and try to be as scrupulous as possible within your remote team hiring process.
How long does it take to develop enterprise software?
No matter the challenges, if you are considering developing enterprise software, you need a better understanding of how long it takes. Remember, developing customized software is like building a house, so it should take enough time and have a long, steady life rather than rushing processes and watching it crumble before you know it.
But don’t worry, even if it sounds complicated, we´ll tell you how to develop enterprise software using 4 phases of the general Software Development Life Cycle.
Requirements & Design
This crucial phase is where the specifics of what the software will do and help solve are detailed. This important step usually requires a good amount of planning and the necessity of making important decisions. It is important to collaborate on different ideas and software features that will work together to meet your needs. This phase usually is short and usually takes between 2 and 4 weeks.
Architecture & Development
This phase is where the whole engineering design process takes place, including the functionalities, APIs, and basically everything your enterprise software will need to function. After the framework or structure to build on is decided, the developers will identify which technologies will be used and how they will work together. The duration will depend on the complexity of the software; however, it takes between 3 to 6 months.
In this phase, engineers integrate and customize the software with existing systems and deploy the software solution for the desired results. This phase will be more complex with large-scale projects. It takes from 2 to 4 weeks.
The software quality assurance phase is where your engineers test the software for bugs or misconfigurations, etc. It is crucial that all projects go through both end-to-end testing and user acceptance testing phases. You can also implement a user acceptance test (UAT), which is a period of time where you use the system and sign off on the development. A testing phase usually takes from 3 to 6 weeks.
On average, a whole enterprise software development will take between 4-9 months to design and develop, but remember, each project is unique and therefore takes different amounts of time to develop depending on the size and complexity of the project.
Best practices for enterprise software development
Now the important question, how to create enterprise software? We’ve gathered some of the best practices we have found along the way that we consider key to successfully developing a custom software solution for your business. Keep reading!
Define your goal
Once the company decides to develop an enterprise software system, it's vital to evaluate the needs to solve and the specific goals to achieve with the new software. By identifying these, you will determine how to approach the development process. Be sure to research all the options and assess what's best for the business. During this phase, it is also helpful to determine your enterprise software development projected timeline and to identify the milestones you want to achieve with the development process.
Choose the right team
A good team is everything. For solid enterprise software development, you want to have the right people working by your side. A good software development team will help with the project management tasks and train you in using the software. Once you have all of your requirements and goals figured out, you can start making up the list of potential vendors for your project. With clear requirements for your project, you will know how to choose the right developers.
Test your software
It’s also important to identify the right tools necessary for software development, including the PCs and hardware, and roll out any automated tools you will need. By doing this, you will optimize your resources and have a more functional development process.
Moreover, no software development is complete without proper testing. A solid testing process involves planning which tests to use, creating these tests, and then actually testing the functionality. The testing should be implemented from the beginning of your process and not solely at the end; this will optimize the entire development process and save you money.
Ensure your security
While security testing can be time-consuming and energy-draining, putting them aside can result in major issues such as data breaches and a decreased brand reputation. The last thing a company wants is their confidential data getting into the wrong hands, so be sure of getting a security testing process in place from the very start of your enterprise software development to identify any dangerous threats, vulnerabilities, or risks and fix them in time.
Keep yourself organized and up to date
Lastly, it is important to always keep a version control of your software, in other words
recording changes to a file or set of files over time so that versions are organized and can be recalled whenever you need to. This will allow all developers to work on the same version of a build. Also, it is essential for any company working on software development to keep up with the latest tools and practices to remain competitive.
What are the hottest enterprise software trends?
Now that you have a better sense of enterprise software and what to do for successful development and implementation, it is also important to know some of the newest enterprise software development trends to look at.
Business Intelligence Software
Business Intelligence (BI) Software is a type of software designed to retrieve, analyze, transform and report data for business intelligence. BI can help a company organize data so it can be easily accessed and analyzed, giving a holistic view of the company to the leaders and identifying areas of opportunity.
According to Amazon, DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization's ability to deliver services at high velocity. Implementing DevOps Software allows a company to improve its productivity and achieve continuous process efficiency, shortening the production cycles.
As remote working has become a permanent part of our modern life, remote work software platforms allow good online collaboration for distributed teams. Thinking on costumed software in line with remote team needs is more than a trend; it’s the future of distant collaboration.
Internet of Things Platforms
The Internet of Things (IoT) has become an essential tool for companies to become more efficient and provide advanced features, allowing companies to make decisions based on real-time data. Such elements as AI algorithms, cloud databases, Internet-connected hardware, and tracking devices offer indicators that can be analyzed by enterprise software, digitized, and adjusted to their processes.
One of the significant benefits of automated enterprise software is efficiency. Implementing automated processes can eliminate the most time-consuming tasks, saving you time and money. Additionally, computers tend to be more accurate in their work, making automated enterprise software development solutions a perfect tool to cut down errors and long processes.
Staying on top of any industry requires innovation and evolution, and there’s no better way to do so than with customized enterprise software built to suit your business challenges and goals. We hope that at this point, after reading some of the most useful practical enterprise software development techniques, you are more convinced about the importance of its implementation.
Are you still unsure of where to start? Contact us and let our experienced team work with you designing, developing, and implementing a fully custom solution to help you move forward.