A complete guide to enterprise software development
The global enterprise business apps market will be worth USD 259.51 billion by 2022. The industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7.8 percent in the upcoming year due to the increasing need for digitization among enterprises.
With the massive popularity of enterprise apps in managing crucial business processes, it has become imperative for business leaders to opt for enterprise software development. This will not only be a step towards simplifying and streamlining business activities but help you establish a competitive stance in the market.
Join us as we dig deeper into enterprise software development and learn how to build a powerful enterprise app with reduced cost, maximum security, and speed.
What is enterprise software development?
Enterprise software development is based on an environment within an organization to satisfy the needs of an organization and not a specific person in particular. The main goal of enterprise software development is to meet an organization’s existing needs. In other words, it is the process of designing, building, deploying, and maintaining software development according to the specific needs of business operations, or people.
While developing enterprise-grade software the development team has to be sure about the development lifecycle and the necessary requirements. In enterprise software development, you need a DevOps team to provide a common set of virtual machine (VM) images or environments so that different development teams can automate them according to their own procedures and rates. Some enterprise software needs user authentication to validate users. And to manage all the information about who has accessed the system and what operations they have performed, audit logs are needed.
Enterprise applications aim to integrate core processes of business like accounting, finance, sales, inventory, human resources, and services.
Enterprise applications can help businesses in expanding their scope by linking them with business partners, suppliers, and customers. It is important to highlight that enterprises operate in a completely different context from SMEs. There are certain factors that come into play here, the most vital ones being the size of the organization and the issue of security. APIs, built-in ready-to-use capabilities, security, user management, reusable UI components, data integration, and templates available on cloud platforms help to resolve challenges in the development of enterprise applications. Enterprises have a huge target audience, so they might have to cater to thousands or even hundreds of internal users. With increased usage, there also arises the issue of security with an increased risk of data theft, ransomware, and other attacks.
The crux of these issues lies in the work burden of the IT teams in large organizations. Since they are tasked with building so many solutions, it is normal to end up with lengthy backlogs.
Enterprise software allows employees to take responsibility for creating applications and offer analytics needed to perform their job. Professional developers can focus on developing the IT integration and governance required to support this environment.
Enterprise development empowers IT leaders with a solution to overcome the increasing IT skills crisis and work backlog brought on by the business’s need to digitize, transform processes, boost operational efficiency and optimize organizational agility.
Enterprise software development aims to improve efficiency, productivity, and business functionality in addition to offering solutions. High scalability ensures that you can easily cater to the changing requirements of users even if there are sudden spikes in the number of users on your platform. It will not only increase your efficiency in managing traffic but will potentially lower your operational costs.
Some examples of enterprise software development are online payment processors, process automation tools, product catalogs, process management tools, and more. The users of this software include the manufacturing industry, IT industry, financial businesses, pharma companies, CPG organizations, interest-based product offerings, and governments. Once the tools or solutions are obtained, they generate new methodologies and processes, setting modern providers’ operations in motion.
Why build custom enterprise software instead of using standard third-party enterprise tools?
Each enterprise will have its own unique needs and processes. An off-the-shelf tool can be a great fit for targeting common issues, but it lacks when it comes to taking care of specific needs that are unique to your business. That is why building a custom enterprise has the upper hand instead of standard third-party enterprise tools. Here is why custom enterprise software can be a better choice-
Enterprise software development lets you see how the business runs in real time. You don’t have to put extra effort into extracting data and presenting the company’s performance in a slideshow. Instead, enterprise software allows full visibility into the organization’s performance by pulling actionable insights based on data from various sources like marketing, sales, manufacturing, HR, etc.
Every customer wants to feel heard and important. Interacting with your customers or clients can make or break your brand. With enterprise software development, you can ensure always keep customers happy and satisfied by providing personalized solutions. This can be in the form of sending emails, replying to messages, or creating customer service portals. Such effort can generate customer loyalty and retain customers, enhancing your brand value.
Flexibility and Scalability
Enterprise software development with solutions like low-code easily allows users to update and scale their applications anytime with its flexible features. On the other hand, off-the-shelf applications are rigid and cannot be manipulated at will. Changing anything will probably violate your licensing agreement with your software providers.
Enterprise software development offers a competitive advantage with the ability to forecast solutions by assessing your current situation. They help streamline and standardize your business functions by offering the best tools to deliver customer service and boost employee productivity.
Major features of enterprise software development
The main goal of enterprise software development is to optimize various internal and external processes to enhance business productivity. Let’s try to understand the different features of enterprise software development that promise efficiency-
The app’s performance plays a huge role in determining the performance or efficiency of your employees and your business as a whole. The software is simultaneously used by several people operating on different kinds of devices ranging from desktops, mobile, and tablets. Providing high-yielding performance is imperative for these applications that should run smoothly across all devices.
Unlike SMEs which might rely on public cloud services to host their systems, enterprise software solutions are more commonly self-hosted, either on local networks or private cloud infrastructure. The primary goal is to safeguard uptime, access control, integrity, and reliability.
Access control and permission
Different users interact differently with your software stack. Role-based access control and permission settings in enterprise software development are efficient ways to manage and assign access to individual users according to their organizational role. Features like SSO are critical for making it easy to grant users easy access to the exact tools they need to perform their daily responsibilities.
Usage monitoring and transparency
With efficient enterprise software development, organizations can monitor how different users interact with tools, and more technical issues relating to usage and capacity. Auditing is central to ensuring security, resource allocation, and data integrity. It provides transparency of how different resources have been utilized, transformed, and manipulated which is critical for preventing and resolving issues.
Enterprise software development focuses on longevity and future-proofing, as the projects are on a much larger scale. They are a significant investment that businesses cannot afford to replace a few years down the line. Modern solutions like low-code offer systems that can be adapted and updated in response to both new threats and disruptive technologies.
They also offer a degree of modularity ensuring that specific features can be worked on, added, or modified in isolation. Enterprise software should be developed keeping in mind the fact that systems will have to be maintained and updated even if the developers responsible for building them are not available. So, enterprises should focus on creating a code base that future staff can easily comprehend and modify.
Since enterprise functions operate on a massive scale, the key challenge is empowering users to carry out different types of responsibilities efficiently without any obstruction. User experience is all about enhancing the feel and functionality of the app.
This can also mean limiting the potential actions that users can take to a bare minimum so that they can quickly and consistently find the right one. The main idea behind this is that users should intuitively understand how to perform certain actions without needing guidance.
Enterprise software applications can cater to a variety of needs of applications and their offerings. This is one of the prime reasons enterprises opt for these applications. These applications allow businesses to address large-scale problems and support them by offering multi-purpose software. This will empower multiple users with different roles, authority, and information adding to software.
A product that is not scalable will not endure the test of time and changing technological challenges. It is one of the first factors to consider developing a new technological solution to help the app sustain usage development without jeopardizing the user experience and revenues. Scalability determines the growth and advancement of the software in functionality and performance. According to research by Enterprise Strategy Group, 66 % of companies consider their IT ecosystems to be more complex than they were 2 years earlier, and 46% expect to continue improving and expanding technological infrastructure.
Security is one of the most vital factors to consider while developing enterprise software. This area requires investment, specialists, and in-depth analysis. This involves not only the security of computers, servers, and code but also the cybersecurity of the employees or people who use it, the devices that make up the network, and all the information in it.
Cyber-attacks can compromise not only sensitive information but also infrastructure. There are additional concerns regarding data breaches, confidential data leakage, data loss, and other security reasons. This area requires special care and attention regardless of the organization’s size.
The software development process for companies can be expensive. That’s why this topic is dealt with a lot of particularities and scrutinies in the software development processes for companies. Planning costs require thorough planning and an absolute understanding of all the monetary factors of the project’s phases, including the initial investment and maintenance costs.
An organization that has already existed for a while will have more rigorous cost controls because they already have many existing items and a small. Any small imbalance can severely impact the development pace of the company.
Data integration is one of the top priorities for businesses utilizing enterprise software applications. Seamless data integration and import with APIs and third-party apps are essential requirements for all enterprise application software.
Enterprise uses a large number of discrete tools, which calls for a high degree of integrability. In other words, these applications should be able to work together in a cohesive ecosystem.
This could imply building multiple tools relying on a common data set, or using events in one tool to trigger automated actions in another. But it is not easy to achieve this across both internally developed software and third-party tools.
Enterprise software development teams create highly integrated, streamlined workflows across entire software stacks. As such, there is a need for a high degree of portability and platform-neutral integrations.
Challenges of enterprise software development
Enterprise software development is not free from challenges. Here are some of the common ones-
Managing security violations
If a company’s data is compromised, its existence may be compromised. Getting strong security standards is more challenging than ever in the era of cloud computing. The list of some of the security complexities in enterprise software are –
1. Data security
2. Source code security concerns
3. Data privacy breach
4. Cookies storing data
5. Third-party apps integration
As an enterprise, it is of utmost priority for businesses to take all the preventive measures that safeguard your organization from any enterprise software development concerns. Enterprises should be able to clearly define and control the data exposure that they want to grant each kind of user.
There is a need for appropriate solutions for verifying and authenticating the identity of users, to prevent unauthorized access. Users will also see additional layers of security, including at an infrastructure level.
Frequent business changes
Businesses with varying needs keep stakeholders on their toes, continuously pressuring them to create apps that work under changing conditions. Only businesses with a special team of professionals will know how to address them properly. If your needs your larger, you may even have to outsource developers who may impact your operating costs.
Compared to smaller organizations, enterprises can be slow moving especially in rolling out new platforms and tools. Change management can be one of the key pain points for transformation projects.
Internal barriers can range from resistance from on-the-ground employees to a lack of buy-in from high-level decision-makers can be particularly problematic. Or enterprises may encounter problems with dependencies on existing systems and have difficulty creating new solutions without undermining these.
You may have several doubts and confusion while choosing the right vendor who can efficiently understand and manage your enterprise needs. While choosing the vendors, check their certifications and compliance, proof of concept(POC), testimonials, industry, and functional experience.
Data storage is one of the biggest concerns as the business grows. Since much of the data is in unstructured formats such as documents, photos, audio, and other files, it can be difficult to search and analyze. Large-scale data requires elaborate infrastructure to store, which may mean investing in high-tech servers. Considering these huge requirements, cloud solutions are best suited for businesses.
Cost and transparency
The development cost depends on the functionality, the app’s size, delivery time, and the type of software. Sometimes it becomes difficult to maintain transparency in every state of the enterprise software development, which can impact the process’s cost calculation and development speed.
How enterprise software development is made easy with low-code tools?
Enterprise development teams struggle with multiple resources and time commitments leaving little time to focus on ambitious, large-scale new projects. They have a high volume of requirements incoming every day, along with maintaining existing solutions.
Enterprises are starting to adopt newer, faster ways of building applications, among which enterprise-grade low-code platforms are shining. The primary reason for this sudden shift is that developers spend too much time on repetitive, even menial tasks. It does not make much sense to rack up labor costs by hiring experienced developers just to create simple CRUD tools, over and over again.
This is where the need and utility of low code are realized.
Low code development allows developers to rapidly design enterprise-ready applications via dragging and dropping, integrating people, technologies, data, and systems into a single workflow to optimize business results.
Examples of enterprise software development
At a broader level, most enterprises require tools in the following categories:
CRUD Apps are simple applications for creating, reading, editing, and deleting entries within existing data sets. This is a great way to empower on-the-ground employees to carry out crucial development tasks, without writing queries manually.
A dashboard is a visual representation of all your data in a graphical format. The primary goal is to provide information at-a-glance, such as KPIs. A dashboard usually receives information from a linked database to display data.
Administrative panels and GUIs
An admin panel enables administrators of an application to carry out monitoring functions, manage configurations, settings, content, and features critical to the business. A GUI or graphical user interface is a graphics-based operating system that uses icons, menus, and a mouse to manage the interaction between the system.
Workflow and automation tools
Automated tasks are a basic set of triggers and actions, across different existing and purpose-built tools. They can be used to simplify crucial workflows, reduce manual labor, and increase productivity.
Digital journeys for user onboarding
Digital journeys are a visual representation of every experience (path) your app’s users might have while interacting with the interface. A digital journey consists of a set of steps and decision points that take the users throughout a process, carrying them from one step to another.
Data collection tools
Data collection tools such as digital forms are the simple interface that allows users to create new database entries or edit existing ones.
Business apps & internal tools
These are software tools designed and developed to optimize day-to-day work. They are dedicated tools for highly specific internal functions such as booking, scheduling, or resource management.
Now that you have a fair idea about the different types of enterprise software tools, here are some popular examples-
Project management is almost impossible without a tool in this modern age. That is why many organizations are utilizing project management tools to monitor workflow performance and track individual results across employees, departments, and branches. With low-code solutions, businesses can innovate their project management solutions to manage routine, segment tasks, autonomously register work sets and more.
CRMs or Customer Relationship management systems are essential for businesses dealing with and engaging with customers daily. This system streamlines the communication and planning system by constantly acquiring customer data, customer communication, upselling/cross-selling, and other marketing activities all in one place. CRMs built with low code solutions can help you innovate unique ways to constantly engage with customers for maximum retention and enhanced brand reputation.
Enterprise Resource Planning systems or ERPs enable the internal staff employees to run and manage work more efficiently. These systems may include accounting, supply chain management, risk compliance, procurement, inventory, etc.
Customer support tool
Spending time on manual tasks is not a wise option when these tasks could be simplified with a customer support tool that can connect the CRM ticket management system to the payment and refund system. Creating a customer support tool with low code can streamline client communication by providing a unified interface to support teams in communication.
Inventory management tool
Inventory management is one of the most stressful tasks for a business without a proper tool. But thanks to low-code platforms like DronaHQ, users can build applications for efficient order and warehouse management. You can effortlessly build an inventory management tool with features like barcode scanning, integrations with major platforms, inventory tracking, and more.
Mobile enterprise software development
With over 6.3 billion smartphone users worldwide, businesses need to focus on mobile enterprise software development. The custom enterprise application development for iOS and Android is not very different, but the enterprise level implies a larger scale. Here are some points you should consider while building mobile enterprise apps-
1. For the proper management of resources, you must first determine the size of the app. The mobile version should be adapted correctly while ensuring that it is lightweight and have all the core functions for full use in a portable device.
2. There is a lot of sensitive corporate information stored at the forefront, which brings the issue of security for EAS is at the forefront. Therefore, the application must be protected through strong encryption and multi-step authentication.
3. Focus on correctly implementing the central mechanics while designing the functional part of the app. It does not matter how feature-rich the application is if it cannot perform the basic functions properly.
4. Instead of large and heavy updates, you can continuously roll out small updates in short intervals.
What is the cost of enterprise app development?
You may need to outsource IT resources including a project manager/team lead, front-end developers, back-end developers, UI/UX designers, and a QA tester. It is essential to develop a high-performing, error-free application for your internal operations. The average cost of developing an enterprise can range anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 depending on your business requirements.
How low code is enabling citizen developers?
Low code platforms offer smart, flexible, and modern solutions to problems that are unique to each business. They appeal alike to developers of all levels of expertise. These platforms are a boon to citizen developers, internal business users, or subject matter experts who have the skill and vision to build a perfect application but could execute it due to the lack of access to a tool. Using low-code platforms, citizen developers can build, customize, and deploy fully functional and user-friendly applications at accelerated speeds.
In fact, 41% of non-IT employees are already building or customizing technology solutions using low-code platforms. This does not mean that citizen developers are replacing IT teams; rather, they are freeing IT professionals by reducing workload to focus on more urgent and challenging projects. With training, citizen developers can easily build a minimum viable product (MVP) instead of spending weeks or months building custom applications based on designated requirements.
Some of the benefits of enabling citizen developers to build enterprise applications include the following-
1. Reduces IT capacity bottlenecks and improves collaboration between business and IT.
2. Increases agility for IT teams to respond to market requirements with increased transparency.
3. Enables easier delegation and cross-functional collaboration.
4. Faster development speed and reduced time to market.
5. It improves the technical skills of business and helps the organization practice digital transformation.
DronaHQ in enterprise app development
Faster app development with visual modeling
DronaHQ offers 150+ pre-built UI components that can be easily put in place with its drag-and-drop interface. Using the visually intuitive UI you can customize and create the applications of your dreams. The simple interface makes it possible for developers to enhance productivity and for citizen developers to build all types of enterprise applications. It allows developers to visualize how the app works while it is being built and offers faster deployment. Low-code solutions allow developers even auto-generate forms and CRUD interfaces without writing any code
Web + mobile app development
Having cross-platform functionality is a must for applications, given the explosion of mobile devices like cell phones and tablets. Low code allows users to build once and deploy everywhere without extra effort, complex coding, or resources.DronaHQ is responsive across devices, offering mobile (iOS and Android) and web output.
Security and scalability
Initially, low-code focused on smaller, departmental, and less critical solutions, while today’s low-code offers fast, flexible, and scalable enterprise-grade solutions. The best low-code platforms will have all the necessary security certifications in place with proven experience.
DronaHQ allows users to deploy new apps and augment existing apps rapidly according to customer demand and business needs. DronaHQ offers enterprise-grade security that is battle tested across large organizations to secure enterprise data. With SOC-II certification ( including GDPR compliance), it is a highly secure platform that protects the privacy of your organization and customers.
Data integration and design automation
Integrate and import data and logic from any source, system, or service, including your legacy systems. Low code platforms like DronaHQ offer easy integration with 50+ popular databases and APIs. Easily build apps with pre-configured APIs and connectors to communicate seamlessly within all platforms.
Create applications in minutes for simple to complex business processes on a visual builder. Automate all kinds of business processes from internal management, like approval tasks, and report generation, to customer-facing processes, such as lead qualification, raising tickets, etc.
Support for multiple development environments
DronaHQ supports multiple development environments, including on-premises, cloud-based, and hybrid environments, allowing developers to create applications that can be easily deployed in any environment.
DronaHQ is popular among enterprises for empowering enterprises to host their apps however and whenever they like. You can deploy to your own infrastructure using Kubernetes, Docker, and more. With DronaHQ’s cloud hosting options, users can also enjoy instant deployments with minimal fuss or configuration
User-based permissions & access controls
Enterprises can manage large, complex user bases seamlessly with customizable role-based access control. With RBAC, you can give each user the exact right permissions and exposure they need to carry out their responsibilities.
DronaHQ empowers enterprises to easily enforce RBAC at all levels of data sources, screens, or even individual components. Owners can set up permissions for end users based on their user credentials and roles. This can help your organization be safe from unnecessary security risks and protect data integrity.
Tasks like debugging, refactoring, scaling, maintaining libraries, and fixing bad code can create enormous IT backlogs, especially in a high-code environment. Pre-configured components minimize the risk of bugs or bad code. DronaHQ automatically scans code for risky design patterns and recommends alternatives to improve maintainability. Users can also monitor ongoing application health on a single centralized dashboard.
DronaHQ automatically stores information about all the run-level queries, API calls, etc for audit purposes. Admins can view this in a dashboard.
Create standalone versions of your apps for different systems including Android and iOS under your own brand.
Exclusive developer support to help co-build applications in addition to helpful tutorials and documentation.
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