• article
20/06/2024

Enterprise Software Development: An Ultimate Guide

What is enterprise software development? Is it the righ software solution for your organization?

Dorota Jasińska

Content Specialist

Andrzej Puczyk

Head of Delivery

There are many programming solutions available for businesses, and it’s important to understand the company’s needs and goals to provide the proper one. If you consider enterprise-level software development, you should understand what enterprise software development is and how it is different from regular software development.

Let’s take a look at a typical software development team, the project budget, timeframe, and key phases in terms of enterprise software development.

What is the composition of an enterprise software development team? The team should include developers proficient in software development life cycle (SDLC), know architecture, understand how integration works, and are aware of continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) best practices. Moreover, the team also needs other specialists, such as business analysts, product owners, project managers, and QA testers. The composition of the team depends on the scope of the task.

What about the budget? The cost of enterprise software development depends on many factors, especially its size and complexity. The scope of the project, including the number of features and functionalities, will definitely influence the budget. Moreover, the team size and the requirements in terms of technology stack can also affect the development cost.

Similar considerations are valid for the timeframe. The project complexity takes more time to develop. The team’s experience and technology stack will also significantly affect completion time. Last but not least, the development methodology can influence the speed of iterations and delivery of some functionalities.

Each enterprise software development project has key project phases. The process should start with proper planning, including defining business needs, functionalities, and user stories. Then, it’s necessary to draw up the design of software architecture, UI, and data flow. Once the design and specifications are ready, the team starts the development. The developed project must be tested for performance, functionality, and security.

The next phase includes the actual rollout to production. Now, proper support and maintenance for the project must be provided. At Neontri, we offer custom enterprise software development with maintenance and support.

What is an enterprise software product?

Gartner defines enterprise software products (also called enterprise application software) as software that “includes content, communication, and collaboration software; CRM software; digital and content creation software, ERP software; office suites; project and portfolio management; and SCM software.”

The definition encompasses a lot of software types. However, we could make a general assumption that it’s a software application for large organizations. Such applications are usually complex, handle critical business operations and are designed to meet specific needs and requirements.

Regular software development vs. enterprise software development process

How is regular software development different from the enterprise software development process? Even though they both create functional software, their development processes differ, especially in architecture, security, performance, and cost.

Architecture

In the case of regular software development, the architecture used in development is simpler and focuses on efficiency. To make work easier and deliver software on time, it’s possible to use available frameworks and libraries. Moreover, the documentation doesn’t have to be very detailed and can focus on the most important functionalities.

Enterprise software requires complex, scalable architectures that can handle vast user volume and data loads. Such software often needs custom components or complex integrations with existing systems. The documentation must be thorough and detailed, which is necessary for long-term maintenance and future development.

Security

Security issues must be addressed in any software type. Regular software development with lower complexity can focus the security on the specific application needs. Usually, the basic authentication and authorization methods would suffice. Also, the security testing doesn’t need to be very intensive.

Enterprise software requires robust security measures. Such applications include sensitive business data that needs to be protected. That’s why advanced security is implemented, such as advanced encryption, access control, and also vulnerability management practices. Security testing needs to be thorough and carried out during the whole development lifecycle.

Performance

Another difference between the two types of development is that regular software can be optimized in terms of performance. It’s possible to adjust to specific device capabilities, or user needs by prioritizing user experience. In such cases, UI responsiveness or short loading time may be the key focus.

As enterprise software is designed for high performance and scalability, performance optimization techniques are implemented to ensure functionality with heavy load. Such apps must handle large data and user volumes. That’s why it’s necessary to test the performance to ensure it can handle vast loads.

Costs

Simpler architectures, smaller teams, and less intensive testing all make the cost of regular software development lower than that of enterprise software development. Moreover, due to the fact that regular software development can utilize open-source libraries or ready and available technologies, licensing fees are not added to the cost.

For enterprise software development, the costs are higher due to complex architectures and bigger teams, broader skillset requirements, and thorough testing. Moreover, the licensing fees for specific specialized tools and frameworks add another factor to the overall cost.

What are the phases of enterprise software development?

As we know the main differences between regular and enterprise software development, let’s look at the specific phases of the latter. Of course, every software project needs to be properly analyzed first. Then, the team can work on system design and user experience before they proceed to development and testing. They also have to take care of data migration and compliance. Finally, the software can be developed further and enhanced through an iterative process.

Phase 1. Comprehensive analysis

Business process analysis usually involves documenting the key business processes and existing software coverage. It’s significant to understand the IT environment, its capabilities, and limitations. This is the moment when a business analyst must take into consideration business needs and concerns and prepare a strategy. The strategy must be analyzed in terms of IT decisions and take into account long and short-term goals.

Another important factor to consider is the software requirements and risk assessment. It’s necessary to define technical requirements to address them properly. One must not forget about the risks of the strategy or the implementation of new technologies and systems. Identifying potential risks of the project, including technical challenges, budget, and security vulnerabilities, is the key to a successful analysis.

What should such an analysis report include? The report should discuss a detailed documentation of current processes, limitations, and technological capabilities relevant to software implementation. It should also include an analysis of stakeholders’ needs, goals, and business strategies, as well as potential risks and mitigation strategies.

Phase 2. System design and implementation

The next phase, after comprehensive analysis, involves system design and implementation. This is when business requirements and needs are translated into a technical blueprint. It’s necessary to define the technical requirements and choose the right architecture for the new software. The architecture must be scalable and secure. The team must also identify programming languages, frameworks, and databases for the software.

It’s also important to find the Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) to integrate business applications, services, databases, and workflows into one structure. Then, the flow of data through the system is mapped. Let’s not forget about choosing the communication protocols that will allow data exchange between different components and external systems.

This is the moment when security design is also addressed. The development process must be covered by proper security measures to ensure the protection of sensitive data. These measures include authentication and authorization methods, data encryption and vulnerability management.

Last but not least, a QA strategy must be implemented to make sure that the software meets the requirements. A combination of automated and manual testing would be in place to ensure all functionalities work as expected.

Phase 3. Development and testing


After completing the system design, it’s time to move on to the development and testing phase. The process involves back-end and front-end development, system testing, and review.

Back-end focuses on server-side logic and includes code development based on architectural design, data integration, and API development to enable communication with front-end components and other systems.

Front-end development involves creating user interfaces with user experience in mind. When the interface is designed, developers code it using different frameworks. Then, front-end components are integrated with back-end APIs to display the data.

System testing and review ensures the software functions as expected and according to specifications. Testers need to verify if all features work correctly as described in user stories. It’s also important to assess the software’s performance, security, and other significant aspects. After a proper review, any issues and bugs should be fixed.

Phase 4. Data migration

Data migration to enterprise software from legacy systems is a significant but also very complex process. First, it’s necessary to analyze and prepare the existing data for migration. If there are any inconsistencies or errors, they need to be addressed. Data mapping is also pivotal to ensure proper data will be placed in corresponding fields in the new system.

It’s also important to choose the data format during migration and convert it into one that is compatible with the new system. The data must be extracted, transformed according to mapping, and uploaded to the new system (ETL).

As the data migration process is complex, its functionality after the migration must be tested. It’s necessary to ensure that the process delivers accurate data to the system. The entire ETL must be tested to identify any errors. When there are none, it’s time to validate the data and check if it’s accurate, complete, and consistent with the new system. ETL process can be automated to streamline the migration.

Phase 5. Compliance assurance

Enterprise software also requires compliance assurance. Specific regulations must be introduced depending on the enterprise’s industry and region. The following are just a few examples.

HIPAA (healthcare)

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects privacy and security in the US healthcare industry, including identifiable health information (PHI). What’s required to assure compliance? First, a security risk assessment (SRA) is developed to find and mitigate security risks. Access controls also should be utilized to restrict access to health information.

GLBA (financial services)

The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act was created to protect the privacy of customer financial information in the US. It requires the enterprise to develop a privacy policy with information on how customer data is collected, used, and protected. It’s also necessary to implement robust security measures to protect financial information from unauthorized access, use, and other misuse. Also, customers should be able to access and control the use of their financial information.

PCI DSS (payment card security)

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard safeguards cardholder data used in credit and debit card transactions. It’s necessary for the enterprise to conduct vulnerability scans regularly and penetration testing to find and address any security weaknesses. Strong access controls and encryption must be implemented as well. Any security incidents should also be monitored and reviewed to ensure data protection.

GDPR (data privacy)

General Data Protection Regulation addresses the processing of personal data within the European Union and the European Economic Area (EEA). To ensure compliance with GDPR, the enterprise must conduct a Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) to find and mitigate personal data processing risks. Moreover, it’s necessary to implement data minimization practices of collecting and storing only the minimum of personal data. Then, consent from individuals to process their data is required. All individuals must have rights to access, erase, and restrict the processing of their data.

It’s recommended to implement compliance measures into the software development lifecycle instead of addressing them at the end of the development to speed up the process.

Phase 6. Evolve and enhance the EAS through iterative cycles

Software development strongly relies on agile methodologies, which enable continuous improvement in iterations. This approach greatly helps evolve and enhance Enterprise Application Software (EAS).

The iterative approach enables incorporating feedback from multiple channels. These include user acceptance testing (UAT), which engages end-users in testing the software. Then, feedback on usability, functioning, and general experience can be gathered. It’s also helpful to provide users with bug-reporting tools that can also be used to make suggestions on the development of functionalities. Moreover, surveys are also a great source of feedback and satisfaction that may help find some pain points.

Iterative development also allows the team to address emerging needs. Thanks to continuous monitoring and analytics, it’s possible to track user behavior, system performance, and potential areas that need improvement. Also, market research would help to stay on top of industry trends, newest technologies, and the competition. It makes it possible to identify emerging needs to implement proper solutions in future iterations.

Iteration planning and backlog management also make it easier to take advantage of feedback concerning the product. Most important improvements can be scheduled accordingly. This also means that the prioritization of features and fixes is addressed. Overall, iterative development helps improve software quality and user experience.

Types of enterprise software development

Enterprises use many applications to support different purposes and processes. The two major categories include Mobile Enterprise Applications and Web-based Enterprise applications. What are their functions?

Mobile enterprise applications

As the name suggests, these applications are designed for mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. They have many benefits, such as enabling access to functionalities on the go or streamlining data collection through mobile data capture. There are a number of types of such applications, including:

What’s worth mentioning is that mobile apps need to be developed with different operation systems and screen sizes in mind. Moreover, it’s crucial to ensure strong security measures in order to protect sensitive data on mobile devices.

Web-based enterprise applications

These applications are delivered through web browsers and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. They are cheaper and simpler compared to traditional client-server applications. Also, the development, updating, and maintenance are easier because the software is on a central server. This means that data storage and management are centralized. There are a few types of such applications:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) apps that facilitate core business processes, such as human resources, accounting, and finance.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Web apps that help manage customer interactions, sales pipelines, or marketing campaigns.
  • Project Management Software that provides tools for project planning, task management, and communication across teams.
  • Enterprise Content Management (ECM) Web apps that offer a centralized repository for storing, managing, and sharing content, such as documents and other assets.

When designing such an application, it’s important to create an intuitive and user-friendly user interface. As in the case of other apps, web-based software must employ robust security measures and high-performance servers to handle large volumes of users and data.

The choice between the two types depends on the specific needs of the enterprise software. It’s important to identify target users, functionalities, processes, scalability, security along with development and maintenance costs.

Enterprise software development challenges

The development and maintenance of enterprise software is complex compared to regular software development. This translates into a few challenges that have to be addressed in the process. Let’s look at some of them.

Legacy complexity

A vast amount of enterprise software relies on legacy systems that were built with outdated technologies. Such systems are difficult to integrate with modern systems because of compatibility issues with data formats and communication protocols. An aging code base may also generate high maintenance costs, as it’s harder to find developers with expertise in outdated technologies.

To address this challenge, a modernization plan must be developed. A good strategy should help migrate functionalities and data from legacy systems to new technologies. There’s also an option to train developers to maintain and integrate legacy systems.

Modernization gap

As technology rapidly evolves, keeping up with the newest solutions and functionalities is hard. Legacy systems may lack significant options for users and features offered by modern technology. That’s why it’s so important to embrace agile methodologies in development to gradually improve the codebase and add new features.

Another useful strategy is regular technology assessments to see how new solutions can be implemented for the benefit of the users and company. What’s more, migrating to cloud-based solutions can help leverage scalability and access to the latest technologies.

Creating seamless integrations

The process of connecting different enterprise applications and data sources can also be challenging. Such integration should improve data flow and process automation. Inconsistent data sources can impact efficiency and reporting. To avoid problems with data, a few strategies can be implemented.

One of them is using APIs that facilitate and standardize communication channels between applications. Another strategy involves breaking down the software into independent microservices that can be easily integrated.

Keeping pace with the innovation curve

There’s no doubt that it’s necessary to stay ahead of the competition by adopting new technologies. If the enterprise software gets outdated, it may lose its competitive edge. That’s why incorporating new technologies, conducting research, and exploring the potential of emerging solutions such as AI is so important.

To speed up the process, there’s a possibility of partnering up with technology leaders to collaborate on new technology and access their expertise. This strategy will help stay updated on the latest advancements.

Balancing cost and complexity

Enterprise projects involve huge spending, and it’s necessary to manage the budget properly. Budget constraints may impact the process of software development as they may limit implementation of some functionalities or solutions.

To address this challenge, a thorough evaluation of the cost of new features and modernization solutions is required to see if such investments would pay off. Also, it’s possible to reduce the cost of development by outsourcing some development tasks.

Conclusion

These are only some of the challenges of enterprise software development. It may happen that more challenges arise in the process. That’s why it’s helpful to have possible risks and challenges analyzed from the start. This will help find solutions to any problems that may impact the development.

Riding the innovation wave: enterprise software development trends

The technological landscape is changing and evolving and some advancements in technology are beneficial to adapt. Nowadays, there are a few key trends that shape the software industry. What are they?

The low-code ascendancy

One of the trends is Low-Code Application Platforms (LCAPs) and Low-Code Development Platforms (LCDPs), which enable the development and running of applications by minimizing the use of programming languages. LCAPs and LDCPs provide tools and ready-to-use components to minimize coding. Such platforms reduce development time and costs compared to traditional software development.

Such platforms may not be the best option for custom software solutions because they have limitations. It’s also necessary to make sure the platform can integrate with existing systems.

Cloud-centric approach

More and more companies are shifting towards cloud-based solutions hosted by providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Cloud-based solutions offer scalability and flexibility, helping organizations accommodate changing business needs. Moreover, the software and security patches are updated automatically by the provider.

Still, there are some considerations regarding data security and compliance. Proper regulations need to be addressed in the case of cloud deployment. Cloud-based applications also need network latency and bandwidth usage management.

AI and machine learning integration

AI and ML are powerful tools that can be utilized in many ways. They are great options for task automation, data analysis, and more. AI and ML can help automate repetitive tasks and shift employees’ focus to strategic work. AI’s quick data analysis with data-driven insights can influence the decision-making and risk management process. Overall, it can greatly improve efficiency and productivity.

However, AI algorithms should be used responsibly as they may generate biased responses. Moreover, ML applications need robust data infrastructure, and proper expertise is required to implement such functionalities.

Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of devices and appliances that are embedded with sensors, software, and network connectivity to collect and share data. IoT can be integrated with enterprise software to collect real-time data and automate processes. It enables monitoring of assets and operational processes. The data from IoT can help predict failures and carry out preventive actions.

However, IoT can pose some risks due to security vulnerabilities. Also, analysis of data from IoT devices requires robust infrastructure.

Conclusion

Embracing these trends will help unlock new possibilities for innovation, giving enterprises a competitive advantage over the competition. Enterprise development teams should implement them to keep up with the evolving technological landscape.

Benefits of enterprise software development with Neontri

With over 10 years of experience in the market, we’ve gained invaluable insight and expertise in enterprise software development. Our team is ready to address your specific needs thanks to our custom software solutions experience in banking, mobile app development, data management, third-party integrations, cloud development, and audit and maintenance of legacy systems.

Our teams are also available through outsourcing. We develop mission-critical systems for industry leaders. We’ll find the right solution for your business, as we have a wide offer of outsourcing services, including body leasing, permanent placement, employer of record, and more.

We’ve worked with banking and IT industry leaders and delivered software enterprise solutions for major banks and financial institutions in Poland. Our skills have been used to boost the efficiency and innovation of banking applications, data management systems, and more. Our team’s audit and insights can help your business gain a competitive edge in the industry. We can enable features that aren’t available in generic software solutions.

Our main focus is using technology to solve business problems. We do more than just software development; we give your business the tools it needs to grow and succeed. We take end-to-end responsibility for the final result of our cooperation. We have delivered hundreds of projects and worked with proven enterprise-grade technologies.

We know the best software development practices, as it’s our core. We have all you may need:

Understanding business needs

Our experience allows us to learn and understand your business needs and provide you with the best possible long-term solution instead of offering quick fixes. We’ll help you reach your goals by providing tools to grow your business.

Proven experience

With over 10 years of experience in enterprise-grade solutions for industry leaders, we make it possible for you to include our skills in your technology. Depending on your needs, we can make an audit of your software, offer maintenance, or provide you with custom software solutions using cutting edge technologies.
Implementation and support

Our experience in developing many different software solutions, including enterprise-grade solutions, allows us to provide you with the right implementation process. We’ll fit in your specific needs with a combination of waterfall and agile project management solutions. Our services also include 24/7 support with an instant response time.

Cost and scalability

We can adjust to your budget constraints, offering a fixed price or settlement based on man-hours. We provide end-to-end services, including development, implementation, and maintenance. Our solutions are scalable to accommodate the growth of your business.

Conclusion

Enterprise software development faces more challenges than regular software development. That’s why finding the right provider to fit your business needs is so important. The key is to identify the business goals and address them accordingly through proper software solutions. Understanding the possible risks and challenges of enterprise software development and having a contingency plan is also significant.

Enterprise software development is also costly so you must keep in mind budget limitations and potential bottlenecks in the development process. A proper analysis of risks, goals, and requirements is necessary. Another factor to consider is the team composition to make sure they have the required skills.

Many factors need to be considered when evaluating the complexity of enterprise software development.

Share:
copy link
Agata Tomasik
Board Member
Head of Outsourcing
agata.tomasik@neontri.com

Contact me

    Type of inquiry: