Enterprise Software Development: Best Practices for Launching Enterprise Solution
Most business owners today know how difficult it is to race against the competition. You constantly fight with existing opposition and applicants, trying to focus on your business activities. This is a problem for many people and is one of the common causes of failure.
To become a business owner in this digital age, you need to use the most advanced tools that give you an edge over your competitors. One of these tools is special corporate software.
But how to effectively implement the development of such software? Let's look at the best practices.
Business Advantages of Using Enterprise Software Development Services
Enterprise software (EAS) is software used to meet the needs of an organization rather than individual users. These include e-commerce businesses, schools, interest groups, charities, and even governments. Corporate software is an integral part of the information system; a set of such programs is called a corporate system. These systems process a subset of an organization's operations to improve business and management reporting objectives. The systems must process information relatively quickly and be deployed in various networks.
According to Martin Fowler (international speaker and software engineer), enterprise applications are designed to display, process, and store large amounts of complex data and support or automate business processes.
Corporate Systems vs. Standard
How is enterprise software different from standard software development? Some of them we already explained in our article on enterprise data warehouse benefits.
- Other types of users. Enterprise software is used to meet the needs of an organization or business, not individual users. It is usually an interdisciplinary approach, meaning it must be designed for users across many of the organization's business functions.
- Creating custom software for a corporate organization allows you to customize it to meet the business's unique needs.
- Ownership. Unlike standard software, enterprise software is not available to third-party users and has an owner who is the sole owner of the software. Internal developers or external support can make any necessary changes to this system.
- Opportunities. Due to limited customization options, standard software may not offer all the features your organization is looking for or needs. However, enterprise software will meet all the functional requirements of the organization.
- Requirements. Enterprise software development is designed to meet the specific needs of an organization. Programmers must consider technical requirements, including localization, hardware, interoperability, scalability, security, etc., when developing this software solution early in the development cycle.
Types of Enterprise Software
Given the digital force of today’s markets, several types of enterprise systems are indispensable for corporations across the globe.
Management Software Applications
These are designed to streamline and automate management processes to lessen the complexity of large projects and tasks and encourage or facilitate team cooperation, collaboration, and proper project reporting.
Specific kinds of software that belong in this category include
- Financial management software;
- Project management software;
- People management software;
- Network management software.
Most management software solutions also handle employee and resource management, scheduling coordination and management, task assignment and timetables, risk analysis, and many more.
The features depend on the type of management that the software is targeting. For example, for project management, the software has features that help manage all of the resources needed in the project including financial and people power.
It allows for a clear view of tasks and their respective statuses and due dates, as well as the person assigned to each one. Financial management software will probably have totally different features compared to a project management one, but they both fall under the broader management software category.
Collaboration software has evolved over the last 30 years. Formerly known as “groupware” or “social software” in the 1990s, collaboration software was group communication with supporting software. Today, collaboration software allows a company or groups to collaborate, share, communicate, solve problems and work together on project tasks by sharing files, information, and documents in one streamlined location.
We have all been part of organizations that do not collaborate or communicate, and we all know how frustrating this can be. As we move into 2020 and beyond, collaboration within organizations will become more commonplace. Gartner estimates (paywall) collaboration markets will reach $4.9 billion by 2021, with 70% of employees relying on work collaboration tools to complete their work. Companies are finding ways to collaborate and communicate, and in return, they are seeing increased efficiency with employees working more intelligently on everyday tasks and processes.
An effective way for a company to streamline communications, open transparency and share information cross-departmentally is to incorporate a collaboration site. The site has the potential to be a one-stop-shop for employees looking for information regarding human resources, marketing collateral, upcoming events and up-to-date news from across the organization.
Automation Enterprise Applications
Enterprise automation can sound like a massive undertaking, and it certainly can be. However, many companies have taken the strategic approach of biting off smaller, departmental (and even sub-departmental) automation projects while focusing on the larger goal of a fully-automated enterprise. Many of these projects fall under the broader framework of "Digital Transformation."
By automating an organization's processes, especially those processes that have traditionally been handled manually, significant improvements can be made in
- Efficiency. Streamline and speed up internal processes by reducing manual entry and request handling.
- Productivity. Identify performance trends and bottlenecks and take action to improve output.
- Audibility and Accountability. Provide verifiable evidence that a sequence of tasks or activities have been performed as expected and address exceptions.
- Job Satisfaction. Eliminate boring, rote work so employees can focus on higher-value, more rewarding activity.
- Accuracy. Reduce errors by eliminating manual data entry, adding checkpoints, and running compliance audits.
Enterprise BI Solutions
An enterprise business intelligence solution consolidates multi-formatted data across a company’s departments, divisions, subsidiaries, etc., into a secure, centralized data storage and enables data analysis and role-based access to the analytics results by business users of all levels.
Challenges enterprise BI solutions address:
- Data of different types and structures across disparate systems with different data models.
- Data quality issues stemming from poor data management practices and manual data processing.
- Data inconsistency (inconsistent definitions across departments, spelling differences due to different locations, etc.).
- Inability to secure sensitive data.
- Varying data analytics and reporting needs.
- Data aggregation specificity for different countries and regions (e.g., different tax and accounting rules).
- Different levels of data maturity across the enterprise.
Enterprise Security Applications
Enterprise application security refers to the protection of enterprise applications from external attacks, privilege abuse, and data theft. By implementing security across all applications, enterprises can achieve greater data security and protect applications from vulnerabilities.
Enterprises face multiple issues regarding security as attackers evolve and become more versatile and sophisticated, thus increasing security compliance requirements. In order to address this issue, organizations must implement application security across any crucial enterprise applications that are susceptible to threats.
Application vulnerability assessments should be performed every quarter on all applications, along with a baseline assessment, which consists of a small number of vulnerability tests. This is required to ensure that all applications receive a minimal level of assessment.
Applications that are critical to a business's operations are always at higher risk and therefore require much more than a baseline assessment. Organizations should plan for deep assessments on an annual basis on such applications.
Stages of Enterprise Software Development
Now any enterprise, from small to large, is faced with the need to digitalize their workflow and use enterprise applications, CRM or ERP packages. With the introduction of digital technologies, workflows are becoming more streamlined, faster and more efficient, saving time and eliminating paperwork.
And although the market is now full of many ready-made solutions for corporations, unfortunately, they do not always meet the needs of the business. That is why there is a need to develop your own software. Each of these approaches has its pros and cons, so let's figure out which option is best for you.
The Software product discovery phase is one of the most crucial steps in enterprise software application development. Before you get started, devise a plan that includes project plans, schedules and timelines, cost estimation and budgeting, and procurement requirements.
Project Plan: Pen a detailed plan of the software application timeline on paper. The project plan will help identify the development tools, programming language, and platform to shape the software’s outlook.
Schedules and Timelines: Software development requires the time of experienced developers, designers, and creative artists. Make sure you set realistic deadlines and take the development team on-board. This will let stakeholders know when to expect the final product.
Cost Estimation and Budgeting: Before starting the project, it’s important to make sure the software is affordable and fits in your budget. Software development can cost a fortune, so it’s wise to have a budget ready.
Procurement Requirements: Draft a list of things you’ll need to start software development, including personnel, equipment, hardware, and other resources.
Assess Project Requirements
During this phase, you need to make sure all the software requirements are listed and understood by all stakeholders—schedule meetings with the team to understand the timeline, resources required, and other software elements. Gather as much information as possible, and create a formal document with the required details. Use these tricks to assess your project requirements holistically:
- Studying the existing software;
- Conducting sessions between users and developers;
- Collecting answers via questionnaires.
Now that you have the requirements figured designing the software will be a piece of cake. The input you’ve gathered will help you design the software just according to requirements. You can create prototypes and share them with all the stakeholders for approval. The architecture of the software should be intricate yet straightforward.
Once the tools and the software design are finalized, it’s time to start developing it! The developers can now begin to code according to the documented requirements of the project. The project management team monitors the programming phase. It is important not to push the development team to finish the development phase, leaving some barriers or loopholes. However, at the end of this stage, you’ll have enterprise application software.
Before you deliver the final software to stakeholders, make sure to test the software thoroughly. Run multiple tests on the software to eliminate errors and bugs. We recommend running tests when the software is in the development phase as well. There are various software tests to ensure the flawless functionality of the software.
Code Quality: Minimizes bugs and crashes. The result is a clean code that is easy to alter when needed.
Unit Testing: This test individually determines components to validate each software unit is functioning as expected.Integration Testing: The purpose of this testing is to reveal any faults in the interaction between integrated units. All the individual units are tested to ensure smooth performance.
Performance Testing: The purpose of this test is to eliminate the performance bottlenecks of the software. Developers check the speed, response time, reliability, resource usage, scalability under the expected workload. They ensure the software runs smoothly, even if several users are using the software at one time.
Security Testing: Developers run security testing to expose any threats, vulnerabilities, or risks that are dangerous. It detects security risks in the software that developers fix with coding.If the testing phase goes successfully, your software is ready for deployment.
Deployment of the Software
Your enterprise application software is finally ready for launch. The deployment phase involves obtaining manual approval to deploy the software. Some companies use automatic tools to deploy the software, such as Application Release Automation (ARA). Once available to employees, you must teach them how to use the software. The output of this stage is the smooth release of your enterprise software.
Maintenance and Upkeep
Your job doesn’t end here. After a successful launch, the software must be frequently monitored to ensure its flawless functionality. The software can be updated and altered as per user feedback because there is always room for improvement.
Regular checks will also expose any bugs and defects of the software that might be hindering its performance. In addition to identifying those bugs, removing them is important to prevent problems in the software.
Data Security in Enterprise Software Development
Enterprise data security primarily implements and manages data security standards and practices on an organization’s data. Depending on the criticality and utilization of data, enterprise data security standards and procedures can vary. For example, highly confidential data can be secured using multi-factor authentication, encryption, and limited access.
Enterprise data security generally works to protect an organization against data loss and ensure security on all devices that utilize data. It is delivered using information security technologies such as firewalls and antivirus, along with data security standards and policies for managing and governing the entire process.
Typical Roles in Our Enterprise Software Development Teams
This seems like a very simple and obvious step, but it is one of the most neglected strategies and has very unfortunate consequences. Once you decide to start an enterprise software development project, the best thing to do is contact a software company and get a web development team. Once you've done that, provide your team with detailed information about the project so they can get the hang of it and get to work as soon as possible.
It is also desirable to work with only one representative from a web and mobile development company. This person is assigned to help and train the team where needed. It's easier to get a professional from a web development company who knows the tools you'll need very well. This person must also be a good coach.
Product owner refers to an individual who has the knowledge of how a terminal product or the outcome should look like. They have an enormous idea about the project and its users. Moreover, they understand the client’s requirements, therefore they are in the predominant position to lead the development towards an adequate terminal product.
The project manager is accountable for knowing the “who, what, where, when, and why of the software plan. A Project Manager in a software development team often deals with various crucial roles and responsibilities including:
- Making a software plan.
- Developing a schedule.
- Planning a budget.
- Executing it in a proper manner.
- Lastly, Develop the project.
Some of the tools which are used by a project manager are Kissflow Project, Trello, Workzone, Zoho Projects, Wrike, Proofhub, and other ALM software as well.
The team lead takes measures as a mentor to help the whole team in keeping the task-focused, to deliver work on time, and meeting the project aim. Also, they have to conduct the team for a better outcome. The leader should have the leadership qualities to maintain good communication between the development team and clients. Also, they are liable for conflicts, prevention, and resolution. Team lead uses the same tool as a developer or designer use (If team lead is a designer or developer), with some extra required tools like Toggl Plan, Slack, MS Teams, Minute, etc.
They are responsible for utilizing the technical requirements from the technical leads to form cost and deadline estimates. They write code and evolve software products. Developers are the actual members who write code to make the software function.
The team members have to communicate the technical requirements to the developers to reduce project risk, give ideas, and achieve great success. Some of the tools which are used by software developers (backend) are Eclipse, VS Code, Postman, Jenkins, Github, Stack Overflow, Jira, Chrome DevTools, Docker, and other programming frameworks and tools as well.
These specialists ensure the software solution meets the demands and complies with the quality level. They need to understand feature requirements. Also, they form and execute test cases to detect bugs or deficiencies. Some software testers use tools are Selenium, TestingWhiz, TestComplete, Katalon Studio, Postman, Jira, Apache JMeter, etc.
The utmost duty of the UI designer is to prepare or design the user affiliate. They transfer content, graphics, style affix with a client. They prepare templates using prototyping tools. With a UX designer and front-end developers, they work on providing solutions to meet expectations and needs. Some tools which are used by UI Designer are Adobe XD, Axure, Figma, Sketch, Visual Studio Code, etc.
UX designer means user experience. A less ‘digital’ perspective characterizes it to a user affix. They have to assure that end-user has the best experience while working on the application. They have to be in contact with the continuous human-computer interaction method. Some tools which are used by UX Designer are Sketch, InVision Studio, Craft, Adobe XD, Axure, etc.
A business analyst is accountable for comprehending business needs into requirements and making sure they are documented perfectly before a compound is formed and implemented. They describe, analyze and control technology and business needs throughout the cycle. They accompany the consumer so that they don’t have any doubt about the project. They make decisions and carry out meetings of the project’s methodology. Some tools which are used by Business Analysts are Jira and Confluence, Pencil, Google Doc, Trello, Balsamiq, etc.
A software architect is a person liable for describing the complete architecture system of a project. They do high-level designing based on non-frictional needs and dictate coding standards with tools and platforms. They define the technical and functional architecture of the entire system. They guide developers to make critical components of the system. They give ideas about the best alternatives given the engineering and business aspect.
Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
A QA person is liable for making equipment that allows automating processes that identify and verify the software quality. They shorten stability verification time. They check if the work on new features didn’t cause errors in the already existing and functioning system. Some tools which are used by QA engineers are Jira, Jenkins, Selenium, Cucumber, Postman, LambdaTest, Test Flight, Confluence, and many others.
What is the Cost of Enterprise Software Development?
The average cost of custom enterprise software development might range from $20,000 to $3,50,000. In some cases, it may even cost more. However, this is a very rough estimate.
The factors mentioned above, such as implementation costs and the location of the software development company, can increase or lower the final price. Now that you have a fair idea of different pricing models and the average cost of custom enterprise software development let us come to one of the main parts of the enterprise software development and deployment process – custom enterprise software development. As the name suggests, the implementation process of custom enterprise software development is the process of adding the system to the everyday business process. This part is hands down a very crucial part of the whole process, especially when it comes to estimating the cost of custom enterprise software development.
Ardas Enterprise Software Development Services
The Ardas team knows more than anyone about the importance of optimizing your workflow. With many years of experience in software development and online stores and marketplaces, we know exactly what our customers need. We know that businesses need flexibility, performance, and ease of customization regarding custom software development services, and we're ready to offer it!
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