The growth of technology has directly and indirectly influenced changes in many existing technologies and software development processes. Businesses have been at the forefront of incorporating technology to improve their existing business processes. One of which is by using some sort of enterprise software, to make their business run more smoothly and ensure transparency and accuracy in the process.
Software development can be an intimidating pursuit, for both experienced in-house teams and the novice developers starting out. There are a number of things that can potentially go wrong when creating a software product. Especially when it involves enterprise software development, the stakes are even higher.
In order to create a successful enterprise software, out of the box ideas are not always the most suitable. A more pragmatic approach may be employed in order to achieve a more desirable outcome. This article will focus on what enterprise software development is, its features and how it can be created?
What is Enterprise Software Development?
Enterprise software is regarded by many as any computer software that is designed to meet the needs of an organization, rather than individual stakeholders or users. As a result, enterprise software development is defined as a development practice concerned with the creation, design, and development of software intended for use by organisations for their own specific business needs.
Characteristics of Enterprise Software
An enterprise can be a business, network of schools, clubs, charities and trusts, governments, and basically any other organization using specialised software to fulfil its needs. The primary purpose of enterprise software is to handle core operations of an organization, which are not limited to::
- Enterprise Resource Planning – ERPs
- Customer Relationship Management – CRMs
- Business Intelligence – BI
- Supply Chain Management
- Human Resource Management
- Marketing Automation
An organization may use a single enterprise application or a collection of them for different areas of business operations. The collection of multiple such enterprise applications is also known as an ‘Enterprise System’. Enterprise Systems in general are responsible for handling and transferring information in large quantities at a relatively high speed with great accuracy. These systems allow organizations to optimise and enhance their management and reporting obligations over networked operations.
Key Steps Involved in The Development of Enterprise Software
1. Requirement Gathering and Analysis
Businesses need to assess the current state of thier business processes and identify all the choke points. A business needs to identify its users and their hurdles, by having them questioned and observed in day-to-day operations.
After assessing the requirements, these can be conceptualized in a more definite form via a prototype. Identifying and visually displaying all interactions and possible screens, scenarios and layouts of the new enterprise software.
3. Implementation and Coding
Once the design is ready, it can be sent to a team of expert developers to be coded. This is where all the design components are converted into actual logic and source code.
Once the application is coded, it’s vital to have it tested for minor, major bugs and improvements. Testing also allows a business to evaluate whether the new application is meeting the initial objectives as defined in the original SRS from the first stage.
After testing, the company may then deploy the application in the area of the businesses that required it. It may use different implementation strategies that match the business needs and convenience.
After deployment, a system would need to be periodically updated/maintained/tweaked to maintain a minimal operation level. This would include major bug fixes and security updates/patch work that will likely appear after a system has been deployed for some time.
Checklist For Creating a Successful Enterprise Software
- Have a clear idea of the purpose of the enterprise application and the problem it intends to solve. Making sure, the app envisioned is functional and purposeful in society.
- Become aware of your competition and their strengths and weaknesses. Learn all possible available information about them and their experiences, particularly the do’s and don’ts. Don’t follow exactly what they did, but carve your own business path.
- Plan the development appropriately, give each segment of the enterprise SDLC its due resources, for it to be carried out optimally. Work towards small, medium and long-term milestones.
- Onboard the best available skilled resources within organizational capacity and project budget. Maintain balance of experience and domain expertise. Don’t shy away from integrating vital tools to gain a competitive edge.
- There is always a grey area to enterprise SDLC that cannot be planned. Hence improvements and situations that warrant change will arise. Organizations need to be acceptive of this and show adaptability.
Software development is no easy feat, and requires dedicated commitment by the management and to resources. Especially when enterprise application development is concerned. Multiple aspects need to be considered when pursuing such development in house or even when third-party enterprise software development services. As long as businesses adopt innovation, the trend to pursue bespoke enterprise software will continue to exist.