Is long-term sustainability your organization’s goal?
If it is, hiring enterprise software development experts must be your priority. This move is key to efficient change management and successful digital transformation.
Why? Any business transformation is extremely complex. According to a McKinsey survey, only 12% of organizations sustain their transformation goals for at least three years. But those who do can attain 200% revenue growth.
For successful digital transformation, your organization needs guidance on identifying required software types and features, activities, and resources, as well as on maintaining implementation rigor.
What Is an Enterprise Software Product?
Enterprise software development focuses on building solutions that satisfy the needs of organizations rather than individual users.
By implementing enterprise software, organizations can:
- Manage resources effectively
The organization can add resources and operations flexibly when demand increases and scale them down as soon as demand decreases.
Software automates operations and data exchange, eliminating inefficient manual processes where possible.
- Increase organizational efficiency
AI-based analytics and forecasting solutions deliver insights into an organization’s performance, estimate demand, and help the organization prepare for it.
- Meet high customer expectations
Enterprise software facilitates predictable and transparent order execution, which has a direct impact on customer decisions.
Types of Enterprise Software Development
There are a wide variety of enterprise software implementations depending on business goals and limitations:
This is a popular choice among businesses looking for a standardized system. Still, off-the-shelf modules need to be adjusted and tuned to meet business requirements.
- Custom enterprise software systems
This software is built from scratch and is tailored to meet specific needs from day one. An organization itself or a hired contractor is responsible for enterprise software development and maintenance.
This is the main type of implementation. On-premises software runs on local servers, ensuring the company keeps information internally. Yet, it often lacks scalability. Expansion, updates, and data exchange can be cumbersome.
According to an Accenture report, leading organizations prioritize cloud as one of the top technologies for future growth. A cloud-first, everything-as-a-service (XaaS) approach increases capabilities and efficiency and simplifies changes. Private clouds can be used to enhance security.
Provide the best access to functionality via a browser. Software developers can create fast and responsive enterprise software applications that work great on different types of devices with the help of modern front-end frameworks.
Can integrate with larger software systems and simplify employees’ workflows. For instance, smartphone apps can provide detailed routes to drivers, while warehouse apps for tablets can assist with item searches and records.
Benefits of Using a Custom XaaS-Based Approach to Enterprise Software Development
New technologies transform the enterprise IT landscape. Organizations use them to align their capabilities with emerging business challenges, such as supply chain disruptions, surging operating costs, and a shrinking workforce.
According to a Deloitte study on enterprise software, the highest-rated benefits of cloud-based solutions include:
Examples of Enterprise Software
To achieve efficiency, organizations must implement business processes of increasing complexity. Doing so requires frequent use of different types of enterprise software.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
An ERP is a comprehensive system that can incorporate various business functions, such as commerce, finance, human resources, and supplier management.
Ideally, an ERP supports all processes across a midsized or large organization that wants to seamlessly unite its departments and suppliers.
The top two reasons for implementing an ERP system are efficiency and cost optimization according to statistics collected by the G2 portal. ERP functionality developed as loosely coupled modules can ensure efficient and flexible change management.
- Your software suites have reached their limits
- Employees are dealing with disparate systems
- Your customer experience is not perfect
Source: Implementation of ERP Systems in an Enterprise
Common reasons to implement enterprise-level software include:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
A CRM is a key system for helping an organization improve the customer experience.
CRM system development is best for small and midsize businesses that have not considered an ERP in the first place due to insufficient funding or because an ERP is not needed to meet current business needs.
With a CRM, an organization can consolidate and structure customer data. Sales, marketing, and support departments can harmonize their efforts to identify and eliminate gaps in the customer experience, improving customer acquisition and retention.
- Inability to keep up with the lead flow
- Slow retrieval of customer data
- Need to manage valuable, long-term accounts
- Reports take too long to prepare
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management software is crucial for efficient order execution. 72% of companies have only limited supply chain visibility, making them unable to respond to breakdowns and disruptions across the supply chain.
Organizations that face deteriorating partner and customer satisfaction due to unpredictable order execution times.
A supply chain management system lets you improve revenue margins and address many challenges, such as cost surges, labor shortages, lack of transparency for customers and partners, and insufficient business sustainability in a disruptively changing environment.
- Here are signs that your supply chain management could use digital improvement:
- Items regularly go missing, and it’s hard to identify shortages
- You can’t keep up with growing demand while competitors can
- Delivery accuracy drops when order details change
Business Intelligence (BI)
Business intelligence is the key to data-driven decisions. It combines tools and practices needed to retrieve, purify, analyze, and present meaningful data.
Organizations whose data volumes are too large for manual processing.
BI solutions help measure efficiency, identify improvement areas, and plan activities that let the organization keep up with steep competition.
- The company generates much raw data that you want to turn into meaningful insights
- Data spreadsheets have outgrown your capacities
- There’s an increasing discrepancy between strategic goals and operational performance
Payroll and Accounting
Efficient cash flow management software lets organizations keep track of income and expenses, calculate taxes, and determine benefits while building the bigger picture of financial performance.
Software automation plays a central role in business operations. It enables managers to immediately generate invoices, track payments in real time, and efficiently solve emerging issues. Integrations with time tracking software simplify management of remote and distributed teams.
- Signs that an accounting and payroll system is needed:
- Too many manual processes and related errors
- Tax calculations take more resources than anticipated
- Time tracking and visibility of expenditures need improvement
Enterprise Portals and Intranets
An intranet or portal becomes a central hub for communication, knowledge sharing, and documentation management.
Businesses that want to securely handle sensitive operational information.
Portals and intranets are important productivity tools. They boost collaboration and connect employees. At the same time, they ensure confidential information stays inside the organization.
- Signs that an intranet or enterprise portal is required:
- Project pace slows because employees cannot access task-related information on time
- Switching to a remote or hybrid mode deteriorates team collaboration
- Security is your priority
Project Management Software
Project management software increases productivity and can save an employee up to 498 working hours yearly on routine tasks, such as automating status updates and reports.
Teams of any size that are overwhelmed with spreadsheets.
Everyone wins from using project management software. The team streamlines operations. Project managers can focus on strategic decisions. Stakeholders enjoy a comprehensive overview of project progress.
Integration with other apps, such as for accounting, decreases the workload of related departments.
- Signs that you need project management software:
- There are overlaps in roles and responsibilities
- Task status updates take too long
- Planning is difficult, as is keeping up with estimates
Bring your enterprise productivity to the next level
Our dedicated experts assist you with meaningful and sustainable digital transformation.
Seven Stages of the Enterprise Software Development Lifecycle
Enterprise software development holds unique challenges for inexperienced and unprepared teams due to several factors:
- Special and complex requirements
- Need to balance stakeholders’ interests
- System size
- Costs of errors and downtime
- Security concerns
- Possible issues with user adoption
The team must carefully assess risks and failure points, keeping them in constant focus throughout the entire enterprise software development lifecycle.
Project discovery is a crucial step. The team must determine real needs (new features, UX improvements, scaling), challenges, and limitations.
Also, enterprises already use certain software. The development team must decide whether they can reuse any existing code and how they will replace legacy systems. Outcomes of the discovery phase include:
- Feature list
- Team composition
- Architectural blueprint
- Technology stack
- Budget estimate and timeline (see below)
- Requirements identification
Do: Ensure constant communication between the team and all stakeholders.
Don’t: Skip the discovery phase.
- Stage 2: Estimation and Planning
This can be seen both as part of project discovery and as a separate stage. During the estimation and planning stage, the development team defines project priorities and estimates the scope of work needed to reach goals: launch, improve, migrate, add features, etc.
The team also coordinates steps with the client and agrees on terms of cooperation. Design and software development start only after the client approves all project details.
Do: Think of the budget range, as estimates can vary from actual expenditures.
Don’t: Leave any questions unclarified.
- Stage 3: Enterprise Software Design
Enterprise systems often have a simple interface design, ensuring nothing distracts from tasks. Still, the UX must be straightforward and familiar to boost productivity and avoid creating barriers to learning.
The software development team must remember users’ habits and preferences: hotkeys, specific arrangements of visual elements, data entry sequences, etc. Users should not get lost trying to figure out how new functionality works.
At the same time, developers must add long-awaited features and make UX improvements, removing steps and activities that end users no longer need.
Do: Focus on simplicity and consistency.
Don’t: Put too much functionality onto a single screen or create overly lengthy steps.
- Stage 4: Enterprise Software Development Process
In order to ensure the pace of development, the team divides the entire project into functional units and prioritizes those units based on their value for end users. Units providing the most value have the highest priority.
During the development stage, the team works in two-week sprints and presents deliverables at the end of each sprint. These deliverables then go through acceptance testing by stakeholders.
Short, fast-paced sprints and frequent releases enable companies to maximize the effectiveness of their investments.
Do: Schedule daily and weekly meetings with the development team.
Don’t: Use long milestones.
The team deploys new functionality to the production server after extensive testing and approval by stakeholders.
Deployment occurs when the workload is minimal to evade possible losses due to idle time. The team monitors new functionality to eliminate performance drops or failures.
When issues emerge, the team rolls back to the previous version with minimum impact on user activities.
Do: Introduce test automation where possible to increase source code consistency.
Don’t: Switch off legacy functionality immediately before ensuring that everything runs as planned.
When and where possible, the team adopts DevOps best practices. Still, the chosen workflow or specific project limitations can reduce the extent of DevOps activities.
The maintenance team focuses on removing bottlenecks in software infrastructure to support rapid scalability. The zero-trust approach applies to the secure infrastructure perimeter.
It also ensures legacy and new functionality work in parallel for a time before legacy software is replaced.
Do: Conduct regular system audits (once every 3–6 months) and plan for growth and disaster recovery.
Don’t: Keep the maintenance team as a separate unit.
IT Craft’s DevOps services ensure 99.8% or higher service uptime, 24/7/365. No exceptions.
- Stage 7: Change Management
Flexible change management is one of the biggest benefits of the Agile approach. Enterprises can adapt to unique market conditions and opportunities faster with a shorter development cycle.
Still, to best meet business challenges, technical improvements must be part of the initial change management plan.
The team needs time to regularly review technical debt, project technologies, and the project architecture to prolong the new system’s lifecycle.
Enterprise Software Development Team and Technologies
A successful launch and successful enterprise software management require the hard work of well-coordinated teams and several proven technologies.
As a rule, enterprise software development involves large teams that can support growing needs quickly and efficiently. The teams can be distributed across distant locations, such as the US and Eastern Europe, to balance the workload and expenses.
An enterprise-level development team includes the following roles:
Project manager – responsible for communication and process alignment
Business analyst – turns stakeholders’ ideas and expectations into a list of requirements
Software architect – adapts the system to specific requirements while keeping resilience and simplified change management in mind
Designer – optimizes user experiences and software interfaces
Front-end developer – works on the user side of the software
Back-end developer – implements necessary algorithms; integrates third-party resources and databases
Mobile app developer – develops mobile apps
Quality assurance specialist – conducts regression, performance, security, and other types of testing
DevOps engineer – maintains and optimizes software infrastructure, harmonizes software environments, and more
There is a wide choice of technologies when it comes to enterprise software development. Considerations for adding a new technology to a project include:
- Compatibility with the existing technology stack.
- Popularity (an apt example is the debate on choosing React or Angular). Popular technologies:
- do not become deprecated overnight
- receive updates, closing vulnerabilities quickly
- have a wide pool of available talents for hire, decreasing the risks of slipping into vendor dependence
- A team’s experience in handling the technology in question is important. A technical prototype helps determine risks and implementation barriers when the team plans to implement a newly emerging technology.
Here are key popular technologies for enterprise software development:
.NET – an enterprise-level platform for organizations relying on Microsoft technologies
Spring – enterprise software development with Java is still a thing
Symfony | Laravel – flexible and scalable back-end frameworks that work best for developers specializing in PHP development
React | Vue | Angular – front-end technologies for building robust, mobile-friendly single-page applications that work in browsers
Kotlin | Swift – for native apps relying on mobile hardware
Ionic | Flutter | React Native | .NET MAUI – for building cross-platform apps
MySQL | MS SQL | PostgreSQL | MongoDB | Redis | Elasticsearch – allow developers to use several types of databases in one software solution to ensure the best performance and data storage
AWS | MS Azure | Google Cloud | Digital Ocean – for cloud hosting and operations
Terraform – for an infrastructure as code approach
Jenkins – for creating a CI/CD pipeline and deployment automation
Kubernetes – a comprehensive container orchestration platform
Docker – a platform for building and running app containers at scale
GitLab | GitHub – source code repositories that improve collaboration and code management
How Much Does Enterprise Systems Development Cost?
The short answer is between $50,000 and $700,000.
A more detailed and exact answer is only possible after a discovery phase. Many variables affect the estimate.
Developing enterprise software is, in general, more expensive than developing an app for a startup or small business.
The difference in pricing emerges from the complexity of initial requirements, the size of the user base, the costs of infrastructure deployment, and other related factors.
Organizations must also add implementation and maintenance costs. Cloud solutions provide substantial benefits, but only if the maintenance team knows how to handle them carefully and switches off unused resources on time.
IT Craft’s engineers specialize in enterprise software design and development.
Our company has 20+ years of experience building, extending, and re-engineering enterprise software to take it to the next level.
IT Craft’s leading experts are here to help you:
- Support your business transformation
- Translate your needs and ideas into software requirements
- Assess your system through code audits and consult on possible implementations
- Prepare a future-proof software architecture
- Provide unique tech services needed to design, develop, launch, modernize, and improve your software system
- Enhance your infrastructure and optimize maintenance costs
- Prepare for possible negative scenarios
Adorama, a major photography and film equipment retailer, relied on a custom-built ecommerce platform to run its online store.
IT Craft engineers focused on enterprise web software development, increasing the capabilities of the client’s team by taking over back-end development, quality assurance, and maintenance. The IT Craft team assisted Adorama during holiday seasons to help them provide end users with an exceptional shopping experience.
Enterprise Resource Planning System
A major food manufacturer used a legacy ERP system that could not support changing needs and new features due to its technological obsolescence.
After discussion, the client and the IT Craft team decided on gradual modernization, transitioning the system to a modern technology stack and adding planned functionality. The team retained the flexibility needed to fulfill custom orders.
This once-successful system for streamlining field communication was initially launched as desktop software. However, it started losing its value with the wide use of mobile devices.
After several months of support and maintenance, the IT Craft team focused on system redevelopment. The team launched a cloud solution with cross-platform mobile apps to optimize the project timeline.
Enterprise software solutions require expertise, careful planning, and tight coordination for successful launch and maintenance.
The key to custom enterprise software development is adjusting the company’s processes, for which flexibility plays a crucial role. Aligned and flexible software enables companies to achieve sustainable, long-term improvements.