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.

1 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.

  • Boost productivity

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.

2 Types of Enterprise Software Development

There are a wide variety of enterprise software implementations depending on business goals and limitations:

  • Off-the-shelf software

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.

  • On-premises solutions

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.

  • Cloud software

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.

  • Web systems

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.

  • Mobile apps

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:

custom enterprise software development

3 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 software development

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  • What it is

An ERP is a comprehensive system that can incorporate various business functions, such as commerce, finance, human resources, and supplier management.

  • Best for

Ideally, an ERP supports all processes across a midsized or large organization that wants to seamlessly unite its departments and suppliers.

  • Benefits

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

Common reasons to implement enterprise-level software include: 

enterprise software development Source: Implementation of ERP Systems in an Enterprise

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • What it is

A CRM is a key system for helping an organization improve the customer experience.

  • Best for

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.

  • Benefits

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

  • What it is

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. 

  • Best for

Organizations that face deteriorating partner and customer satisfaction due to unpredictable order execution times.

  • Benefits

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)

  • What it is

Business intelligence is the key to data-driven decisions. It combines tools and practices needed to retrieve, purify, analyze, and present meaningful data. 

  • Best for

Organizations whose data volumes are too large for manual processing.

  • Benefits

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

  • What it is

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. 

  • Best for

All businesses need it.

  • Benefits

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

  • What it is

An intranet or portal becomes a central hub for communication, knowledge sharing, and documentation management.

  • Best for

Businesses that want to securely handle sensitive operational information.

  • Benefits

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

  • What it is

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.

  • Best for

Teams of any size that are overwhelmed with spreadsheets.

  • Benefits

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

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4 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.

  • Stage 1: Discovery Phase

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.

  • Stage 5: Deployment

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.

  • Stage 6: Maintenance

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.

  • Icon
    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.

5 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.

Team

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

Technology

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:

Back End

.NET – an enterprise-level platform for organizations relying on Microsoft technologies

Node.js – a runtime environment serving as the basis for multiple back-end frameworks, including Express, Meteor, and Nest, that is best for teams specializing in JavaScript development

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

Front End

HTML, CSS, JavaScript – classic front-end development technologies 

React | Vue | Angular – front-end technologies for building robust, mobile-friendly single-page applications that work in browsers

Mobile

Kotlin | Swift – for native apps relying on mobile hardware 

Ionic | Flutter | React Native | .NET MAUI – for building cross-platform apps

Database

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

DevOps

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

6 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.

5 Our Expertise

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

Here’s how it works:

Adorama

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.

Adorama

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.

ERP

FieldOne

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. 

FieldOne

! Summary

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.

FAQs

What is enterprise development in software? 

Enterprise software development means designing software that serves the needs of a specific organization. Great enterprise software improves business performance while perfectly reflecting the implemented business processes.

With enterprise software, poor performance and downtime are unacceptable. Flexible change management is critical to enable an organization’s adaptability.

What is the difference between enterprise software development and regular software development? 

The key difference is that enterprise software development targets the needs of organizations rather than individual users.

Requirements for enterprise software are strict and complex. Enterprise solutions must be secure, fast, and customizable based on established rules while satisfying specific stakeholders’ needs.

What are the three enterprise systems?

The three most important types of enterprise software are: 

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
What is enterprise software development technology?

Development teams use technologies that best align with the existing tech stack. Core enterprise software development tools and technologies include: 

  • .NET 
  • Node.js 
  • Symfony | Laravel | Yii 
  • React | Vue | Angular 
  • Kotlin | Swift 
  • Ionic | Flutter | React Native | .NET MAUI 
  • MySQL | MS SQL | PostgreSQL 
  • AWS | MS Azure 
  • Jenkins 
  • Kubernetes 
  • Docker 
  • GitLab | GitHub

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