What does it take to manage Enterprise Software?
Enterprise software is complex software used on mobile, web, or server-side platforms to perform certain business processes in a way that is very custom to the specific needs of a given department or organization as a whole. We can say that a small business would not require this solution and that would be satisfied with the cloud-based SaaS tools widely available to the public.
The main users of such software are companies that use them for internal processes. Nevertheless, some apps are open to the public or external clients of those companies. We encourage you to delve into this topic further through DevsData’s case study about enterprise software development.
CRM is a modern approach or management model, whose main purpose is to meet the needs of the client in the best possible way. The goal of the CRM strategy is to develop, categorize, plan, and prioritize external relations with the consumer that directly affect the increase of profit (sales) and productivity of the enterprise. Below are some examples of CRM applications:
Salesforce – Salesforce Cloud solution is one of the most popular enterprise customer relationship management systems that allows you to manage contacts and track opportunities from any desktop or device.
Pipedrive – Pipedrive is a web-based sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action involved in converting a potential deal into a successful sale.
ERP refers to a type of system that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management, marketing, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management (using business intelligence tools) – custom enterprise software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results. Here you can find out more about DevsData ERP Software for a financial institution. Examples of commercial ERP software include:
NetSuite by Oracle – It offers a unified dashboard for all the company-related processes and activities including time management, planning of resources, sales, invoicing, and more.
SAP ERP – It incorporates the key business functions of an organization, such as Operations, Financials, Human Capital Management, and Corporate Services.
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Although enterprise software development sounds promising, not every business has sufficient resources to afford it. A study from Formotus shows that the cost of enterprise mobile app development services ranges from $100,000 to $500,000, which is quite a sizable cost.
In reality, the cost can be lower – it depends on the complexity of integrations, number of modules, expected number of users, etc. Do not forget that a company does not only pay for enterprise software development – the deployment, as well as support and maintenance, are also costly and time-consuming processes. However, well-designed enterprise software boosts business processes and definitely pays off in the long term.
Your strategy will be based on the initial considerations that you have made during the planning stage. Another thing that needs to be jotted down in this step is the platform you will use for your enterprise software. You should consider whether the enterprise application should be available on mobile or desktop devices. Or perhaps that’s intended to be a server-side product.
Usually, we are considering platforms such as iOS, Android, and a Progressive Web App, i.e. mobile apps. Keep in mind to choose the one that is most widely used by your target users. Also, regarding the mobile platform, you’ll need to choose between developing a native code for just iOS or Android or perhaps pursuing a cross-platform solution.
If your enterprise software aims to leverage digital transformation, Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Big Data/Data Analytics tools, Machine Learning, or Blockchain, get qualified employees with many years of experience to provide high-quality custom enterprise software development services. Look for experts – you might be interested in reading about the traits of effective engineers and how to find the best ones.
Design starts with information architecture and workflows. This step deals with the way you organize your app’s functionality, usability, and accessibility logically. Subsequently, the next stage is creating the wireframes, which is the basic framework that dictates how the enterprise software will look and run as a whole. Once that is approved, move on to a more aesthetic aspect of the enterprise software, which is its appearance. The last step in design is prototyping or creating the working models.
When it comes to UI/UX design, you need to determine in advance how important it is for your enterprise software. More often than not for a corporate client, if the system is internal, the design is secondary, as the enterprise may already have its own ready style guides and might wish to utilize the budget more on the areas related to system security, integrability with other internal modules, and on developing more features rather than making the designs Apple-like.
Should I use popular old frameworks, or cutting edge tools? We advise a strong degree of moderation between the very recent tools (could be that they are not stable enough) and old frameworks (stable and established, but might entail security risks, or be not as effective for your needs resulting in the necessity of a greater development budget) and always discussing the detailed trade-offs with both your internal IT department as well as external technology experts and companies, ideally with a series of back-and-forth sessions.
Back-end development is the heart of the enterprise software, as without it, simply it would not operate. Thus, it is important to choose the right tools that will allow you to achieve your goals.
Let’s not forget about the front-end! You need to choose the right technology for front-end, to offer your users a great design and interface. A successful business requires a functional, clean, and attractive website to appeal to clients and maintain their interest.
System documentation is a vital and important part of successful enterprise software development and software engineering. Generally speaking, it consists of detailed language, illustrations, and photos that help different people understand the software, and it is an essential reference material.
The documentation should be prepared from the first day of enterprise application development and regularly updated. The documentation process should be considered as a parallel process throughout the entire development process. What is more, it is also a way to keep the enterprise software more maintainable.
Prior to deploying your software, you need to make sure everything operates in a correct manner. Testing can provide an independent view of enterprise software development to allow businesses to understand the risk of software implementation. Therefore you need to include several steps for testing applications.
If you are designing an app or a website you need to make sure your users have a great experience and understand what you are offering. That is why UX tests are so crucial and should not be neglected.
However, this is not the only important thing. You also need to provide functional testing. The purpose of such tests is to examine each function of the enterprise software application, by providing appropriate input, and verifying the output against the functional requirements.
Finally, you also need to remember about performance testing which is a non-functional testing technique performed to determine the system parameters in terms of responsiveness and stability under various workloads. Performance testing measures the quality attributes of the system, such as scalability, reliability, and resource usage.
When it comes to system security there is no other way than trying to break into your own enterprise software. You can achieve this with penetration testing. It is a type of security testing that uncovers vulnerabilities, threats, risks in a software application, network, or web application that a hacker could exploit. The purpose of the penetration test is to find all the security weak points and fix them.
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Your enterprise application is now live on your chosen platforms and is ready for your users. However, even during this stage, do not forget to collect data for marketing information and feedback that could be leveraged later on for improvements and have defined maintenance procedures for the app.
Before setting your changes live it is good that a software development team leader or any other higher qualified person can review changes and approve them. In this way, you can avoid irrelevant mistakes, which could only take your valuable time later.
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Web and mobile application security are crucial because attacks against internet-exposed apps are the top cause of data breaches. Therefore, you cannot underestimate it. But also view security as a whole and a group of interconnected elements.
Beyond the obvious benefit of protecting private information from being stolen or compromised, encryption also provides a means of proving that the information is authentic and comes from the point of origin it claims to come from. It can be used to verify the validity of the message and confirm that it has not been altered during transmission.
We always encourage companies to use VPN in the entire organization. That is an extra, very important, protection layer, especially important if the team is distributed. If someone works from the public places (even from time to time), the information exchanged between his machine and the corporate system is at risk of being eavesdropped, or even modified, by a malicious attacker or software – if the usage of a VPN is not enforced.
Hashing algorithms can be used for digital signatures, message authentication codes (MACs), and other forms of authentication. You can also use them for indexing data in hash tables, fingerprinting, identifying files, detecting duplicates, or as checksums (you can detect if a sent file did not suffer accidental or intentional data corruption).
There are many things to keep in mind when increasing the security level. First of all, the system should automatically block the access after, say, 3 wrong attempts in a row. As annoying as it could be for the user that just forgot a password, that is an absolute necessity to prevent a brute force attack.
It is a way of authentication that apart from a password from the user requires also a confirmation in terms of either a text message/SMS or a special token (using a mobile app such as Google Authenticator, Authy, Microsoft Authenticator and alike).
For logged-in users, the session should be automatically invalidated after a short period of inactivity – we usually advise no longer than 10 minutes, but it also depends on the significance of the particular system.
Lastly, even the best technological security system is still at risk if the users don’t treat security seriously. Or, if there are no clearly defined human procedures in place. Security is oftentimes compared to the analogy of breaking a chain. It doesn’t matter how strong the chain is. All it takes to break it is to break the weakest element of the structure. And sometimes, it happens that the weakest point in the structure is actually a human element – easy to manipulate using simple social engineering techniques.
Retail / E-commerce
Enterprise software is a complex application used on mobile, web, or server-side platforms to perform certain business processes. The most common enterprise applications are CRM and ERP systems.
The cost of enterprise software development depends on various factors, mainly on the complexity of the software.
Enterprise software development is a time-consuming process and consists of four many stages: specifications, development, deployment and delivering the product to the client. During the development process, you should consider the UI/UX design and tech stack as well as remember about the importance of system documentation and testing.
The issue of data security is often related to developing new technologies. Your enterprise’s data is a gold mine and it is your obligation to protect it by all means. It is imperative to choose a reliable solution that is serious about security.
Finally, you can have a look at an exemplary enterprise system that we developed at DevsData for a client in the financial services sector – ERP Software or reach out to us directly to upgrade your business strategy by means of custom software solutions.
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