The concept of enterprise-grade software is simple to grasp, yet not so easy to describe in detail. Basically speaking, it is software aimed at satisfying the needs of organizations as a whole, rather than serving the needs of a particular single user. As such, it is a broad category that includes such versatile facets as project management, business intelligence, CRM systems, enterprise resource management, and content management solutions, etc. The tasks this software helps resolve include centralized data storage and usage, cost optimization, workflow improvement, and so on. Consequently, this segment is enormous. In 2021, this sector generated $224.22 billion in revenue. In 2027, it is projected to reach $347.27 billion. In this piece, Andersen's team will attempt to assess both the qualitative and quantitative dimensions of the custom enterprise software development issues, as well as applicable guidelines for your initiative.
What is enterprise software?
Techopedia defines enterprise-grade software as an umbrella term describing solutions used by organizations as ‘business-oriented tools.’ There can be different approaches to classifications. Along with their respective revenues in 2021, Statista identified the following major types of enterprise software solutions:
- Customer relationship management software (CRM) with $63.53 billion in revenue. This is responsible for managing your interactions with clients and aggregating, visualizing, and storing all applicable information.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software with $42.52 billion. This is used to deal with accounting, asset allocation, and day-to-day operation management.
- Business Intelligence (BI) software with $22.44 billion. These solutions translate your data into actionable insights, measurable goal setting, and smart decision-making.
- Content management software with $18.08 billion. Its mission is to enable you to effectively create, plan, manage, and distribute content.
- Supply chain management software with $16.94 billion. This deals with cost-effective flows of items, goods, and people.
- Other software classes with $60.71 billion.
All these solutions are high-profile and rather complex. Therefore, a custom enterprise software solution must possess the following characteristics:
- Robustness, i.e. capability to function in a stable and productive fashion in critical situations and under stressful conditions;
- Scalability, i.e. ability to evolve with your organization and match its growing user demands, in terms of data load, functionalities, features, and capacities;
- Maintainability, i.e. cost-effective usability, understability, and testability;
- Security, i.e. the safeguards your custom enterprise software uses to protect sensitive data, both personal and business-related;
- Multifunctionality, i.e. ability to perform several types of activities at once.
When to choose custom enterprise software
As with many other classes of software, there are two main options when it comes to enterprise-grade solutions. You can either select any available off-the-shelf product, or opt for ordering a custom-made suite. What is preferable?
When it comes to the off-the-shelf solutions, their advantages are obvious:
- Several pricing plans are instantly available, with clear and well-explained options;
- Such enterprise solutions can be quickly implemented and deployed;
- One can explore customer reviews and publicly available feedback;
- Normally, free trials are available (sometimes, with limited functionalities);
- Support and regular upgrades are normally offered.
Nevertheless, the advantages offered by ‘one-size-fits-all’ tools look bleak in comparison with custom enterprise software.
- Undoubtedly, custom enterprise software will more accurately match your unique corporate needs;
- While cooperating with an enterprise software development company, you are in the right position to obtain any reasonable security measures;
- Extended maintenance programs you can negotiate in advance;
- Exclusive ownership and full control over your solution, with no licensing issues, or other ifs and buts;
- Greater integration potential with an opportunity to seamlessly link your custom enterprise software with any third-party solution;
- Dedicated teams for QA, onboarding, and training needs.
In light of all this, one can conclude that if your enterprise deals with complex operations, custom software is preferable. All the additional costs you may incur in this case will definitely result in greater business efficiency. As an outcome, your enterprise will be more competitive, dynamic, and resilient.
Custom enterprise software development process
At Andersen, we normally follow these four stages, even though your exact procedure may differ, depending on your particular circumstances.
Phase 1. Project discovery
Proper business analysis is a crucial precondition for success. At this stage, we examine your niche, competitors, business goals, technological constraints, workflows, objectives, and preferences. Andersen’s key priority in this respect is to collect the relevant information in its entirety and envision a solution that perfectly matches your expectations and demands.
Among other things, we generate requirements specifications, functionality guidelines, project scopes, roadmaps and project estimates. We also assemble teams with the needed skills and technology stacks.
Phase 2. UI/UX design and testing
Customer experiences are what makes custom enterprise software worth its money. Both your target audiences, typical employees, and contracting agents are to be taken into consideration. On the one hand, your controls and panels need to be extensive; on the other hand they also need to be intuitive, logical, easily navigable, and understandable.
Andersen will assume full responsibility for user journeys, actionable prototypes, and all elements, including every single button and window. Once your designs are ready, we will test them with relevant user groups, to identify all bottlenecks and possible mistakes.
Phase 3. Сustom enterprise software development
Now it is time to proceed with the development process. On the basis of the technological specifications and architecture vision generated during phase one, we launch the Agile development process. As Andersen works as a lean development company, you can be sure that the process will be divided in brief yet effective iterations:
- Next iteration.
Phase 4. QA, deployment, handover, and maintenance
Finally, the resulting solution delivered by Andersen is subject to thorough testing procedures, deployed, and handed over to the customer. Whenever needed, Andersen’s team is ready to assume responsibility for ongoing support and maintenance. If any issues arise and have to be addressed, all needed improvements can be made.
Enterprise software trends
Andersen’s team is fully prepared to make use of the latest and most promising custom enterprise software development trends. These include an entire range of groundbreaking and game changing technologies.
To name a few, we can apply AI and ML potential to your systems. As a result, you will benefit from Big Data-based insights and more productive business patterns. AI can also help you with error testing and solving security issues, e.g. data breaches and hacking attempts, etc.
Second, when it comes to manufacturing enterprises and logistics companies, Andersen regularly provides them with advanced IoT solutions. These tools are technologies capable of collecting all the necessary information from every piece of equipment, device, or gadget. Consequently, you will be in the right position to keep track of all events and developments to make data-driven decisions in real time.
To support these AI and IoT functionalities, Andersen can build complex and yet stable microservice-based architectures. With them, you can easily scale up your solutions. Finally, Andersen enables our customers to link those solutions to blockchain-based data storage, to ensure universal accessibility, transparency, and clarity of your business data.
Whatever your actual challenge in the domain of custom enterprise software development may be, Andersen’s expert-level team will serve as your reliable and trusted vendor. Our BAs, PMs, software engineers, and QA managers are in the right position to assist you. Whether it is about project planning, implementation, or testing, Andersen’s team will exceed your expectations. What we offer — and deliver — are transparent workflows, rational goal setting, effective development, end-to-end QA, and joint efforts. Get in touch with Andersen to implement your custom enterprise software project on time and within budget. We will guide you through every stage successfully, as we have already carried out numerous challenging initiatives across a variety of industries.
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