Enterprise software is the biggest money-maker in the industry, accounting for 41% of the global software market. Modern businesses increasingly seek data insights, customer analysis, and other ways to streamline operations.
Enterprise software development addresses businesses’ unique technological needs. Consider it a solution if you want to improve operational efficiency, enhance data management, or foster innovation.
Integrio has delivered efficient software development services for more than 20 years. They include custom enterprise solutions tailored to your requirements, market trends, and audience expectations. This article will share our experience, discussing the core enterprise software development process stages and the approximate costs of building such solutions.
What Is Enterprise Software Development?
Enterprise software development focuses on creating tailored software solutions to meet a company's unique requirements. This customization is crucial as it streamlines businesses’ operations to achieve their strategic goals more effectively.
If you can’t find suitable off-the-shelf software, consider developing a custom enterprise solution or customizing an existing one.
Businesses should carefully weigh the costs and benefits before embarking on a custom software development project and choose an IT partner wisely.
Enterprise Software Development Process: Main Steps
The process of enterprise software development follows well-defined steps to ensure the solution aligns with the specific company requirements, objectives, and challenges.
First, identify a business need or opportunity that requires a software solution. It could be process automation, better data management, improved customer service, etc.
Pay attention to the following requirements:
Functional requirements. These are the specific features and functionalities of your software. For example, for CRM software, functional requirements often include customer contact management, sales tracking, and reporting.
Non-functional requirements. These include the software's performance, security, scalability, and usability aspects.
Communicating across different departments or teams is beneficial to see if similar requirements exist elsewhere. It prevents the duplication of efforts and allows for reusing software solutions in other areas.
Business requirements document (BRD) provides a comprehensive list of all required functionalities. Prioritize them using a technique like MoSCoW (Must have/Should have/Could have/Won't have now).
Planning and Alignment
The primary output of this stage is a software development plan. It outlines the entire project lifecycle, from conceptualization to deployment and maintenance. You include details on transforming the requirements documented in the BRD into a functioning solution.
Align with the dedicated developers to create a realistic plan and address any technical challenges or opportunities.
Pay attention to the following aspects:
Specify the technologies, programming languages, databases, frameworks, and tools for the development.
Identify who will manage the project, including project managers, scrum masters, etc.
Determine which teams and resources to involve in the project and define their responsibilities.
Decide on the internal and external stakeholders and establish communication channels and roles.
Identify any external dependencies, like third-party APIs, data sources, or hardware, that you want to integrate into the project.
Define the criteria that will determine the project’s success. Make sure they align with your business objectives.
Establish a project timeline, including milestones and deadlines for various phases. Ensure it’s realistic and includes assumption-based estimations.
Determine the estimated project costs, including development, hardware, software licenses, and other expenses.
Additionally, a software development plan is essential to identify potential risks, outline mitigation plans, and address them proactively.
The UI/UX design is vital for creating user-friendly, visually appealing, and functional applications. It should meet critical user needs and business objectives.
The UI/UX design stage involves the following steps:
Clearly state the design goals, the target audience, the scope of work, success criteria, and deadlines.
Use surveys, interviews, and data analysis to gather insights into user behavior, preferences, and challenges.
Create empathy maps, personas, or user storyboards.
Choose a design concept defining the layouts, information architecture, visual elements (icons, typography, color scheme, etc.), and UI guidelines.
Prototype the design using sketches, wireframes, and mockups.
Conduct usability testing to evaluate the prototype's user-friendliness and effectiveness.
Gather feedback to iterate on the design, making improvements and refinements.
For efficient UI/UX design, stick to its core principles:
The design should prioritize end users’ needs and preferences to deliver a user-friendly experience.
A consistent design language enhances usability and establishes a cohesive brand identity.
The interface should be simple and intuitive. Avoid unnecessary complexity or clutter.
The design’s adaptability to different screen sizes and resolutions is critical.
The design must accommodate users with different abilities and devices.
Visually appealing design improves the user experience and makes a positive impression.
Testing the design with real users helps identify pain points and areas for improvement.
The software development stage transforms the plans and designs into a working solution. The team builds software according to the Software Requirements Specification (SRS) or related document, fulfilling the defined functional and non-functional requirements.
Regularly involve end-users and stakeholders. This way, the software aligns with the requirements specified initially. You can also identify any changes or additional features that may be necessary.
This phase is typically the longest in the entire development lifecycle. Its duration varies depending on the app's complexity. For example, advanced systems may take 6 to 12 months or longer.
The most critical challenge in software development is balancing platform excellence and delivering business value. It should meet technical standards while aligning with the organization's strategic goals and user needs.
The process of enterprise software development typically follows the Agile or Waterfall methodology:
Agile is a flexible, iterative approach emphasizing collaboration, customer feedback, and adaptability. With this methodology, you divide the project into smaller sprints. It encourages a cross-functional team to collaborate closely with stakeholders and prioritize features based on their value. Agile methods include Scrum, Kanban, and Extreme Programming (XP).
The Waterfall methodology is a linear approach that follows a structured, phased process. A team should complete each stage before moving to the next one. Waterfall values comprehensive documentation and planning. Each development stage has its specific activities. The room for changes is minimal once it finishes.
Testing & Deployment
The testing stage ensures the software meets the specified requirements, functions as intended, and is ready for real-world use. In turn, the deployment phase means transitioning the software from the development environment to a production environment, making it available for end users.
Here’s what this process consists of:
Go through the final software adjustments and refinements. These changes focus on enhancing the design and user experience. Minor modifications often significantly impact how users interact with the software.
Conduct user testing to assess the user experience and usability. Use UX audits and usability interviews to collect feedback from the actual audience. Also, employ tools like Google Analytics or Hotjar to analyze user behavior.
Evaluate how efficiently the software operates with performance testing. It includes assessing its speed, response time, reliability, resource usage, and scalability under different workloads. Implement it to ensure the app handles the expected load and performs well, even when multiple users access it simultaneously.
Safeguard data and system integrity with comprehensive backup procedures and disaster recovery plans. It’s vital if unforeseen issues or data loss occur during or after deployment.
Provide proper training to team members and end-users on effectively using and administering the software. Ensure all stakeholders can utilize it to its full potential and manage it correctly.
Prepare comprehensive documentation with the software's architecture, configuration, and maintenance. It’s a reference guide for future use, troubleshooting, and system administration.
The deployment method varies depending on many factors. Some organizations follow manual deployment processes, while others employ automated tools like Application Release Automation (ARA). Automated deployment helps streamline the process and reduces the human error risk.
Once deployment and user training is over, the software is ready for market launch. It becomes accessible to employees or external users, depending on your target audience.
Maintenance & Support
During maintenance, continuously monitor the software to ensure its flawless functionality. It includes regular checkups, performance tracking, user feedback, and bug reports.
Also, verify the software environment, including infrastructure and configurations. Preventing security breaches and maintaining overall system security is essential. Security monitoring should cover the entire system, not just the application layer. Thus, you will identify and mitigate potential vulnerabilities and threats.
Spotting and addressing bugs and defects is an ongoing process. As you discover issues, prioritize and fix them. Then, conduct regular tests to prevent problems. Frequent software updates, including security patches and feature enhancements, keep the platform up-to-date and competitive.
Having an incident response plan in place is also critical. This plan outlines the procedures and actions if a security breach or any other critical incident occurs. Quick and adequate responses will minimize damage, protect data, and ensure the system's integrity.
Finally, employ a well-defined user support system to assist users when they encounter issues or have questions about the software. Provide it via an internal IT team, an outsourced provider, or their combination.
What Is the Cost of Enterprise Systems Development?
Determining the final app or web development cost is a complex task, influenced by numerous factors. They include project scope, architectural complexity, advanced features, technology stack, team size, and collaboration terms.
Additionally, the development process often evolves post-project kick-off, making budgeting even more challenging.
A broad estimate varies from $75,000 to $750,000. However, we suggest contacting a professional agency for a consultation and a more precise estimation tailored to your unique requirements.
Enterprise software development offers customized solutions to address internal business requirements, particularly suitable when off-the-shelf solutions fall short. Follow the industry-standard six-step process to create a platform that aligns with users’ needs and expectations despite its complexity and potential costs.
Integrio is a leading provider of custom software solutions designed to enhance efficiency and empower businesses across various industries. We have rich expertise in aviation, manufacturing, real estate, telecommunications, transportation, digital marketing, health and fitness, and many other industries.
Our team helps enterprises with business process automation, customizable workflow management, employee performance tracking, business intelligence, and customer data analysis. Want to improve your enterprise processes? Contact us for advanced software solutions.
Enterprise software is vital to businesses as it streamlines operations, boosts efficiency, and enables cost savings. It empowers organizations to collect and analyze data. This way, companies get valuable insights for informed decision-making and improved customer experiences. Additionally, this software ensures scalability and data security, helping enterprises remain competitive and compliant with regulations.
The enterprise software development process consists of several core stages:
planning and alignment
testing and deployment
ongoing maintenance and support.
ERP software integrates and manages core business processes, including finance, HR, supply chain, and manufacturing. CRM applications help companies manage customer interactions and data, enhancing sales and marketing. HRM solutions automate HR processes, including recruitment, payroll, and employee management. SCM apps optimize the supply chain's goods, services, and information flow.