Development of enterprise software systems has a reputation for difficulty that is, in many ways, justified. Enterprises are complicated. The problems that software must help them address include volatile markets, constant pressure to innovate, and globally disruptive events like the COVID-19 pandemic.
So the stakes are high when hiring an enterprise software development company, but there's no reason the process itself has to be esoteric. In the article below, we'll take a look at important trends that may shape your decision and steps to serve as a guide to hire enterprise software developers who will be true, trusted partners.
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The current market for enterprise software development
Forecasters expect the market for enterprise software to top $230 billion this year in the United States alone, making this the largest segment in the global software market. That spending—and the fierce competition it represents—are driving innovation and reshaping our understanding of what enterprise systems even are.
Here are some key trends and issues to keep an eye on when considering how to find an enterprise software development company in today's market.
The rise of remote everything
The COVID-19 pandemic touched off an explosion in demand for remote technology: video conferencing, collaboration platforms, online shopping, telehealth tools. All of these things existed before 2019, but the pandemic accelerated their growth.
Many companies have opted to stay fully or partially remote even after lockdowns, and consumer demand for remote services has stayed high, too. In ever more dispersed workplaces, seamless, adaptable enterprise software is the tool facilitating unity and visibility throughout each organization.
Cloud infrastructure is one of the fastest-growing areas in today's tech market. One reason for this is the growing importance of remote collaboration: just imagine the impact on most companies if Google Docs Editors disappeared overnight.
But arguably the most disruptive concept to emerge from cloud computing has been data-as-a-service (DaaS). DaaS gives companies big data on tap, whether third-party analytics or proprietary data that's been languishing in silos.
As data services grow more powerful, so, too, do AI and machine learning. A 2017 study by Vanson Bourne found that companies expected to see a 287% ROI on AI/ML spending by 2027.
Artificial intelligence is used in robotics, analytics, recommendation engines, forecasting, and chatbots, and it increasingly plays a role in cybersecurity. Yet AI projects can be difficult to implement, and a divide is growing between the companies who have invested early and those still struggling to adopt this technology. Read more about enterprise-level AI/ML use cases here.
Modularity and integration
How many times during the workday do you use a service like Calendly, Google Docs, or Trello? What about engagement tools like Drip or Tribe? Maybe you're a retailer running a custom back-end for inventory with an online storefront on Shopify.
Enterprise software customers have always wanted to keep the familiar pieces that already work. Now, though, increasingly those pieces are third-party software like the examples above.
It's both a fundamental shift in our conception of what enterprise applications are and an opportunity. Integrations require investing in developing an API. But a modular build lends itself to incremental change, which can facilitate innovation and save time, money, and grief with regard to maintenance and upgrades over time.
Like enterprise software itself, businesses' understanding of development outsourcing has evolved. In the '80s and '90s, outsourcing conjured images of a team in a room somewhere mechanically writing code for purposes distant from their understanding or concerns. Those images were never entirely fair to begin with, and in today's hyperconnected world, have been justly left behind. Reputable outsourced teams today are trusted partners who collaborate with their clients as dynamically as in-house developers, with lower overhead and often vast portfolios. Simply put, outsourcing has become indispensable.
Where to find an enterprise software development team that's right for your company
What the best location to find outsourced enterprise software developers is really depends on your requirements and business values. Labor rates are a major factor in any project, of course, but ease of working will make a big difference to the cost and quality of the final product.
When searching for qualified developers in any region, make sure to consider:
Below are some standout destinations for development outsourcing in three key regions: Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia/Pacific.
Time zone: UTC+3
Odds are good that you've experienced the quality of Ukraine's engineering talent firsthand: Gitlab, Grammarly, Preply, and Ajax are all examples of Ukrainian tech startups.
These companies' success stem from Ukraine's top-notch IT and educational infrastructure. Thanks to strong investment in computer science education, Ukraine boasts a talent pool of more than 180,000 developers, many with advanced degrees and mathematical specializations. For projects that require advanced skills in machine learning or statistics, Ukraine is an ideal place to find enterprise software developers.
English proficiency is high in Ukraine, which is in the process of joining the EU. The capital Kyiv is 2 hours ahead of London, 7 hours head of New York, 10 hours ahead of San Francisco, and 7 hours behind Sydney.
Time zone: UTC-3
Argentina is also reaping the benefits of strong investment in both English and technology education. Coursera's Global Skills Report highlights Argentina as a regional leader in data science and analytical programming, and like most of Latin America, it's a force to be reckoned with in mobile development.
Compared to Brazil or Mexico, Argentina's overall software industry is modest in size. Unlike those countries, however, Argentina's tech sector is specifically focused on international partnership. A coordinated push at both local and national levels to make Buenos Aires a tech hub has contributed to strong IT infrastructure.
Tech startups out of Argentina include Globant, Despegar, and MercadoLibre. Buenos Aires is 4 hours behind London, 1 hour ahead of New York, 4 hours ahead of San Francisco, and 13 hours behind Sydney.
Time zone: UTC+7
Intel, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and Samsung are some of the names doing business with Vietnam's tech specialists. For decades, the Vietnamese government has invested strongly in STEM education, as well as establishing policies to facilitate international investment and partnership. The Human Capital Index ranks Vietnam #2 in ASEAN, behind only Singapore.
Developer rates in Vietnam generally run about 20-40% of what you might pay in the US. The average English level here is not as fluent as in Argentina or Ukraine, but it is still quite high, as English, along with French, is a required subject in most schools. The country is multicultural, and companies from all over the world generally find it easy to establish a rapport with Vietnamese developers.
The capital Hanoi is 6 hours ahead of London, 11 hours ahead of New York, 14 hours ahead of San Francisco, and 3 hours behind Sydney.
What to look for before you hire enterprise software developers
No matter where they are in the world physically, an outsourced team shouldn't feel remote. Even if you don't know what your app's tech stack will look like yet, consciousness of a few essential requirements can be a guide to find enterprise software developers who will truly collaborate with your in-house team.
This includes both the experience in your industry to understand how the software will be used and the technical proficiencies necessary for your project.
Compatible business hours
Basic, but too often overlooked. You'll probably want at least some overlap here.
You may not need or want constant updates, but any partner you trust should meet your expectations for timely and clear communication.
Beyond consultation and design, the team you hire should proactively seek and act on feedback.
Five steps to find and hire enterprise software developers
Custom enterprise software is a significant investment that will impact your customers' experiences and the daily functioning of your employees. Development itself typically lasts from 4 to 12 months, during which time the team you hire will—or should—collaborate closely with your own people.
All this being so, when you hire developers for enterprise software development, the process deserves the same care and consideration you give to hiring in-house personnel. The following steps can serve as a guide to find an enterprise software development team that will fit in at your company and deliver quality results.
Establish requirements, timeline, and budget
Define the problems your new software needs to solve, how quickly you need the solution, and how much you're prepared to spend.
Ask peers for recommendations and research development companies online. When using B2B service review platforms like Clutch or GoodFirms, important details to look for in client feedback include:
longevity of partnerships
quality of communication
location and time zone
Evaluate companies' portfolios
Once you have a pool of candidates, build a short list by comparing portfolios against your requirements. Ideal partners will have experience in your industry, show past collaborations with enterprises of a similar scale, and demonstrate achievement in any advanced technologies your project demands.
Ask concrete questions
Flesh out your picture of how each team approaches their work. Ask for their:
approach to documentation and maintenance.
Assess communicative and cultural fit
Just as with hiring an individual candidate, outsourced collaborations are most fruitful when everyone communicates smoothly and the incoming team shares your company's core values.
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Integrio has collaborated with enterprise clients in a variety of industries, with flexible models of cooperation to fit every budget.
What does it cost to hire an enterprise software development company?
How many labor hours are required to develop an enterprise application will depend on the application's size (often calculated by number of screens), complexity, and user base size.
For in-house development, the cost of each labor hour will include not only base salary, but taxes, benefits, HR, and overhead. If you have decided to find an outsourced enterprise software development team, on the other hand, salary, taxes, management, and other overhead will be much lower. Even after accounting for potentially higher communications costs, overall savings can cut the required budget in half.
Using Google to track a website's traffic, such as page views and number of visitors is an example of descriptive analytics. It's helpful information to know and this data can be used for pattern discovery methods like customer segmentation, i.e., culling through a customer database to understand a customer's preferred room type. Cluster segmentation models can split customers into their preferred choice of purchases.
Rates will depend on the developers' location, experience level, and area of specialty. Here is a cross-section of typical rates in the outsourcing destinations profiled above.
.NET - $30-$36
Java - $28-$40
PHP - $23-$30
.NET - $8–$12
PHP - $10–$20
DevOps - $15-$35
.NET - $10–$22
PHP - $17–$33
C# - $18-$40
Partner with Integrio to build custom software that keeps your enterprise evolving
Since our founding 22 years ago, Integrio Systems has collaborated with enterprises in every major industry to make business better. With a 95% client retention rate and an average partnership duration of close to a decade, we are proud to be trusted by rising stars and industry veterans.
From one of the world's earliest content management systems at the start of the millennium to North America's first commercial test of optical character recognition for mobile ticketing, we've brought our partners' visions to life in over 200+ successful projects. Enterprise is innovation, and innovation is what we do.
One of the foremost challenges for any enterprise is visibility. This was particularly true for Cam Tran, Canada's largest provider of oil-filled distribution transformers. The ERP system we created for them made critical data available in real time throughout the organization, allowing them to optimize their processes. Read the full case study.
Effective data leveraging is increasingly vital to survival in the marketplace. Our highly regarded data scientists created analytics for our partner 123SignUp that help them lead in the competitive field of event and member management. Our team also developed an API for third-party services integration that delivers a truly modern usbger experience. Read the full case study.
Choosing a software development team for an enterprise-level project is a high-pressure decision. We hope the above guide will help to navigate the process so that our company can find world-class collaborators who will deliver results you can trust.
Custom enterprise software is a significant investment, so treat the process of hiring a development team with the same care you would hiring in-house personnel. Ask questions about their practices. Check sites like Clutch.co for client reviews.
When considering how to find enterprise software developers who will be trusted partners, look at their: portfolio, business hours, language skills, responsiveness, and approach to feedback.
Costs vary significantly by region. In Eastern Europe, which has emerged as a global tech hub, hourly rates typically range from $25–$50 depending on experience level, or about half the rates common in the United States. In Asia and Latin America, typical rates range from $20–$50.