At the heart of any thriving business is an enterprise application. Enterprises use these applications to support their planning, administration, operations, and management. Clients and users expect their enterprise applications to tick all critical boxes — mostly to fulfil their organisational requirements, have a seamless user interface, ensure profit and ROI, be easy to integrate with other systems, and be secure.
But the development of enterprise applications is no cakewalk, as there are complex details required to provide users with top-notch solutions. This is not to say that it is impossible to create a seamless enterprise application with a secure yet flexible architecture, it just shows that the level of sophistication and precision required to create enterprise applications is what often makes them hard to develop.
Let’s delve into the top 8 challenges of enterprise application development:
- Constantly Evolving Business Requirements and Environment:
At the beginning of every enterprise application development project, it is the job of the developers to ensure that the scope of the project is properly understood and documented. This simply means knowing what problems the solution is expected to solve and what path to take to achieve this.
Due to the dynamic nature of the market, however, it’s quite common for clients to keep making requests on the go to support the quick changes in their business needs. Yesterday’s solution could easily become today’s problem so, adapting to the client’s changing needs and business ecosystem is very crucial for the successful development of a scalable enterprise application.
Adept developers understand that challenges such as this will arise. They know that they need to be on their toes to adapt to these evolving requirements, and as such, are equal to the task. It is on the enterprise to hire skilful developers, and always communicate the business needs to their developers, or risk losing time and money.
To minimise the risk that can be incurred by this challenge, we suggest developers take a modular approach to their application architecture. This method of using modules ensures that changes in the code in one module do not affect others.
- The Persisting Changes in Technology:
Technology is one aspect of human invention that changes faster than you can say ‘software development’. This is main reason updates are very common in this line of business. You could install your application and find that it requires several updates tomorrow. With the pace at which technology moves, it is up to your business and software development team to match up with this pace.
Regardless of the quick adaptation, remember the newer technologies you onboard must favour your business. They must be scalable, bring ROI, and increase profitability and efficiency.
- Meeting Security Requirements:
What are enterprise applications without impermeable security? Incompetent might be the word. Data is at the epicentre of all enterprise solutions, and so an important selling point for enterprise applications is that clients and users’ data are protected and can only be accessed by those with permission.
No company wants their sensitive business data to be compromised, so developers must carry out vulnerability/penetration tests to make sure their data and servers are safe. To ensure that your enterprise infrastructure is secure, security audits must be carried out pre-and post-deployment of the software, to ensure that the software complies with regulatory requirements, as well as meets the business’s confidentiality needs.
The task of competent enterprise application developers is to explore all preventive measures to accomplish this goal. Building firewalls, quality tests, data encryption, restricted access, network security protocols, data backups, anti-malware and hacker detection tools, and bug fixing, are tools developers can deploy to identify and mitigate potential threats in the future.
- Analysing and Storing Large Amounts of Data:
One thing large enterprises do is generate large amounts of data, and the more the business grows, the more data it is certain to produce. Some minimal concerns with this volume of data include the cost of storage and network and slower data processing speed.
But beyond these concerns, there are the main challenges of storing and analysing data. Large volumes of data are usually unstructured; a plethora of audios, photos, documents, and other file types can be cumbersome to interpret. But it is not impossible.
For storage, the onus falls on the developers and enterprise to choose the infrastructure type for storing the data; locally (on-premise) or on the cloud. The former might be the more expensive option, as it requires that companies purchase internal servers, but it gives the enterprise full autonomy over their data and independence from externally hosted servers. However, more companies opt for cloud services, as they only need to purchase a licence from the software manufacturers to get unfettered access to their systems online, from anywhere with internet access. Cloud storage also promises higher speed, scalability, and mobility, and might be a better option in the long run.
- Support and Maintenance:
Due to the changes in technology, you will also require post-development and deployment support for your enterprise application. You should hire a team that responds quickly and will not abscond immediately after Go-Live, or risk loss of profit or hiccups in business operations.
To make the maintainability process of your software easier, you should be careful at the development phase to create an application that is responsive, efficient, and open to new environments.
Having a standby team of developers attending to your servers the moment you start experiencing glitches should be a priority. Your best bet will be signing a warranty with your software development company that requires them to run maintenance on your systems as needed.
- Interoperability (Integrating with Other Third-Party Systems):
The seamlessness of a business application can be measured by its ability to interact with other platforms. Good enterprise software requires that all its systems are connected and can share data with each other.
For instance, the HR department should be able to access the payroll, appraisal, and leave management systems. In addition, real-time data should flow among teams, functions, departments, units, and even branches. When enterprise platforms are interwoven like this, you can expect your business to experience optimised productivity or performance. But when systems are working in an isolated fashion, many problems arise.
Integrating APIs and third-party integrations can often prove challenging. This is because many organisations use monolithic legacy systems, and this can bring about complexities in the process. However, for a large organisation with many needs and processes, system integration is a no-brainer.
There is also the problem of having different versions of your enterprise applications on different platforms. The ability for the web, desktop, or mobile versions of your enterprise software to cross-integrate requires special attention to detail.
It can be difficult to keep to interoperability standards. But one tip you can use is this: in the designing phase of your enterprise software, you must ensure that your developers create ERP applications that allow for modular expansion and scalability.
- Inexperienced Developers on Your Team:
The only thing worse than onboarding the wrong software for your company is hiring developers that lack the expertise to meet your needs. It doesn’t matter how much experience your team has in other sectors/industries if they have zero knowledge about your industry needs.
Every organisation’s needs are nuanced, and all solutions should be tailored to their operational requirements. Your developers should not just have expertise in building solutions for your industry needs, but also ‘custom’ solutions that cater to your specific needs.
Pro tip: Play it safe and work with a company that already has experience in your niche. If you want to learn more about choosing the right software company, you can check out the insights we have shared in the past.
- Duration and Cost:
The cycle of enterprise application development is time and money-consuming if you want to get disruptive technologies that give you a competitive edge. But it would be nice to keep these requirements to a minimum to manage these resources.
You can reduce the waste of time and money by planning properly. By properly documenting all your business requirements and the features you want to see, you can cover significant ground in record time. Exploring other cheaper technologies (DevOps, Cloud storage, etc.) and affordable yet equally skilled software development companies can help you cut costs.
With this article, you have learned the types of problems to expect when onboarding an enterprise software for your business. While the software space might be rife with many challenges, with the right software development team, you should have nothing to worry about. When you partner with Hidden Brains, you need not lose sleep over what could go wrong with your systems. We have spent over 18 years delivering world-class solutions to Fortune 500s. So, visit our website or contact us via email at [email protected]