How to Address the Biggest Challenges of Enterprise Software Development
When starting a software or application development expedition, the team you choose to carry your vision from concept to completion must be expertly acquainted with a broad range of software development challenges and solutions in order to address them. There will always be problems that pop up (that’s just the nature of software development!), but being prepared for any and all challenges is the most important factor in mitigating their effects.
As an enterprise software and application development company, we've collected some of the most common challenges you might face during your enterprise software development journey and some solutions for overcoming them.
But before we get into enterprise application challenges, let's start by understanding the distinctions between standard and enterprise software development. The most significant differences include cost, scalability, risk levels, and required resources.
Standard vs. Enterprise Software Development
Software and application development can be divided into two general categories, standard and enterprise software development.
Standard software and application development focuses on creating easy-to-use applications, tools, and products for individual users or small businesses. This could be the app for your local restaurant, a program built to streamline repetitive business functions, an invoicing software to track services rendered, or even someone’s startup app idea.
Enterprise software and application development creates sophisticated programs and applications to solve complex operational and growth challenges for large organizations, such as mission-critical applications for integrating legacy systems. Custom enterprise software may be relatively simple or incredibly intricate, depending on a business’s needs.
While both entail the creation of apps and programs, there are several key differences between the two types of software development.
In terms of the sheer project scope, enterprise application development is typically much larger and more time-consuming than standard application and software development projects. Enterprise software and app development projects also generally involve more stakeholders and require significantly more resources than standard projects.
With enterprise software development, the stakes are higher and the risks are more significant than standard development projects. Enterprise software is often mission-critical, which means that any downtime or glitches can result in costly disruptions. If an enterprise application fails, this could have a major impact on the client’s business, costing time and money and potentially grinding operations to a halt.
The risks are lower for standard software or application development. The projects are less complex, have fewer features and integrations, and may not be mission-critical. The impact of failure events or disruptions to development may still be significant. However, due to their lower level of complexity, problems are often quickly fixed without resulting in too much damage.
To put the risks in perspective, a big ship can hold more people and carry more cargo than a smaller boat. If you were to run into a storm in a larger ship, however, the cost of sinking or running aground would be substantially higher and would require more time, effort, and personnel than simply patching up the smaller boat. The bigger the ship, the bigger the potential problems.
Enterprise software development services are usually more expensive than standard development projects because they require more time and resources compared to standard software development projects. Enterprise application development is often quite intricate and requires extensive software iterations and testing, which takes longer to complete than a standard development project.
11 Challenges in Enterprise Software and Application Development
Now that we know the distinctions between standard and enterprise software development, let’s look at eleven primary challenges faced by an enterprise software development company and the client when setting sail on a custom enterprise software project.
This list will help familiarize you with some common software development challenges and solutions to mitigate their impact or prevent them from happening entirely.
1. Enterprise Software Development Budgeting
When you’ve reached the stage of seriously considering enterprise software or application development, every dollar counts, and a well-planned budget is a necessity. You’ll need to carefully consider your expectations for the finished product and clearly define the features and functionalities you require.
Providing your enterprise software developer with specific, detailed information helps ensure your cost estimation for development is accurate. Thoroughly considering project expectations will help your company set up a budget for an iterative enterprise software development project and prevent the cost from increasing unexpectedly down the line when you realize a vital functionality is missing and must be added.
To help you prepare a software development budget, ask your chosen developer crew to start the enterprise application development journey by breaking down your project’s known goals and the required tasks to reach those goals. You can also ask for the estimated work hours that each task requires for successful navigation and completion.
It’s important to remember that if your software or application expectations have many unknowns, the low- and high-end range of the cost estimate may expand significantly. Unknowns are hard to budget for; therefore, having a thorough picture of project expectations is crucial before embarking on a development expedition.
When you work with High Seas, we’ll map out your project goals into a list of pages, screens, and requirements and leverage our experience on similar projects, tasks, and features to guide our software development cost estimates.
2. Frequent Changes in Business Requirements and Environments
The business market is dynamic, and companies must adapt to the market's ever-changing demands, which can evolve drastically over time. An essential business requirement yesterday may not be relevant today. The constant change in business requirements and environments in the pursuit of company growth can present major scalability issues.
Having an enterprise application development company or in-house team that is skilled, flexible, and capable of handling and accommodating each change of course is essential for any large company to stay agile.
When planning to develop enterprise software and applications, choose a company that divides projects into weekly sprints. This enterprise software development model will allow you to implement adjustments as needed.
When developing your enterprise software with High Seas, our crew utilizes a flexible, hybrid approach of Agile and iterative development processes that make redefining sprints a breeze. Our method is designed to embrace changes and evolve with business requirements.
3. Integration with Legacy and Other Systems
It’s common for businesses to acquire other businesses as they grow, which comes with its own set of challenges, such as inheriting the acquisition’s legacy systems. Development teams then need to figure out the best way to integrate the new system with the existing codebase.
In some cases, integration and compliance with interoperability standards can be achieved much more easily and cost-effectively by connecting the enterprise software to a third-party service provider rather than developing it from scratch.
When developing custom enterprise software, consider all the necessary integration capabilities for current and potential future business requirements. Ask your enterprise software development company to design a system that supports modular expansion.
4. Processing and Data Storage Concerns
One of the biggest security and logistical concerns for any enterprise is data storage. Business growth requires increased backup capabilities for big data, and your development team must ensure the application can sufficiently handle the increased load.
Data management involves the data center, storage hardware and software, and network costs. One of the essential, yet most challenging, aspects of data processing and storage is sorting and relocating an organization’s data properly while narrowing down the data sources.
It is crucial to have a team of expert enterprise software developers who can help you determine the best way to develop and store data for your enterprise software application because improper data handling could lead to massive financial losses for a company.
Our crew is a dynamic, highly capable development team that’s fully versed in a broad range of technical disciplines and has expertise in every aspect of cloud data storage. We draw on our expertise with AWS, Firebase, and Microsoft Azure to create customized data storage solutions that are scalable to your business’s needs now and into the future.
5. Strict Security Requirements and Access Control
Data is the driving force at the heart of enterprise software, and data security should be a guiding force for any enterprise software developer. It’s integral for the development team to ensure an application’s security from outside manipulation by implementing permissions that restrict access to all but authorized users.
Security measures are likely to include encryption, user authentication, and role-based access control. Compliance with regulatory standards is essential to protect the interests of all stakeholders.
Protect your data by running regular software tests to check for vulnerabilities, encrypting sensitive data, and ensuring user permissions and user information privacy protection is enacted and up to date. Your ultimate goal is to keep the pirates and any malicious would-be saboteurs at bay, unable to access sensitive data.
6. Interactive User Interface
User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) can make or break an enterprise software application for its users. Intuitive design and navigation are a must, so even employees who aren’t particularly tech-savvy can use the application successfully. The challenge of creating a simple and intuitive UI/UX is accounting for the various user types that will use the finished software or application.
When choosing enterprise software development services, find a company that interviews your stakeholders, employees, and even customers as part of their UI/UX research. This process will help you develop software that is useful and beloved by your users.
High Seas takes a customer-centric approach to any software development. Our enterprise software development process includes user experience research at every stage to ensure the software we deliver exceeds your expectations.
As part of our hybrid Agile and iterative software development process, our crew puts applications through rigorous Quality Assurance testing prior to software deployment. We make sure the ship not only floats but can successfully achieve what it’s meant to do.
High Seas Quality Assurance testing validates that we’ve met all project goals and requirements and resolved any design or development issues to ensure the UI/UX meets the design and functionality expectations.
7. Quality Post-Release Support
When planning to develop an enterprise software application, it’s important to partner with an enterprise application development company that has the experience and expertise required to provide full implementation assistance and product support after deployment.
A fully capable enterprise software developer should be able to detect and fix problems in a matter of hours, or ideally minutes, to minimize any impacts or associated downtime.
When choosing enterprise software development services, request post-release support and software maintenance, such as updates and patches to maintain optimal service levels.
8. Shifting to a Mobile Platform
Cloud computing accelerates faster than desktop applications, which has prompted many businesses to shift to enterprise software on mobile platforms. Many businesses find that mobile enterprise software increases productivity and leads to faster decision-making due to the incredible speed with which information can be updated (it’s usually within a second!).
The challenge of shifting from enterprise desktop software to a mobile application is including all of the essential functions that are present on the desktop version in the mobile version. A streamlined mobile application with an intuitive UI/UX is crucial. It won’t save any time or increase productivity to have a clunky, heavy mobile application that struggles to stay afloat or maneuver quickly.
The specific strategy our crew uses for shifting software applications to mobile platforms varies depending on the requirements of each unique application. Generally, we try to leverage as much of the original software application as possible to guide the code and streamline the UI and UX design process.
The shift to a mobile application can oftentimes leverage much of the existing desktop software’s database and backend code using APIs to make data connections, which reduces the time and effort required for development. This process is typically more cost-effective than creating a brand new mobile application from scratch and has fewer enterprise application challenges to navigate during development.
9. Time-Consuming and Low ROI
The goal of enterprise application development is to make operations easier and more streamlined for an organization, drive business efficiency, improve the sales cycle, and optimize internal work processes. Enterprise software development is usually complex and requires a lot of resources and time, which can make it pretty expensive. Without properly identified and defined business goals and expectations, your return on investment can quickly diminish.
To maximize your company’s ROI, create a plan for your enterprise software and application development processes. Thorough planning allows you to set priorities correctly and regularly assess the results achieved at different stages to ensure the project is on target to meet each of your business requirements and project expectations.
10. Lack of Development Team Skills
Generally speaking, there are two methods for creating enterprise software. You can either hire or refocus in-house developers or you can outsource your development project to a third-party enterprise software development company with the experience and know-how.
A common concern for businesses is that outsourcing enterprise software and application development will be more costly than just having your people tackle it the best that they can. However, it almost always turns out better in the long run, both in terms of cost and functionality, to trust a team of experts with years of experience creating enterprise software and applications.
Refocusing internal developers to handle a development project in addition to, or even instead of, their core roles often results in a waste of work hours and financial resources for a software application that doesn’t end up being a viable solution anyway.
Learning this the hard way will usually require an enterprise application development company like High Seas to retool the software application or begin anew if the structure isn’t seaworthy.
11. Multiple Vendors Involved
When deciding on an enterprise software development company, it makes the most sense to hire the one that is fully capable of handling the development process from end to end. Outsourcing different stages of the project to multiple vendors will often lead to complications, such as increased development time and escalating costs.
In addition to proving more costly and time-consuming than sticking with one enterprise software developer for the duration of the project, multiple vendors will be more logistically challenging while also keeping up with your business cycle. Choosing one enterprise software development company will allow you to retain your focus on core business objectives without also having to manage and juggle who’s doing what in the development process.
Team Up with us on Your Next Software Development Expedition
The High Seas crew has decades of combined experience developing custom enterprise software and applications that hit their mark and reach their intended destination with minimal course deviation. We are experts at navigating software development challenges and solutions to mitigate or prevent their negative impact.
Choosing High Seas means choosing a team committed to creating the software or application you’ve been envisioning to streamline and optimize business operations. Together we will plan and navigate the best course towards success and ensure we reach the shores of the project’s ideal destination with as few surprises along the way as possible.
With High Seas, you’ll receive boutique software agency client service with big agency design expertise and technical acumen. The High Seas crew is composed of skilled innovators and industry experts that meld art with technology to create software solutions that deliver a superb UI/UX that is intuitive, visually pleasing, and enjoyable to use.
Our hybrid Agile and iterative development processes help ensure we’re on the right track with each subsequent software or application iteration. The flexibility to redefine sprints makes it easy to change our development focus as needed to meet ever-changing business requirements.
Talk to the team at High Seas today to get your enterprise software or application expedition underway and headed in the right direction.