What’s the Difference Between Standard & Enterprise Software Development?

The Rise of Enterprise Software Development

When we talk about technology, it’s overwhelming to stay updated on all of the newest terminology and trends. In fact, there are so many out there that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and confused. One of these terms that seem to be rather confusing for some is enterprise software development, which is gaining traction in the technology community yet it’s not the easiest to define. After all, isn’t the idea of software development inclusive of all software?

Enterprise Software Development
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What is Enterprise Software and How is it Different?

At its core, enterprise software is developed as a means to satisfy the requirements or solve the problems of an entire organization rather than those of an individual user. This large-scale version of a software product allows for the assignment of many different user roles and the definition of actions for specific users. 

To understand the need and use of enterprise software, it’s important to know what an enterprise actually is. Size is the main defining factor of an enterprise. While a self-employed entrepreneur or a small business could describe themselves as an enterprise, in theory, it is a term more commonly used to describe large companies with many different departments, functions, and activities. 

Examples of enterprises include medium and large-sized companies working at an international level, state or federal government entities, or large non-profit groups working across many different areas.

Large-Scale Implementations

Since an enterprise is a large-scale organization, it only makes sense that enterprise software is large-scale software. However, it goes beyond the mere size of the software. Enterprise application software refers to the software that provides solutions that are mission-critical to the entire or a large part of an organization. If the software takes care of a majority of problems or tasks that are inherent to the enterprise, it is definable as enterprise software. 

Enterprise software is typically built with a specific business goal in mind and for the context of its use cases. The aim of every piece of enterprise software is to further assist in the accomplishing of a project. Enterprises most commonly benefit from the outsourcing of their software development needs.

The Specifics of Enterprise Software Development

What are the differences between the development of standard software-as-a-service level programs and enterprise-level software?

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    Interconnectivity
    Nearly every enterprise software product needs to interact or integrate with various other tools or applications that are already in use within an organization. If it doesn’t, business practices and workflows can face major disruptions. Additionally, more than one person will use this software on a daily basis and sometimes even simultaneously through interconnected networks. Enterprise software development must factor the need for seamless interconnectivity between other programs and users into the development process to save businesses from encountering problems later on.
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    Cost
    Money is a big factor in every software development project, no matter how big or small. However, there is a difference in costs at the enterprise level versus other software. Software-as-a-service pricing tends to only require the cost of development, a monthly maintenance fee, and any additional services. Enterprise software pricing typically follows the cost model of software licensing, software maintenance, and further customization and services. Purchasing software at the enterprise level means higher initial costs when compared to the SaaS model.
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    Return on Investment
    Because these initial costs are higher than other “standard” software development projects, there is typically a higher and faster expectation for the return on investment for the product. The ROI needs to be short or medium-term so that businesses are able to see the profits of the costs of development.
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    Customization
    One of the biggest advantages of developing enterprise software is the ability to fully customize it to a company’s specific needs. Because the company paying to develop the software owns it, customization is nearly limitless. When it comes to SaaS development, customization is typically limited to the tools of the software provider as it is typically done in a multi-tenant environment. This means that total customization simply isn’t possible.
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    Reporting and Querying
    Creating queries and reports in a SaaS software program is difficult, as they are in a multi-tenant environment. Queries and reports typically scan an entire database for data, which creates a lot of processing overhead in a multi-tenant environment. This can have an effect on other organizations that may be sharing the database. Thus, SaaS and traditional software development methods typically limit the amount and types of reporting and querying available for users. In contrast, custom enterprise software may be done through third-party tools, or data can be pulled from the data warehouse directly. This allows for increased visibility into data through the full customization of reports.
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    Testing and Training
    Both testing and training are important aspects of all development projects, but they are especially important at the enterprise level. Enterprise systems commonly feature numerous customizations and setups for a wide variety of factors. This functionality means that intensive testing must occur and is extremely important to ensure that all systems work as designed no matter the configuration. Compared to the enterprise level, SaaS testing is less intense. Enterprise systems also commonly require more intensive training for both end-users and those in-house information technology professionals tasked with the responsibility for the software.

Getting Started with Enterprise Software Development

Enterprise software offers organizations a wide variety of benefits as it allows for total customization, improved and unique reporting, querying interconnectivity, and a myriad of other advantages. It does, however, come with its own unique requirements during development and beyond. 

At BairesDev, we can help your organization develop a custom enterprise software product from start to finish or handle specific segments of the process for your team. Our world-class software development services range from the beginning stages of requirements and systems analysis, architecture, and design to development, testing, and deployment.

From full customization of pre-developed platforms to totally custom and unique software development projects, our team of top professionals is experienced in delivering cost-effective and reliable enterprise software solutions.

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