How to Build Scalable Enterprise Level Software to Grow Your Business

This step-by-step guide will explain what scalable enterprise software is and walk you through building your own.

Sharing is caring!

by Matias Emiliano Alvarez Duran


Every organization wants to reach a point when demand exceeds supply and it can begin to scale up business operations and increase profits.

But if that day comes and you don’t have enterprise level software that can meet growing demands, you’re likely to come up against system crashes and lost revenue.

In this article, we draw on our years of experience to share our best tips for developing enterprise level software that’s ready to soar when your business takes off.

Table of contents

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about

What is scalable enterprise level software?

Scalable enterprise level software is a type of application built to streamline your organizational workflow and grow alongside your business. 

Rather than serving the needs of individual users, enterprise level software serves the needs of an organization. The main advantages of custom enterprise software are that it helps to speed up and improve business processes and makes real-time data sharing easier by centralizing information. 

There are a few different types of enterprise software that cover everything from business intelligence to supply chain management applications. Examples of some of the top enterprise software solutions and features include:

  • CyberCube. A cyber insurance platform that enables (re)insurance placement, underwriting decisions, and portfolio management optimization.

  • Oracle Netsuite. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) application that automates business functions for large organizations.

  • Netskope. A cyber security platform that provides real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, websites, and private apps.

  • Stripe. A payment processing application with multiple third-party integrations to aid with order processing. 

  • Salesforce. A customer relationship management (CRM) system with customizable automation of large-scale customer support.

  • OnePoint. A human resource management solution with a full suite of management tools such as employee online payments.

Scalability in software development is determined by assessing a system's ability to handle precedented and unprecedented workload increases. For example, a database's scalability determines how it can accommodate a large number of users or integrate with other systems.

Why is the scalability of an enterprise application important?

When a business starts to grow it needs a strong foundation and space to extend operations to best capitalize on growing demand. Think of your enterprise application the same way—it needs to have the freedom to adapt to your changing business needs and scale up as you do.

But it could be more urgent than you realize. If a lot of attention is suddenly drawn to your enterprise software, it could cause it to crash, meaning the potential loss of customers and money.

CodinGame, a coding training platform, recently suffered what’s known as the Reddit “Hug of Death”—someone posted their site to the forum and it gained massive overnight exposure, causing the entire platform to crash making it inaccessible. 

7 Steps for developing scalable enterprise application software

Before you can grow your business, you need to make sure your software systems can handle it, so follow these seven steps for custom enterprise software development.

1. Scale horizontally

When it comes to scaling enterprise level software you can choose to scale vertically or horizontally. So what’s the difference?

  • With vertical scaling, you keep your existing infrastructure while adding computing power. There’s no need to modify your existing code, you just run it on higher-spec machines. Scaling up increases the capacity and throughput of a single machine.

  • Horizontal scaling involves adding more machines to the pool instead of simply adding resources vertically.  By scaling out, large companies can load balance across multiple machines and share processing power.

We recommend scaling horizontally because there’s no resource deficit. Horizontal scaling allows you to add more computing resources to your existing pool rather than taking your server offline while upgrading, giving it greater elasticity.

Horizontal scaling provides more flexibility than vertical scaling. Source: NaNLABS

2. Adopt Agile principles

Taking an Agile approach to the project management lifecycle helps teams respond to the unpredictable bugs and workflow blockers that occur during developing an enterprise application

Using incremental work sequences, Agile software development makes processes simpler and projects more manageable. This also reduces the risk of downtime, resulting in faster delivery. Agile developers are adept at tracking progress and continuously testing, meaning code is easier to change when the time comes to scale out.

3. Augment your team with experienced developers

Scaling your business will mean scaling your team, too. Your in-house team members may not have the time or knowledge required to handle enterprise level software that’s built for scale. Likewise, recruiting takes time and may not result in hiring the best talent out there.

Contact NaNLABS about our consultancy services to take advantage of our expertise in Agile enterprise software development. We'll proactively integrate with your existing team and practices to help you when building an enterprise application that scales as you do.

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about

 4. Analyze key metrics

To evaluate your application’s scalability potential, you first need to analyze some key metrics, including:

  • Response time. Requests for service should be short, and if they’re not the team needs to do work on reducing response time to avoid latency at the user level.

  • Resource usage. You need to consider how network and memory resource usage demands will change as you scale your software and plan accordingly.

  • Throughput. If you’re looking for enterprise level software that can scale and cater to high volumes of users interacting with your app simultaneously, throughput performance measurement is a must.

  • Cost. Scaling an enterprise app doesn’t come cheap but analyzing where you need to spend money, and where it can be saved, will optimize the budget and help avoid unnecessary financial surprises. 

5. Ensure your database has enough bandwidth

The bigger the business, the bigger the datasets. Your database needs sufficient storage space and processing power to keep up. Consider:

  • Replication. This involves creating copies of a database or database node, and adding fault tolerance to the system by copying the data across all nodes.

  • Partitioning. Also known as sharding, this method distributes data across many nodes in a cluster, enabling the potentially limitless scale of their storage capacity.

  • Partitioning with replication. A combination of the above methods, this involves configuring multiple groups of nodes with replication and running a sharded cluster on top. Then, if a server goes down, the replica set can still respond to queries for the shard it holds.

6. Take advantage of microservices and a modular approach

Microservices architecture is an architectural style for developing applications that divides a large piece of code into smaller independent parts. Each individual part has its own distinct area of responsibility, meaning that major server crashes and component failures due to a "Single Point of Failure" (SPOF) are less likely.

A modular approach divides your software into smaller independent units of functionality called modules. This reduces the overall design complexity of the app, so if there’s an issue with one module it won’t cause the entire ship to go down with it. A modular application is more flexible and can be adapted or scaled more easily. 

7. Shift to cloud storage

Cloud computing platforms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure allow you to rent their cloud environments and include everything you need such as hardware, operating systems, and applications.

Scaling your infrastructure is much faster with cloud platforms as they allow you to quickly adjust capacity, adapting to changes in size and usage needs. In a cloud environment, applications are responsive to users in a way that traditional software can’t be and the cloud vendors manage the IT infrastructure for you.

How to know if your business is ready to scale

The last thing you’ll want to do is scale your business before it’s ready. “But how do I know when that is?” we hear you ask. 

If you can answer “yes” to these questions you’re ready for the next level:

  • Have you done market research and do you know your customers inside out? You need users for your enterprise level software so research the current market trends, analyze competitors, and know what your customers want. 

  • Do you have systems in place to automate your processes? If you’re still manually doing repetitive tasks that should be automated, you won’t have the bandwidth to scale out the business.

  • Have you considered outsourcing expertise? If your team is lacking the expertise to make the enterprise level software you need to scale your business consider outsourcing to a nearshore development company like NaNLABS, that can help you get the job done.

  • Are you making steady profits? Software development is severely hampered by uneven financing, so don’t commit unless profits are stable and healthy. 

  • Have you had to turn down business opportunities? If you’re having to turn down clients and customers due to a lack of time, inventory, or employees, then it’s probably time to scale your business.

  • Have you met or exceeded your business goals? If you’re smashing your financial goals and everything is going according to plan then it’s time to set new, more ambitious objectives and scale up.

  • Do you have a strong business infrastructure in place? Everything made to last is built on strong foundations so don’t jump into scaling your business unless you have a pre-established, strong business infrastructure.

How NaNLABS helped Amalgam to scale with an enterprise application

Amalgam, originally a part of Calculate, is a fast-growing financial and accounting startup based in New York. It’s a software platform that allows tech-savvy individuals to build complex automated processes using their day-to-day tools. 

The Amalgam team needed to work on their product scalability to turn their MVP into a piece of fully functional enterprise level software. They needed to have a more solid architecture, support additional 3rd party connectors, handle larger volumes of data, and increase security and privacy practices in order to close deals with bigger companies.

To achieve this we helped Amalgam by:

  • Sharing our knowledge

  • Debugging and refactoring code

  • Implementing Agile practices

  • Improving their software architecture

As a result version two of Amalgam is ready to be used by enterprise-level clients. Meanwhile, the NaNLABS-Amalgam relationship is ongoing, as we work together to keep scaling their software.

The cheat sheet for building scalable enterprise software

So profits are steady and you're starting to turn down business opportunities, meaning you’re ready to scale your business. To help you meet this demand, you’ll need to invest in enterprise level software. Here’s how:

  • Scale horizontally

  • Adopt Agile principles

  • Analyze key metrics

  • Beef up your database

  • Use microservices and a modular approach

  • Shift to cloud storage

The final piece of the scalability puzzle is expanding your team. Here at NaNLABS, we offer Agile team augmentation, providing you with the expertise needed to make the enterprise level software that’s right for your business needs.

Ready to build your own custom software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you. 

Frequently asked questions about scaling your business with enterprise level software

  • Should you scale software vertically or horizontally?

    If scalability is a priority then you should scale horizontally because it allows for greater flexibility, doesn’t require taking your server offline while upgrading, and doesn’t imply a resource deficit.

  • How do enterprise systems benefit businesses?

    Enterprise systems benefit businesses by allowing them to scale their operations, It speeds up and improves business processes with automation and makes data sharing miles easier by having everything in a centralized hub. 

  • What is an example of a scalable system?

    An example of a scalable system is a user database that can grow exponentially alongside an influx of new customers, ensuring that it doesn’t crash the app in the process.

More articles to read

Previous blog post

Client Stories


Custom Enterprise Software Development for a Cybersecurity Client: How We Helped Them Scale Without Compromising Quality

Read the complete article

Next blog post



Custom Enterprise Software: Advantages and Disadvantages You Need to Know

Read the complete article