MVP Development for Enterprise: How it works and what sets it apart from startup MVPs

Curious about what MVP development for enterprises looks like and how it differs from MVPs for startups? Here are all the details and what it takes to land a successful MVP project at an enterprise level.

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by Julian Alessandro


Most people associate MVPs with startups, even though MVP development works great for businesses of all sizes. In fact, several multinational brands have adopted this game-changing approach when testing out new products. Kindle, for example, was launched by Amazon as an MVP back in 2007. 

Yet, many large-scale businesses are still missing out due to popular misconceptions about MVP development for enterprises.

At NaNLabs, we're not only huge believers in enterprise-level MVPs as a concept but have also witnessed the massive success of the many we've built for our corporate clients. So we're tapping into our team's extensive experience to settle all the doubts around this topic! 

Get ready to learn all about how MVP development services work for enterprises and what makes it different from what you might have seen at a startup level. 

Table of contents

Believe it or not, you can get that new product idea tested at a high speed and low risk! We'll bring your concept to life with a tailor-made MVP that will have you exploring new business opportunities much sooner than you think.

What is enterprise-level software development? 

As the name suggests, Enterprise-level software development refers to the creation of robust applications tailored to the needs of large companies. It differs from regular software development in terms of complexity, scale, and the need to integrate with several existing systems. It must often support a large user base, handle extensive data, and meet strict security requirements, but also scale smoothly as the business grows. 

If you would like to know more about this topic, you can check out our expert guide to enterprise-level software, which will answer every possible question you might have! 

MVP development for enterprise: the basics

The MVP development process can work its magic for businesses of all maturity levels. Although there are definitely several differences in how things run, depending on the scale of the company, the same principles apply to all MVP projects. 

An MVP is a simplified version of a product and should include only the essential features to deliver value to the customer and achieve its goals. It allows businesses to validate assumptions about a new product and gather valuable user feedback without making a substantial investment upfront. After launching the MVP and testing the waters, they can decide if it's really worth building a full-blown product, and use early adopters' feedback to inform their next moves. 

Regardless of the company's size, this approach minimizes risks, speeds up development, and helps ensure that the final product is well-aligned with what the market wants. 

How MVP development differs for Enterprise vs. Startups

While the project's guiding principles will always be the same, there are many differences between MVP development for startups and for enterprise-level organizations, as you can see below. 

MVP Development for EnterpriseMVP Development for Startups
DefinitionEnterprise-level MVPs are scaled-down versions of a new product or service offering. It could also be an internal solution targeted at a specific department or business unit.An MVP for a startup is a basic version of a product or service aimed at validating a business idea and securing an early customer base.
ScopeLarger scope with more complex features, that require integration with multiple pre-existing systems and organizational policies. Relatively narrow scope focusing on core features that solve a specific problem for the user.
BudgetLarger budget to support the development, integration and extensive testing of a high-quality application.Limited budget and resources, making cost-effectiveness a big priority throughout the project.
TimelineLonger timeline, to accommodate thorough planning and coordination, as well as several rounds of reviews and approvals.Strong focus on having a short time-to-market in order to quickly validate concepts and gather feedback.
Risk ToleranceEnterprises are generally risk-averse and prioritize precision and security. They may be less willing to take a chance on unproven technologies and concepts.Startups are usually keen to experiment and are used to dealing with higher levels of uncertainty.
User BaseEnterprise MVPs are often intended for a limited, well-defined user base, which can be external or within the organization.Startup MVPs target a broader, external audience, including early adopters and potential customers.
Feedback ProcessFeedback is often gathered from several internal stakeholders with specific requirements, making it a long and multi-level process. External feedback gathering is also a well-structured process.Startups mostly focus on user feedback, which can be dynamic and often gathered through testing, surveys, and early adopter interactions.
Regulatory ComplianceEnterprise MVPs must adhere to industry-specific regulations and data security standards, which adds complexity and time to development. Startups might initially have more flexibility but may need to consider regulatory compliance as they grow and acquire more users and data.

Challenges of adopting the MVP approach at an enterprise level

Despite their many advantages, MVPs do come with a number of challenges when built within a large-scale company. 


Larger companies require more elaborate applications. Think multiple and complex user roles, huge database migrations and very strict policies to users’ data and production environments. So, even with a narrow scope, these end up being pretty demanding development projects, both in terms of resources and skill. 

Security and Compliance 

Enterprise solutions usually must meet a number of strict security and regulatory requirements, especially if they're built for high-stake industries such as cybersecurity, finance and healthcare. Whether the requirements are internal or external, ensuring compliance often means a longer MVP development process. 


Some MVP development teams or agencies won't place that much focus on scalability early on in the project, but that's non-negotiable at an enterprise level. Demand for an enterprise solution can skyrocket overnight and developers must work doing performance and stress tests before releasing software to production.


Enterprises often have a long list of existing systems and technologies that an MVP must integrate with, and that can pose a real challenge for the development team. You'll need a very experienced squad to carry that out smoothly from a technical point of view but also to seamlessly collaborate with the enterprise’s tech team.  


A Minimum Viable Product might not be so "minimum" after all at an enterprise level, simply because there's too much at stake. They'll usually demand much more refined MVPs to avoid damaging the company's reputation by launching a subpar solution. 

Feedback and Decision-making

Enterprise MVP development requires more project management time and can be hard to keep on track. The development team will likely have multiple points of contact within a large company, which can be a problem when the goal is to quickly gather and implement feedback. Decisions also may take much longer, so even though MVPs and Agile development usually go hand in hand, sticking to an Agile approach could be tricky in this context.  

What makes MVP development for enterprise successful 

A project is only as good as the people working on it, so the first thing to do is, of course, to find a talented development team to collaborate with. That being said, with 10+ years of MVP development experience under our belts, we can safely tell you that talent is not merely a matter of in-depth technical knowledge. Success actually depends on working with a highly skilled squad that knows precisely which strategies to implement and when. 

Any developer will tell you, for example, that the Agile methodology is perfect for MVP development projects. But it takes an experienced one to know that pushing for a hard-core Agile approach within an enterprise MVP project is not a great idea. Such projects will demand a much finer balance between speed and quality. 

At NaNLABS, we understand these nuances and make sure that both our teams and our methodologies are uniquely tailored to the needs of each project. We pair agility with an intense focus on quality, adhering to the advanced testing procedures and stringent security protocols required at an enterprise level. 

In addition to carefully selecting your crew, here are the best practices we’d recommend for those looking to nail an enterprise MVP development project.

  • Narrow down your feature set Yes, enterprise applications are often complex, but that doesn't have to equal a massive feature set. Keeping your scope as narrow as possible will allow you to focus on delivering your core features at the highest quality level and work on the many integrations these MVPs require.

  • Be thorough in your planning – Carefully planning and scoping your MVP is essential at any level, but even more so when dealing with enterprise companies. Discuss things in detail with each stakeholder and then put everything on paper. Having a well-documented plan and scope helps avoid many unpleasant surprises later on. 

  • Integrate early – Don't wait until you're done coding to integrate an MVP with the company's existing systems. Integrating as early as possible will help your project run smoothly, preventing you from only noticing important roadblocks when much of the work has already been done.  

  • Choose quality over speed – At an enterprise level, quality trumps speed at nearly every instance, so don't be afraid to slow things down a bit to guarantee precision. Be thorough about testing and rigorous about running frequent security checks and audits. 

  • Automate to speed things up – Rely on tactics like QA automation to be both fast and precise. Manual QA regression testing takes too much time, and since your release process will be quite structured, automating QA will help expedite delivery. 

  • Strictly adhere to brand guidelines –  Well-established companies' products usually have a very distinct look and feel that is important to their brand and customers. An MVP will also need to reflect that, so the development team must pay close attention to the UX and UI guidelines set by the client. 

  • Build a strong partnership Invest in developing solid relationships within your client organization, both with the technical and the business people involved. This will help you communicate better, expedite decisions and get results faster.  

Key takeaways about MVP development for enterprise

MVP development is a powerful approach that extends far beyond the confines of startup culture. It's also the perfect pathway for large-scale companies to bring new ideas to life while minimizing risks and costs. MVP development for enterprises does come with its challenges, but nothing that can't be tackled by a seasoned team who understands the nature of such projects. Experience has taught us that, on top of a highly skilled squad, strong relationships, thorough planning, and a relentless focus on quality will land you a successful MVP no matter how big the client.

Believe it or not, you can get that new product idea tested at a high speed and low risk! We'll bring your concept to life with a tailor-made MVP that will have you exploring new business opportunities much sooner than you think.

Frequently Asked Questions About MVP Development for Enterprise

  • What is enterprise-level software?

    Enterprise-level software refers to robust applications designed to meet the specific needs of large businesses. These applications are often complex, must integrate with several existing systems, and typically need to serve a large user base.

  • What is an enterprise MVP?

    An enterprise MVP is a simplified version of a product including only the most essential features to deliver value to the user and achieve the project's goals. It's developed for large-scale organizations to test out new product ideas while minimizing costs and risks.

  • What are the main differences in MVP development for enterprise vs. startup?

    Enterprises often have more resources, strict regulatory compliance requirements, the need to integrate with legacy systems, and a large existing user base. Startups, on the other hand, usually have fewer resources and more flexibility to build an application that tackles one specific problem for its users. 

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