Our Expert Guide to Enterprise Level Software
Elevate your business with robust, scalable solutions. Discover how to develop and implement Enterprise Level Software in our comprehensive guide. Your path to growth starts here!
1 min read
What’s included in this guide
Making the leap into the world of Enterprise Level Software might feel daunting, with its complex processes and endless decision points. But rest easy - we've got you covered.
This expert guide will take you through every step of the process, breaking down each element of developing and deploying Enterprise Level Software. Our goal? To provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to simplify, optimize and scale your business operations.
Ready to build your own custom enterprise software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.
What is enterprise level software?
Enterprise level software (also known as Enterprise Application Software, or EAS) is basically what it says on the tin - software designed to meet the complex needs of larger organizations. As these businesses often involve a high number of employees and customers, they require software that can handle this scale and facilitate smoother operations alongside business growth.
It can achieve this through several features:
Automation tools: Reduce repetitive manual tasks.
Third-party integrations: Streamline work between various apps.
Scalable databases: Handle large amounts of user data.
Single sign-on authentications: Simplify user access.
Advanced security: Protect company and client data.
High availability infrastructure: Guarantee platform uptime more than 99% of the time.
Data analytics: Help make sense of your gathered information.
Live chat functionality: Improves internal communication and customer support.
Data consolidation: Stores all necessary data in one place.
Payment processing: Secures gateway payments and reduces commissions.
How is this different from SaaS?
In comparison to Software as a Service (SaaS), which is rented with a subscription, enterprise software can be bought outright, created on spec, or rented.
Note: While enterprise software can be sold as SaaS, not all SaaS is enterprise software.
What exactly is the difference between enterprise level software development vs. regular development?
In a nutshell
Standard software, intended for individuals or smaller businesses, falls into two categories: systems software (like operating systems) and application software (for specific uses, like a word processing app).
Enterprise-level software, on the other hand, is designed for larger organizations. It streamlines business processes and centralizes large volumes of data. It has complex functionality, advanced automation features, and is designed for scalability.
The key difference: complexity
Enterprise software development involves more complex operations, requires higher levels of security, necessitates more automation, and typically requires a more sophisticated infrastructure due to usage across different locations or countries.
Additional factors to consider in enterprise software development
Interoperability: Interoperability is all about getting your enterprise software to play nice with others. This means making sure it can share data via API integrations (like how ClickUp sends task notifications to Slack) and streamline user access through Single Sign On and Federated Identity Manager, letting users log into various platforms with one set of credentials.
Customization: Customization in enterprise-level software gives businesses the power to make an app truly their own. It's way beyond just changing the Whatsapp background; it's about aligning the whole app to match the brand's personality, from top to bottom.
Storage: Handling heaps of data is all in a day's work for enterprise-level software, so deciding where to park all that data is key. Whether you choose to keep it local or take it to the cloud with services like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud is entirely up to you.
Complex Configuration: Building enterprise apps means tackling numerous business challenges at once, leading to complex software configurations. Simplify the process by first nailing down the specific type of enterprise software you're looking to develop.
Scalability: Scalability is key as your business expands; your software must be ready to accommodate growth, whether that means more data storage, additional users, or new features.
High Availability: High availability is essential for enterprise software; a downtime could mean lost clients and significant monetary losses. Your software should be designed for maximum uptime, backed by resilient infrastructure that can adapt and respond to stress points.
Cost: Due to its intricate nature, enterprise software isn't cheap, so setting a clear budget from the get-go will help keep a lid on costs.
Security: Your enterprise software will be full of sensitive data, so make sure you build it with solid cybersecurity as a priority.
A highly skilled team
Thinking about your dream enterprise software development team? Sure, they'll need the same basics as any software development team: stellar communication, time management, collaboration and up-to-date knowledge on the latest security practices. But enterprise software's complexity demands more:
Architecture design expertise
Multilingual programming skills
Mastery of third-party software integrations
Test automation know-how
Familiarity with CI/CD pipelines
Performance optimization finesse
Cloud concepts comprehension
Agile way of working
While both standard and enterprise software development have their place, enterprise software development is characterized by its complexity, high demand for security, and scalability requirements, making it a significantly more intricate process.
Top enterprise software solutions & features
Choosing the right enterprise software solution requires an understanding of your unique business needs, from the size of your organization to your industry, customization needs, and - importantly - budget.
Whether you need a Business Intelligence tool, a Customer Relationship Management system, or any other type of enterprise level software, creating a custom solution is often the best way to ensure it fits your organization's needs perfectly.
But if you're looking for something off-the-shelf, here are our top picks.
1. ClickUp - best for remote teams
Customizable task dependencies and subtasks, real-time chat and file sharing.
Integrates with Slack, Google Drive, Zendesk.
Offers 'custom fields' feature for task information.
Flexible views (list, Kanban board, or Gantt chart).
Real-time reporting, available on Mac, Windows, Android, iOS.
Drawback: Complexity can be overwhelming for new users.
2. Stripe - best payment tool
Payment processing platform for credit and debit cards, Apple Pay, digital wallets.
Processes over 135 currencies.
Features for invoicing, recurring payments, advanced fraud protection.
Real-time analytics for tracking business performance.
Drawback: Fee for every successful transaction.
3. Salesforce - best for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Advanced features for sales automation, lead management, contract management.
Provides a complete view of customers, activity history and key contacts.
Integrates with third-party apps like Formstack, Pitcher Impact.
Customization features for business alignment.
Drawback: Can be expensive due to the complex, feature-rich platform.
4. Datapine - best Business Intelligence (BI) tool
Data visualization including dynamic dashboarding and a drag-and-drop report builder.
The platform acts as a central repository of all data through data warehouse automation.
Integration with self-service BI applications, including Amazon Web Services, Microsoft SQL server, MySQL, Oracle, and SAP.
Drawback: Some advanced features may require SQL knowledge.
5. Mopinion - Best user feedback platform
Feedback collection, reporting, and analysis suitable for business of all sizes.
Integrates with tools including Slack, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zendesk, Microsoft Teams, Optimizely.
Customizable feedback forms and surveys, including CX (customer experience) and CSAT (customer satisfaction score).
Advanced collaboration features for remote teams.
Drawback: User interface (UI) can be hard to navigate, with no training and limited customer support available.
None that fit the bill?
It may be time to consider seeking the help of a nearshore development team to create a custom solution. (Hi, NaNLABS here 👋 ).
Pros & cons of custom enterprise software
Choosing between off-the-shelf and custom enterprise software is more than a question of budget. Like most choices in life (eat in vs. take-out, an extra hour of sleep vs. an extra hour of Netflix), both options have their advantages and disadvantages. Here's what you need to know.
Advantages of custom enterprise software
Compatibility: Integrates seamlessly with existing systems, enhancing business processes and data transfer.
Flexibility: Adapts to your business needs rather than your business adapting to the software.
Scalability: Supports growth without introducing bugs and can manage high data volumes, numerous users, and daily transactions.
Ownership: Gives you data ownership, control over privacy policies, and backup systems.
Control: With a dedicated in-house team, bugs and issues become top priority, ensuring faster resolution.
Cost-effectiveness: You only pay for the features you need, making it a potential long-term investment.
Competitive Advantage: Custom software can automate processes, foster data-driven decisions, and provide a unique selling proposition.
Information Security: Provides additional security measures if required.
Return on Investment: Despite initial investment, custom software can yield high returns over time.
Disadvantages of custom enterprise software
Need for Expertise: Building enterprise-level software requires skilled developers or partnering with a software agency.
Cost: Custom software can be more expensive due to the cost of developing and maintaining it.
Risk of Bugs: Newly developed software runs the risk of having bugs.
Scope Creep: Poor planning and changing project boundaries can delay completion and increase costs.
Lengthy Project: Custom software development can be time-consuming.
Custom vs. off-the-shelf software
Both off-the-shelf and tailor-made software can help you streamline your enterprise operations.
When weighing up custom vs off-the-shelf software, remember: custom software is tailored to your business needs and can boost productivity and scalability, while off-the-shelf solutions are a one-size-fits-all approach that's generally cheaper but may not meet all your needs in the long run.
Your final decision should take into account factors like budget, time, technical skills, future growth plans, and data security requirements.
What to know about custom enterprise software development before your next project
So, you've decided off-the-shelf enterprise software isn't for you. Now what?
Custom enterprise software is a bespoke system designed to help an organization manage its business processes. It offers more specificity than commercial software, addressing particular business needs like finance, customer relationship management, and human resources.
Before you dive headfirst into your custom enterprise software development project, here are some key things to consider.
What type of custom software solution best fits your business?
When considering the type of custom software that suits your business best, think about what you need most. You might want an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to streamline multiple business processes, a Content Management System (CMS) to manage complex website content without a developer, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to improve your client relationships, or Operations Management Software to boost the efficiency of your business processes and operations. In the end, it all depends on what your company requires to function more effectively.
Are there any enterprise application development trends you can take advantage of (or need to consider)?
Get up to speed on what's hot and what's not.
No-code and low-code development tools: These tools allow users to develop feature-rich solutions with simple drag-and-drop interfaces, but they have technical limitations.
Blockchain: Blockchain technology, based on distributed ledgers, offers transparency, decentralization, and robust security features.
Artificial Intelligence (AI): AI has diverse business applications, including cybersecurity tools, network components, software development languages, and cloud services.
Machine learning: Machine learning improves data analysis and insights, enhancing internal operations and customer knowledge.
Microservices: These specialized, modular services simplify complex systems development and maintenance.
Cloud computing: On-demand access to computer resources, especially storage and computing power, offers cost-effectiveness, data security, productive collaboration, flexibility, and scalable adaptability.
Are you ready to pass your ideas on to your dev team?
Before your brilliant ideas take on life make sure you can clearly communicate all of these points to your developers.
Project goals and parameters: Create clear project goals that align with your organization's mission and goals.
Timeline and milestones: Set a clear timeline and milestones to avoid scope creep.
People and resources: Define the needed collaboration and resources, including tools, testing, and expertise.
Budget: Determine your budget, considering software development, licensing, hosting, implementation, operations, and maintenance costs.
Regulations: Research and incorporate necessary industry regulations based on your organization and software solution.
Outsourcing software development
Outsourcing software development can offer expert support, specialized knowledge, cost reductions, increased efficiency, and improved accuracy. Choosing a team like NaNLABS gives you access to development experts, UX/UI designers, and technical leaders.
Building enterprise applications: from start to finish
You've decided on building a custom enterprise application. Now what?
Identify the right type of enterprise application for your business
Enterprise applications come in all different shapes and sizes and knowing what’s out there will help when it comes to building your own custom app.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP): Think of this like an all-in-one app for managing everything from procurement to project management. It helps reduce data duplicates and boost financial planning among many other functions. For example: Netsuite.
Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems: These are the captains of your supply chain ship, from start to finish, helping speed up delivery, amp up customer experience, and reduce costs. For example: HighJump
Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Your black book of customers, storing every interaction and making it easier for you to close sales and better serve your customers. For example: Salesforce Sales Cloud
Knowledge management systems: A well-organized digital library that streamlines business processes.This software aids in organization, monitoring, and coordination of service or production operations. For example: ClickUp Docs
Now that you've picked the right kind of enterprise application for your business, whether it's an ERP, SCM, CRM, or a Knowledge management system, it's time to jump into the build. From defining goals to ensuring ongoing maintenance and support, we'll guide you through the steps of creating your custom enterprise application.
Custom enterprise application creation: a step-by-step guide
Identify goals: Determine the challenges the app will address, who it's for, and how it aligns with your organizational objectives.
Augment your team: Consider partnering with experts like NaNLABS if you lack in-house expertise.
Scope the project: Set a realistic timeline and milestones.
Define essential features: Establish must-haves (e.g., extensive database, user roles, sign-in methods, third-party integrations, real-time analytics, messaging, and robust security).
Estimate costs: Account for the app's size, delivery time, type, and post-launch expenses.
Prepare a Statement of Work (SoW): Document everything to avoid confusion or conflicts.
Enter development: Adopt an automated, transparent methodology with stage releases (MVP, Alpha, Beta).
Establish maintenance and support: Plan for server maintenance, regular backups, deployment tools, and notification systems pre-launch.
Challenges to avoid in enterprise application development
Developing your own enterprise app comes with challenges like adapting to evolving business needs and handling massive data. At NaNLABS, we've learned this firsthand and we're here to arm you with knowledge you need to identify and conquer some of the top challenges.
But first, let's cover the basics.
Enterprise vs. web applications
People often mix up the terms 'enterprise applications' and 'web applications'. An enterprise application is a robust platform tailored to meet your organization's unique needs. On the other hand, a web application is an internet-connected software solution that users can access from any device. For instance, Google's Gmail is a web app, while Google Workspace is an enterprise application.
Building an enterprise application: key skills
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of building an enterprise application, make sure your team is able to bring the appropriate combined skillset to the table. From handling large volumes of data to understanding the ins and outs of cloud computing, here are nine essential skills.
Does your team lack some of these specific skills? Consider team augmentation with a company like NaNLABS. We'll supplement your team with the required expertise whilst boosting your knowledge base.
Top five challenges and solutions
|Changeable business needs and environment||Business is always evolving so keep your app's purpose focused but make sure it can flex and grow with your future needs.|
|Increased security concerns||With a lot of data, you'll need a lot of protection. Think encryption, hack detection, anti-malware, sturdy backups, and strict user rules - play it safe.|
|Managing large amounts of data||Big data can be a handful and pricey. Look at cloud storage or try breaking your architecture into microservices to make it easier to handle.|
|Tricky third-party integrations||Plan on using third-party apps? Let your team know ASAP so they can get ready for any potential hitches.|
|Lack of in-house enterprise software development knowledge||If you're short on expertise, don't be afraid to hire outside help. At NaNLABS, we're here to fill in the gaps.|
Creating scalable enterprise level software
Building enterprise software that can grow with your business is like creating a backbone for your company's future success. It's all about making everyone's job easier, sprucing up your workflow, and paving the way for smooth, real-time data sharing. But here's the kicker: as your business gets bigger, your software needs to hit the gym too, or you're looking at pesky system crashes and money down the drain.
Understanding scalable enterprise software
Scalable enterprise software is designed to streamline organizational tasks while growing with you. Its beauty lies in its adaptability and ability to handle increased workload, ensuring your processes stay smooth no matter how large your business becomes.
Why scalability matters
Scalability offers a strong foundation for a growing business, adapting to changing needs. For instance, sudden traffic surges can crash unprepared software, A.K.A "breaking the internet", causing customer and revenue loss.
Developing scalable software: key steps
Scale horizontally: Instead of adding resources to existing infrastructure (vertical scaling), add more machines (horizontal scaling). This gives your system greater elasticity.
Adopt agile principles: Agile development simplifies processes, reduces downtime risk, and makes changes easier when scaling is needed.
Bring on experienced developers: Augmenting your team with experts, like those from NaNLABS, can help navigate the complexities of enterprise-level software.
Analyze key metrics: Examine response time, resource usage, throughput, and cost to evaluate your software’s scalability potential.
Ensure sufficient database bandwidth: Employ methods like replication, partitioning, and a combination of the two to handle larger datasets.
Use microservices and a modular approach: Break down your code into independent parts to reduce complexity and prevent a "Single Point of Failure."
Shift to cloud storage: Cloud environments, like AWS or Google Cloud, offer responsive, adjustable capacity and IT infrastructure management.
Is your business ready to scale?
Do you understand your customers? Have strong business infrastructure and systems in place to automate your processes? Achieve steady profits whilst meeting or exceeding your business goals?
NaNLABS’ Agile team augmentation can help in building the right software for your business needs.
Choosing the right enterprise reporting software tool
Enterprise reporting software offers a snapshot of your business performance, letting you forecast scenarios without pestering your data engineering team. Up next, we're diving into the top five reporting tools and if you're eyeing custom options, we've got you covered there too!
Criteria for enterprise reporting software
Connectivity: A reporting tool should seamlessly integrate with various data sources - from SQL and no-SQL databases to customer relationship management (CRM) tools via API connectors.
Security: Enterprise-level security is essential when dealing with third-party apps, to protect against ransomware attacks against your company's data. Features to consider include Single sign-on (SSO), multi-tenant or granular access security, user-specific data sources, and user privilege parameters.
Reporting functionalities: Look for drill-downs and drill-throughs, filters, chart zoom, custom fields, data maps and interactive diagrams, and dynamic text boxes for powerful, customizable reporting.
Ease of use: A tool with a shallow learning curve facilitates quicker adoption, especially if your team lacks extensive coding knowledge.
Performance: Opt for software with positive performance reviews from enterprise-level companies and those that support large-scale data processing to ensure your reports scale with your business.
Top five reporting tools
Sisense: Known for its predictive analytics and machine learning capabilities, Sisense connects to over a hundred data sources and is appreciated for its security features and high-speed data processing. It does, however, have a steep learning curve and is pricier than some alternatives.
Mode: Mode combines SQL and Python/R notebooks with interactive dashboards. It offers a user-friendly interface, customization options, and robust security, though it lacks some automation and can be slow with large files.
Tableau: Owned by Salesforce, Tableau offers extensive visualization options, dual hosting options, and customizable security. It can process large datasets, but at a slower pace and requires some SQL knowledge for complex queries.
Microsoft Power BI: Intuitive for those familiar with Office products, Power BI offers a range of visualizations, high security, and versatile data source connectivity. However, it has performance issues with large databases and a steep learning curve for DAX and custom queries.
Looker Studio: Formerly known as Data Studio, Looker Studio is a Google product, easy to use and comes with great authorization granularity. It is free for Google users but has limited features and isn't ideal for large-scale company use.
Choosing the right reporting tool boils down to your specific needs—data sources, security, functionalities, and usability. Off-the-shelf solutions like Looker Studio or Sisense often do the job for basic analytics, but for unique needs or selling your software, consider a custom solution.
Don't worry if it seems daunting; companies like NaNLABS can fill in the expertise gaps, creating custom modules using a variety of tools. This not only boosts your data processing capabilities but enhances decision-making.
Enterprise software for multi-tenancy
Wrapping your head around enterprise software architecture and figuring out the whole single vs multi-tenancy thing is a big deal when deciding what's best for your business. Both models have their perks and are better for different scenarios, mainly when you think about balancing the books and customizing to your heart's content.
What is multi-tenancy enterprise software?
Operating much like an office building housing multiple companies, multi-tenancy shares services and resources across various clients. This could involve sharing computing power, networking, and storage within a single-instance application and database or with one application connecting to multiple databases. This model promotes cost savings, scalability, and setup ease, making it the go-to for most Software as a Service (SaaS) products. Salesforce is a great example!
Key benefits include:
Cost-saving opportunities through shared resources and lower maintenance requirements.
Easy to deploy and scale, saving time in the process.
Allows for the easy replication of enhancements across all users, increasing customer satisfaction.
How does it compare to single-tenant business software?
On the flip side of the coin is single-tenant software which serves only one organization. Companies utilizing this model operate independently, with each having its unique application connected to a standalone database. It offers greater customization and security, making it ideal for businesses with specific security requirements. However, this comes at the cost of complexity, expense, and less scalability.
Choosing between single and multi-tenant solutions
If you have stringent enterprise security requirements and need high customization levels, consider single-tenant software or ask your service provider for a single-instance solution. On the other hand, multi-tenancy is the way to go for scalable, easy-to-maintain SaaS products or if you need a fast internal solution with minimal security regulations.
SaaS enterprise-level software
Just like you need to keep up with the water bill to avoid the taps running dry, using Software as a Service (SaaS) means shelling out for a subscription to access web-based platforms. From Salesforce to Outlook, these platforms keep businesses ticking over. This is your guide to the ins and outs of SaaS for enterprise - we'll weigh up the pros, cons, and alternatives, helping you find the right fit for your needs.
Beginning with the 3 types of enterprise-level software packages on offer: Software as a Service (SaaS), Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS), and custom software development.
1. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is a subscription-based business model offering an efficient way to cater to internal needs. Accessible through a web browser, it eliminates the need for server hosting or app development. It also offers flexible subscription plans to adapt to changing needs. For example: Zoom.
2. Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) software
COTS software involves purchasing a license to own the software and host it on-premise. While less customizable and storage-intensive than SaaS, it can be a reliable solution. For example: Microsoft Office.
3. Custom enterprise software development
This approach involves developing a platform from scratch to meet specific business needs. It offers full customization, data ownership, and security control but requires more time and resources.
Choosing the right solution: factors to consider
Customization needs: If you need a lot of customized features, then custom solutions are your best bet. If a SaaS or COTS system does the trick or can be tweaked over time, go with that.
Market availability: If there's already a software with all the bells and whistles you need, opting for SaaS or COTS can be cost-effective and time-efficient.
Integration requirements: If you've got existing software that needs to hook up with your new system, make sure it's compatible. If your needs are a bit more complex, custom solutions can come in handy.
Time constraints: SaaS or COTS are ideal for urgent needs, while custom solutions need more time for development.
Security and access control: Understand your security requirements and choose a software that meets them. If a SaaS or COTS system doesn't cut it, consider going custom.
Data ownership: Think about where your data will end up if you stop using the software. For a higher level of data ownership, COTS or custom solutions might be a better fit than SaaS.
Onboarding process: Choose a software that your team can easily pick up and run with. Custom software offers more control over UI/UX and setup.
Weighing the pros and cons of SaaS
SaaS solutions offer several benefits, including 24/7 browser access, no installation or hardware costs, scalability, niche specialization, cloud-based data storage, and integrated analytics. However, potential drawbacks include data vulnerability, limited data ownership, increasing costs, dependence on software quality, limited customization, and limited data processing capabilities.
Enterprise level software for security management
Ransomware attacks grew by 13% in 2022, a huge jump that equals the rise in the previous five years combined. Given this surge in data breaches and ransomware attacks, it is crucial for businesses to invest in robust enterprise level security software.
4 reasons your business needs solid enterprise security
Prevent cybersecurity attacks: Protect against ransomware, malware, phishing, and hacking.
Avoid financial losses: Ransomware attacks can cost companies millions.
Protect your reputation: Data leaks can damage your brand's trustworthiness.
Comply with data governance regulations: Adherence to regulations like CCPA can be streamlined with proper security software.
Building a resilient enterprise security architecture
While commercial software provides an immediate solution, it may not suffice against sophisticated ransomware attacks. Custom-built solutions, although expensive, offer security that's tailor-made for your business.
If you opt for a custom solution, these are the things your team will need to consider:
Assess security needs: Begin by evaluating your architectural needs, including compliance and custom security policies.
Involve development, security, and operations (DevSecOps): Incorporate security early in the development process to identify vulnerabilities and follow security best practices.
Select tools and frameworks: Use proven tools and security architecture frameworks, such as the ISO-27001 NIST Cybersecurity Framework and OWASP guidelines.
Assemble your security team: The team should comprise experts responsible for training and maintaining enterprise security.
Create a security plan: Identify, assess, audit, manage, and supervise each part of your infrastructure. Train your organization and vendors on best practices.
Set up your servers: Decide on cloud or on-premise hosting. Ensure your cloud service provider is reliable, compatible, and adheres to industry standards.
Establish access control: Minimize human error-related breaches by assigning granular user permissions. Implement secure communication systems for sensitive data.
6 Best off-the-shelf enterprise security software
Many security management software options are available today, each offering different modules. Some require integration with your codebase, so consult your internal software engineering team for advice. Key components to consider are:
Antivirus and malware protection
Our pick of the best security software:
Bitdefender GravityZone Business Security Premium: Best malware and ransomware protection
Microsoft Defender: Best cloud security software
VeraCrypt: Best data encryption tool
Kisi: Best for setting physical access control
Netskope Security Cloud: Best cloud threat protection
Palo Alto Networks: Best firewall software
Enterprise resource planning system: what it is & why you need one
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is a game-changing tool for large enterprises grappling with escalating volumes of data. With the right ERP system, businesses can dodge costly mistakes, sidestep overtime work, and keep operations running smoothly.
ERP System: a one-stop shop for data management
In essence, an ERP system centralizes your business data, managing core processes and disseminating real-time information across departments. By automating tedious tasks and adhering to governance regulations, an ERP system is a powerful asset for decision-making, data management, and productivity, as well as leveraging business intelligence for a competitive edge.
For instance, an ERP system can effectively coordinate between sales and logistics, ensuring seamless customer interactions.
Who needs an ERP?
Any large business wrestling with data discrepancies, incompatible software across departments, rapid growth, or poor customer experience due to operational glitches might benefit from an ERP system. If data security is a concern, or bureaucratic bottlenecks are slowing you down, an ERP system could be the solution.
Five cornerstones of an ERP
ERP systems simplify operations via specialized modules for each key business function:
Finances: This module is crucial for financial data management, financial forecasting, and generating reports. It empowers businesses to keep a close eye on revenue and expenses.
Human resources: Here, you can manage core HR tasks from payroll and attendance tracking to performance rating and career management, ensuring legal compliance.
Manufacturing and logistics: Plan supply to meet demand, schedule production, assure quality, process orders, and manage warehouses with this module.
Supply chain management: This is your go-to for inventory management, transportation, distribution, and delivery time tracking.
Customer relationship management: This module allows businesses to monitor and analyze customer interactions across channels and enhance customer experience.
Choosing your ERP solution
ERP solutions can be cloud-based, on-premise, or a hybrid model, with each offering different advantages based on your budget, security needs, and specific business requirements.
Off-the-shelf solutions from companies like Oracle and SAP are available, or custom solutions can be developed to fit your specific needs. Though it's important to weigh the benefits, such as customization and the potential to sell your solution to similar businesses, against the disadvantages, including cost, maintenance, and responsibility for any future issues.
For expert advice and support on implementing an ERP system, consider consulting with seasoned software developers, such as NaNLABS.
Using microservices to build a more flexible enterprise level software system
Considering developing enterprise-level software that can scale with your business? Here's an insider look at the role of microservices in building a flexible software system: what they are, how they compare to monolithic applications and their impact on enterprise architecture.
Microservices vs. monolithic applications
Microservices are small, independent services that constitute a software architecture. They interact via APIs and are in charge of different functions like order processing or user accounts management. They can be deployed independently and are owned by small, dedicated teams.
Monolithic applications comprise a client-side user interface, a server-side application, and a database. They are built as a single unit. To make any system alterations, a new version must be built and deployed, which can be challenging for scalability.
The core advantage of microservices over monoliths is flexibility. They enable the independent building, adaptation, and deployment of services, offering enhanced scalability at the service level. This flexibility makes them increasingly popular for enterprise-level software development.
Microservices in enterprise architecture
More enterprises are transitioning from monolithic to microservices structures due to the complexities of enterprise-level software development. Microservices allow the breakdown of custom enterprise software development into manageable modules. These can be scaled and altered independently without affecting others.
Benefits of microservices
Flexibility: Microservices allow the independent development of each service. They also offer flexibility with automation tools, speeding up automated tests and improving deployment times.
Scalability: Microservices optimize each service for independent scaling, aligning hardware use with each service's resource requirements.
Simplified development: Microservices simplify enterprise application development, improving the Development Experience (DevEx).
Continuous deployment: Microservices facilitate continuous deployment, enabling the independent deployment of each service.
Higher reliability: Microservices can handle service-level issues without causing a system-wide crash, unlike monolithic applications.
Should you use microservices?
Microservices aren't for everyone – they thrive with a domain-driven architecture and a team well-versed in architectural patterns. They're fantastic if you're planning for future growth, but if not, they might just over-complicate things. Keep in mind, they don't cost more than monolith architecture, but they do require a more nuanced cost analysis and a robust disaster recovery plan. Choosing microservices isn't a snap decision; you need to weigh up your team's skills, scalability needs, and support capabilities.
If this feels like a lot, a software development agency like NaNLABS can lend a hand, helping you make the best choice for your software systems.
Launch your enterprise software using an Agile Release Train (ART)
Agile Release Trains (ARTs) present an impactful means of implementing Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) principles within your enterprise. Employing an ART involves the coordinated effort of Agile software developers, working in harmony to realize the launch of enterprise-grade software. But, what constitutes an ART and how do you effectively establish one?
Let’s dive in.
Understanding Agile Release Trains
An ART is a robust structure of five to fifteen Agile pods, where each pod is an independent, self-managed team of five developers or engineers, working to deliver components that align with the overarching project objective. The hallmark of an ART is its agility, versatility, and its efficacy in continuous value delivery through program increments (PIs) within specific timeframes.
Core attributes of an Agile Release Train
Agile at heart: ARTs operate under the SAFe principles, really embodying the spirit of Agile. It's all about delivering value in a continuous, iterative way and getting developers and business associates to work closely together, always looking for ways to do things better.
Autonomy, stability, and cross-functionality: Agile pods within an ART are autonomous, maintaining stability by limiting team changes throughout the project. They encompass cross-functional roles including developers, DevOps, Q&A engineers, product owners, and business analysts.
Program Increments (PIs): ARTs work in cycles, which we call Program Increments (PIs), and these typically last eight to twelve weeks. With planning, development, and validation broken down into two-week chunks, it allows for quicker feedback implementation and streamlining of the value stream.
Velocity and synchronization: The Release Train Engineer (RTE) is the heartbeat of the whole operation, making sure all the pods are synchronized and the timeline is on track. They use the team's known velocity to divide up tasks and shape the project's timeline.
Inspect and Adapt (I&A) Sessions: After each PI, an Inspect and Adapt (I&A) session is a chance for the team to look back at the progress made, talk through any hurdles, and gather feedback to help fine-tune the process.
Key roles in an Agile Release Train
The most important role in an ART is the Release Train Engineer (RTE). Think of them as the driver, in charge of operating and steering the train, with each of the remaining roles helping to keep it on track.
Essential agile development tools
ARTs typically use Agile software development tools like Jira for project management, repositories like GitHub for storing and tracking projects, Kubernetes for orchestrating large applications, and Monorepo tools like Bazel for handling multiple projects from a single code repository.
Augmenting teams with external agile pods
A lack of in-house developers or domain expertise shouldn't impede your progress. You can consider augmenting your team with external Agile pods. They integrate seamlessly with your team, adopting your goals, communication style, and contributing fresh ideas and high-quality code.
NaNLABS case study: custom enterprise software development for a cybersecurity client
When this IoT device security startup needed to optimize and scale their risk assessment platform, they brought in NaNLABS. We put our software development skills, UI know-how, and cybersecurity experience to work. Here's how we helped them level up:
Agile transformation: By implementing Agile methodologies and UI/UX Design System, we improved their efficiency and user experience.
Data upgrade: Using Google Analytics, ElasticSearch, and MongoDB we equipped them with advanced data handling.
Platform overhaul: Our team overhauled their platform, creating a full-stack platform with new features that facilitate enterprise-level functionality.
Reduction in technical debt: We helped them cut down their technical debt by 50-60%, leading to the client's acquisition by a leading cybersecurity firm.
Debugging: Debugging used to be a headache for them, but we managed to reduce their debugging time by 3x, whilst achieving cost savings via serverless infrastructure migration.
Ready to build your own custom enterprise software with a team that cares about you and your processes? We’re not code monkeys, we care about you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Enterprise Level Software
What is enterprise level software?
Enterprise level software, or enterprise software, is a large-scale application designed to meet the complex needs and functions of an entire organization. It's like the Swiss Army Knife of software, streamlining various business processes under one roof.
What is an example of enterprise level software?
There are tons of enterprise software examples out there! A good one is Salesforce - a customer relationship management (CRM) platform that helps businesses connect better with their customers.
What is enterprise level software development?
Enterprise level software development is the process of creating software solutions that cater to the extensive needs of an entire organization. It involves dealing with unique challenges such as scalability, robustness, security, and integrations with other systems.
What are the different types of enterprise level software?
There's a whole smorgasbord of enterprise software types, each serving unique needs. Common ones include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) systems.
How is enterprise level software development different from regular software development?
Enterprise software development is like regular software development but on steroids! It has to tackle unique challenges like handling a large volume of users, managing a ton of data, and seamlessly integrating with other business systems - all while ensuring top-notch security and scalability.