Enterprise Software: Trends and Best Development Practices

Businesses in the year of 2020 are facing increasingly complex challenges that are impossible to overcome without technology. With the ever-growing demands for speed and performance, along with the accumulating volumes of data, incorporating enterprise applications into your business is the only way to stay on top of the competition.

Enterprise software comes in many flavors, and it can help you with anything from workflow management and accounting to automatic processing of calls from customers. The global enterprise application development market is predicted to reach a whopping $250 billion by 2024, and now is the perfect time to dive into this trend and integrate it into your business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at different types of enterprise apps and their usage, as well as statistics and best development practices. Read on to learn how you can leverage custom-made software to propel your business forward.

What is enterprise software?

An enterprise app is a type of application designed to function in a corporate environment and enhance businesses, companies, and governmental institutions rather than individual users. These apps are typically robust and scalable as they are oriented towards solving corporate problems.

Large and complex systems can help improve the processes within the company and manage resources better. There are also more specific apps designed with a particular issue or purpose in mind; for instance, marketing personalization platforms, automatic accounting systems, and workflow planning mobile apps.

Types of enterprise applications

Enterprise software can assist on multiple levels of an organization. Generally, business apps are designed to help employees, departments, or the company as a whole.

Let’s take a brief look at the most popular types of enterprise applications.

Marketing systems and e-Commerce

These include software for email marketing, personalization, SEO improvement, data management, online store creation, and more.

Analytics and business intelligence

These include enterprise application solutions that analyze the accumulated data, apply machine learning to derive patterns, and offer insights into client behaviors, the effectiveness of your current marketing, and the visibility of your brand.

Human resources management

Enterprise applications make the hiring process and staff management more efficient. They present functionality to schedule interviews, receive feedback, send follow-up emails, track the time employees spend working, gather performance information, and automatically generate reports.

Supply chain management

For many companies, supply chain management (SCM) requires close monitoring of how raw materials are obtained, processed, distributed, delivered, and stored. Enterprise systems help organize each of these steps and smooth out the logistics.

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Miscellaneous

Other popular types of enterprise applications are used for:

  • product catalog creation,
  • content management,
  • enterprise resource planning,
  • record-tracking,
  • call center management,
  • messaging,
  • employee training,
  • customer relations management,
  • customer support,
  • billing and payment processing, and
  • business continuity planning.

Software by industry

  • Healthcare. Some enterprise application examples include electronic health record (EHR) systems, hospital management systems (HMS), electronic tracking of prescriptions, and mobile apps for patients that contain each person’s medical history, lab reports, and appointments.
  • Communications. Applications in this area focus on electronic contracts and tariff plan management.
  • Finance. Enterprise software examples here include analytical toolkits, payment management systems, budgeting and forecasting toolkits, encryption tools, and customizable invoicing systems.
  • Retail. In retail, business apps offer the personalization for your website and products, analytics of the available data, AR/VR showrooms, property tours, and interactive item catalogs.

Benefits of enterprise mobile apps

An enterprise mobile app can help you increase revenue and save a lot of time and resources by automating various processes and optimizing the workflow.

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Increased productivity

Enterprise mobile apps enable increased productivity by providing a convenient system to share files, documents, and information about pressing tasks. These systems can also track overstaffed areas and redirect some employees to more slow-moving projects.

Better staff management

A typical enterprise mobile app strategy is to provide employees with an application that can help them manage their schedules and let their managers see each person’s load, objectives, and active projects. This helps reduce the risk of delays and optimize the workflow for each process.

Easier accounting

Enterprise mobile apps make communication with vendors and among departments more instant and transparent. They allow you to quickly transfer funds, receive payment reports, and generate automatic deadline notifications for the accounting team.

Digitization of paperwork

Paper documents are steadily becoming the remnants of the past. Modern business mobile apps let you generate and store documentation in a digital form, allowing your employees to interact with it through the app and document scanners.

Efficient logistics

Supply chain management (SCM) mobile applications help companies track and manage the whole production and distribution cycle, from obtaining raw materials to delivering the final product to your customers.

Read more: Business Process Automation: What It Is and How to Get Started

 

Cloud-based enterprise systems

The migration to the cloud is one of the highlights in 2021 enterprise development trends. Cloud-based solutions offer greater scalability and lower costs than most on-premise systems do. Besides, as the need for greater computing power grows, cloud solutions will offer more resources while remaining flexible.

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Machine learning

Machine learning helps enterprises better understand customer behaviors and preferences, automate many routine tasks, and handle business operations more effectively. In 2021, using ML will become a necessity to gain an edge in any industry.

Read more about machine learning and business applications of AI: Driving Digital Transformation Through AI

 

Accelerated mobile pages (AMP)

Enterprise mobile development is inching towards AMP since they are incredibly lightweight and fast. With speed becoming a priority, more and more companies will adopt the AMP approach to have their apps load in milliseconds.

Beacon technology

The global beacon technology market is growing so rapidly it’s predicted to reach $56.6 billion by 2026. In enterprise mobile app development, beacons can be installed at offline venues to connect to a specific app via Bluetooth for better navigation, data analytics, and proximity marketing.

The Internet of Things

IoT in a corporate environment helps automate a lot of processes, control devices remotely, enable long-distance collaboration, and improve the efficiency of operations. More and more pieces of technology are gaining connectivity, and the IoT trend—and wearable devices, in particular—will only grow throughout 2021.

Voice-assisted software

Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa are currently crafting a better experience for users. In 2021, we will see a surge in using voice-controlled software in a corporate environment as well. This technology can help your employees improve productivity and feel more engaged with their projects and coworkers.

AR and VR

As the toolkits for enterprise software development with VR components evolve, the demand for VR functionality will only continue growing. Virtual and augmented reality applications in 2021 will supply businesses with advanced training software, interactive product catalogs, virtual conference rooms, and venue or property tours.

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5G

5G is the upcoming generation of telecommunication networks. In 2021, the compatibility of enterprise systems with 5G will be incredibly useful since the network is specifically designed to connect different kinds of devices.

Miscellaneous

Some of the trends have already earned their spotlight, but it’s unlikely to diminish in the coming years. Such trends include

  • m-commerce;
  • strong security and user privacy while maintaining high speed and performance;
  • progressive web applications (PWAs);
  • personalized software;
  • blockchain technology;
  • chatbots;
  • mobile payment systems; and
  • virtualized networks.

Best development practices

The enterprise app development process may look confusing at the beginning. If you wish to create a custom business application for your company, it’s helpful to get an idea of the basic steps and practices that this venture encompasses.

Determine your business goals

Enterprise software development should start with a necessity. Before considering your options and contacting developers, think carefully about what you wish to achieve by integrating business applications. Draft your goals and note the areas where technology can have a significant impact. This list will eventually help you determine which software to employ and how to formulate the requirements for the future app.

Analyze your existing software and tools

Once you know what you need to accomplish, inventorize the tools you already have. Compile a list of all software solutions that your company is currently using and pinpoint the systems you would like to replace or supplement.

It’s also a good time to analyze the impact of the utilized applications and check how well it corresponds to your business goals. The areas where your current tools lack in effectiveness will describe the target functionality of the enterprise app you’re planning to create.

Plan the integration process

While taking stock of your company’s software, it’s also crucial to consider how you’ll integrate the new apps into the existing system. Enterprise software solutions can differ greatly, even within the same industry or niche. Whether you’re planning to replace old applications or introduce new modules into the system, think about what connection problems might arise.

enterprise-software-solutions

Another aspect of enterprise application integration is connecting legacy equipment to the new apps. If you need to augment an older system with fresh software, consult with the development team on which technologies to use and how to approach this.

Read also: Connectivity of Legacy Equipment: The Transformation of Manufacturing

 

Consider the platform

For department-wide desktop applications, the platform normally defaults to the OS you use in your corporate environment. In mobile development, you will likely have to build for Android and iOS. Depending on the number of employees that have some other system, it could be more inclusive and efficient to opt for cross-platform development.

Read also: Native vs. Cross-Platform—How to Choose

 

Draft the specification

Now is the time to write down the specification of the application you wish to receive. It should include a description of your target audience, goals, desired functionality, design suggestions, and other notes or expectations that can help your chosen business application developers get a precise picture of the future app.

Focus on user experience

Good user experience is paramount in enterprise app development. For the app to enhance your business, it needs to be intuitive and pleasant to use, particularly for the employee group it targets. An incredible UX results in a shorter adaptation period, and subsequently, higher productivity in employees using the app.

Secure the application

Globally, cyberattacks result in around $445 billion in losses each year. Enterprise application security is thus one of the most crucial points in development. A data breach can not only cost you a fortune but damage your customers’ trust and, in some cases, lead to lawsuits.

To ensure the system’s security, make sure that the application employs adequate authentication mechanisms, encryption, and access control protocols. You should also categorize all data that the application will store or access and determine how long you need to keep each dataset, what protective measures to instill, and how to treat the data when it’s no longer usable.

Read also: How to Ensure IoT Security: Best Practices for Your Enterprise

 

enterprise-application-security

Use smart technologies

Trending technologies have a proven record of improving the functionality of enterprise apps. Consider your needs and match them to the capabilities of machine learning, connected IoT devices, lightweight mobile applications, and VR software to make the app more convenient and powerful.

Develop comprehensive training

Employee training is an essential part of ensuring the effectiveness of your new enterprise application software. Consider what technical skills are required to operate the application and develop training programs for the staff members that will interact with the system. This can help smooth the necessary learning curve and reduce the adaptation period.

How to get started?

Custom enterprise application development is surging as more and more businesses recognize the huge potential of using technology to boost their internal processes. Enterprise software solutions have tapped into virtually all areas in business operation, from marketing to customer support and business intelligence.

Figuring out what kind of software your company needs and finding a development team can be tricky. Having extensive expertise in building custom enterprise solutions, we at Eastern Peak can guide you through the whole process and deliver a powerful application that will help your business grow.

Contact us today to get a free consultation with our experts.

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