July 7, 2013
Enterprise software involves applications that large organizations use to conduct line-of-business operations such as business intelligence, communication, accounting and collaboration of customer relationship management, human resources and content management systems.
Enterprise software describes the collection of computer programs with common business applications, and tools for modelling how the entire organization works, plus development tools for building applications unique to the organization. Intentions of the software are to solve an enterprise-wide problem rather than departmental problems. It aims at improving the enterprise’s productivity and efficiency by providing business logic support functionality. Some of the more rampant characteristics of enterprise software solutions include: scalability, performance, and robustness.
Top Reasons for Development of Enterprise software
A. Increased Sales Efficiency
SaaS organizations can expand their businesses faster and with lower capital requirements than before. The SaaS solution does not require expensive upfront costs for integration and offers monthly subscriptions versus one-time large payment models. The sales cycles are hence shorter and expensive outside sales teams are often no longer required.
B. Enterprise cloud software is a higher- growth market
Cloud computing has brought in a period of robust enterprise software activity, as many businesses are switching to a SaaS model of their IT investments. Cloud-based solutions and their associated pay-as-you-go subscription revenue models have also enabled market expansion in the enterprise world. New sectors of sales opportunity including small and medium-sized businesses….In market expansion, there are 40 times as many small and medium sized businesses as large enterprises needing software solutions.
C. Requires less capital up front
In the past, the enterprise oriented organizations required more upfront capital to launch and had less potential for outcome than consumer Internet organizations. The impact of cloud computing dramatically decreasing start-up capital requirements shows up earlier in consumer startups, with small teams bootstrapping companies to fast growth. In the recent, many enterprise startups have demonstrated that developing business software can be just as capital-efficient in the early years as a consumer play and they offer several other advantages compared to cloud computing.
D. Enterprise software companies have better IPO, merger and acquisition outcomes
Large-scale acquisitions of enterprise companies have become increasingly common and the trend is likely to continue increasing and not to end anytime soon. The most active acquires in software for the last five years are enterprise companies and they are also the acquirers with the highest cash-equivalent balances as a percentage of assets.
IPO performance in the enterprise has a similar higher performance. Recently, enterprise software companies have consistently outperformed consumer Internet companies, with a percentage of about 50 point difference between the post-IPO market cap performances of an enterprise software company versus a company in the consumer sector.
E. There’s lower risk involved
Enterprise start-ups lower failures rates and better outcomes overall than their consumer Internet peers. The lower risk and outcome performance in the enterprise category are probably the result of three factors:
- Even low-performing corporations can find a good acquisition with a large company acquirer because they probably have core technology that is of interest.
- Usually, more than one corporation in a given category can gain a good outcome because business buyers demand choice.
- Enterprise startups typically have more stable revenue streams because of their subscription-based recurring-revenue models.
Tools Required to Build Enterprise Software
1. Capture Requirements
A software application to put down requirements, get others to review, provide feedback, track those feedback and facilitate communication throughout the process. You also need Google docs or the Microsoft Office Suite; though cloud solutions such as Google Docs are preferred for collaboration as they are much richer.
2. Baseline Captured Requirements
A system to put in your requirements once they have been seen and signed off is required. Any version control system is applicable i.e. Visual Source Safe.
3. Create an enforceable architecture
The enterprise should invest in any of the tools that allow architects to create tools that can later run against the source code and point out the breaks or deviations from the architecture. So, what software allows you to do this? Well, you’re going to be needing enterprise grade applications such as Structure 101 and Sonargragh.
4. Use tools to create a basic project structure
Use maven to create fully functional standards compliant skeleton, complete with unit testing, up and running in under 15 minutes. You may also use Eclipse, IntelliJ or any other editors to do this though maven is preferred at this stage of the project. If Maven creates the basic program, compile and run it from command prompt hence having a much smoother time integrating with the hosts of other tools.
5. Start coding
Import the running skeleton application in Eclipse and start coding, keep adding unit tests with JUnit and keep a tab on the reporting coverage using Emma. Host web based applications in development environment in Jetty and in Tomcat on production environment.
6. Test the code
As an enterprise, it’s important to invest in something like a Quality Centre. You may also need to invest tin some application that can do performance testing such as a Load Runner.
7. Move to production
For the production, this is what is required:
- A system that will securely manage access for individuals working in production
- A system where end users can put in helpdesk tickets
- A system for deploying applications in production
With the right steps and approaches in place, development of enterprise software can be really a streamlined process. Just like we use email, Facebook and other services in different ways to get the job done, the usage pattern evolves with teams to get the broadest level of adoption and acceptance. Well, while ways of doing business keep on changing, marketing and operational trends consistently favour the deployment of enterprise software not only to smoothen things up but also to reap from a host of other benefits.