The inner workings of any business have to run smoothly to achieve a level of success. With technology leading the evolution of how today’s businesses control and manage operations, it only makes sense to incorporate what is known as enterprise software applications. In this article, we will look at what this innovation is and the challenges that come from using this technology in the day-to-day operation of any sized business.
What is Custom Enterprise Software?
The design of enterprise software is to assist companies in the execution and fulfillment of the processed that are required to conduct business. These processes can range from financing to project management. They can also incorporate all systems between human resources and customer relations. In other words, any process to keep a business functioning properly can achieve this through the application of enterprise software. The customization part of the equation is where the software is made to meet the specific needs and objectives of a business operator. This is why custom enterprise software is not generally available for purchase by the average consumer.
The Challenges of Custom Enterprise Software
As simple as it sounds, that this type of software is unique and designed just for business operators, there are a few hurdles associated with the product. They include:
Adaptation On The Fly
There is a real need for flexibility at the enterprise software development phase. With forecasting and analysis forming the foundation for the creation of this type of software, there have to be provisions in place to make sudden changes as they happen. The speed with which technology evolves may render a good idea from yesterday or the previous week to the discard bin simply because a rapid alteration that surfaces this morning becomes more relevant. Being able to adapt to a quick restructuring of software during the development stage will result in customized systems that are current and effective at the moment. The need for adaptation also addresses the requirement of keeping software current and compatible with existing software programs.
A Shortage of Skilled Developers
It is becoming increasingly difficult to locate specialists who have the computer software skills to develop enterprise applications. Readily available consumer software is mass-produced to meet the basic needs of any business. Custom enterprise software is customized to meet the needs of a specific business. This requires the software development team to have experience in addressing the business processes by the enterprise applications. With skilled developers who possess an understanding of specific business needs, the custom-made software best addresses the requirements.
The Need For Better Security
The complexity of the enterprise information system structure evolves constantly. The configuration changes each time new elements come into play and as the system increases in size, keeping data secure and protected becomes more of a challenge. Custom enterprise software must have the basic security components in it that receive updates and improvements as the software evolves. This would include such things as encryption of data, the implementation of unique anti-malware and authentication tools, hack detection programs, data backup systems, and the restriction of access to confidential information. Cyberattacks are a real threat to any business regardless of size and insecure software provides hackers with an access point.
Abilities To Handle Massive Data Volume
The average business generates a huge amount of data. So much data that simple storage solutions are no longer effective in addressing the volume. As the development of enterprise applications continues, businesses have the choice of two methods of data storage. They are in-house on company or leased servers or the cloud or network. Each has benefits and downsides. The final decision should be made by the architect of the enterprise system and will be influenced considerably by the needs of the company. In-house storage can be more expensive, but the data stored there is easy to access and belongs to the company. Cloud storage provides mobility, stability, and speed which may be crucial for quick decision-making requirements.
Better Support Availability
Software support is crucial. Each minute that passes when the software fails can add up to a costly loss for the company that is dependent on the application operating smoothly. With a dedicated, permanent team of developers available, software maintenance can be taken care of immediately with patches or repairs created swiftly to reduce the amount of downtime. With software support off-site and only accessible during certain hours or so busy that you must submit a service ticket does not work anymore in today’s world of custom enterprise software development. A better solution is simple, with the inclusion of a dedicated team of support staff that comes out of the actual software development group. They will be the best suited for the task thanks to their involvement in the creation of the software.
Improved System Integration
Any business that employs multiple company applications will encounter situations where integration may be required. Fortunately, most corporate software programs are compatible with other commonly-used business programs. However, an enterprise application that is customized to fit the specific needs of your company may not be fully compatible with existing programs making integration difficult or impossible. This is why the enterprise developers must have an understanding of the business structure and existing software programs in use to incorporate compatibility to ensure seamless integration. Without this understanding of the system, compatibility issues can surface resulting in program failure and costly downtime.
Keeping a business operating is challenging enough in today’s world of high technology. However, it is important to use that technology to remain relevant and competitive in the marketplace. This includes the incorporation of custom enterprise software applications that are made to address the needs of a specific business. this software works within the structure of a business to streamline processes that are part of that business. With the unique customization required for many of these applications, it is easy to spot shortcomings of such software. The list above covers some of the key challenges businesses of all sizes may encounter with enterprise software.
Author: Pranjal Bora works as head of product management at Digital Authority Partners, a San Diego-based digital marketing and website development agency.