Let’s be frank.
Development of an Enterprise Application is a tough job. [marker-highlight]Enterprise Applications are complex systems.[/marker-highlight] They require delicate planning and expertise for the right type of development. Lack of awareness in the development phase can be costly and frustrating.
Enterprise Applications are the instruments of administration, management, and planning for an enterprise. The expectations are sky-high. An Enterprise Application should function smoothly, cater to each need of a company, integrate multiple systems of the company, be secure and give back a considerable return on investment (ROI).
Easier said than done, right?
As complex as building a top-of-the-line Football Team
An Enterprise Application is like a leading football team. Every player knows and performs his specific role. Similarly, every requirement should be met with expertise in an Enterprise Application. But, does having star players on board win all the matches for a top team? No. [marker-highlight]There should be a perfect synergy between them.[/marker-highlight] Moreover, players from the same team blocking each other is somewhat embarrassing.
Same goes for an Enterprise Application. All the component systems within an Enterprise Application like supply chain management, customer information management, sales, etc. should be combined with a synergy. But sub-systems blocking each other might not be so rare in an Enterprise Application, unlike a football team.
Now, a high-ranking football team is also flexible. It can play under any conditions, at any venue. An Enterprise Application should have similar traits. It should be flexible and scalable. Only then can it [marker-highlight]adapt to changing paradigms of a business.[/marker-highlight]
A company can change gears with time. The requirements can change and new ideas may have to be implemented. The Enterprise Application must be adaptive in accommodating these changes. Also, just like the substitution on the football team, any new requirement replacing the older one must not affect the overall coordination of the system.
While an enterprise application working in perfect harmony is ideal, there are several challenges that you will need to overcome when building these applications.
Challenges on the road of Enterprise Application Development
Developing an Enterprise Application is a scrupulous job. [marker-highlight]It requires precision, vision, and expertise.[/marker-highlight] The challenges can be many but it’s important to be aware of them to get the right product.
Here is a list of probable challenges in the way of Enterprise Application Development-
#1 Changing Business Requirements and Environments
- The landscape of a business might change, sometimes completely. There can be technological transformation taking place. Or there can be economic disruptions.
- The path that a company follows might change owing to feedback and analysis. This simply means new workflows and requirements have to be implemented.
- Or in special cases, there can be a merger or acquisition. In that case, it all becomes a mammoth task integrating the two systems into a common Enterprise Application.
[marker-highlight]Enterprise Applications are complicated[/marker-highlight] and changing one requirement might unexpectedly affect some other requirement. It’s not possible to predict many such changes, nevertheless having a flexible and scalable architecture becomes more of a necessity.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffff99″ title_color=”#333333″]A Modular Architecture as the name suggests is based on using handy blocks or modules of code to build up a system. Using such an architecture ensures making changes to a module or a sub-system doesn’t interfere with the functioning of other modules. This saves you from spending hours and days on correcting your Application.[/su_box]
#2 Shifting to the mobile platform
- More Enterprise Applications are wanting to go mobile. The global market for enterprise mobility is projected to reach US$218 billion this year.
- Mobility and cloud-computing accelerate faster than the desktop counterparts and your company might lose relevance if you aren’t going mobile with your applications.
- Mobility increases productivity and leads to faster decision-making. This is because information can be captured fast using mobile and can be shared instantaneously.
Employees and customers enjoy mobility and it’s surely [marker-highlight]more of a necessity now than empowerment[/marker-highlight]. Such a requirement will most definitely reach your business, if not already. The challenge is to make the transition to mobile easy by including the essential functions on the mobile platform, without creating a heavy mobile-application. A lot of testing is required to get the layouts and fields right so that everything fits the mobile format easily.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Good User Experience is crucial to mobile apps. Make sure sufficient time and thought have gone in creating a comfortable interface. Broken apps with overlapping layouts, for example, can end up frustrating the users.[/su_box]
Security for your Enterprise Application begins with [marker-highlight]controlling user access and securing the resources[/marker-highlight] of the application. There are various services in an Enterprise Application like user-interface services, Operating System services, Business Process Services, etc. Controlling user access simply means restricting the usage of these services to authorized users.
- A strong defense system is a primary requirement that includes encryptions and firewalls at application, host and network level.
- Enterprise Data is of utmost importance to a company. Use a competent security software to install and maintain security. Make sure the privacy of sensitive user information is protected.
- Web applications like a mobile application or cloud-based software are prone to cyber attacks and breaches. This is because an increased number of networks lead to more vulnerabilities like unknown users, cookies, etc. Make sure your security software is competent to protect all aspects of the web application.
- The software must be updated with the latest security patches. The same security levels must be implemented across all platforms.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Remember, hackers never stop growing! Application Vulnerability Tests should be held periodically with baseline assessments and advanced assessments. These are tests which check if the application, server, and back-end services are secure apart from recognizing potential loophole in the system that intruders can take advantage of. It’s also crucial to check if a user permissions and make sure everything is under control. [/su_box]
#4 Big Data
Data is growing at a tremendous pace. The total amount of data in the world will increase to 44 zettabytes in 2020 from 4.4 zettabytes of today’s total data. (1 zettabyte = 1 trillion GBs). For an enterprise, the challenge is to manage the vast data intelligently. The high volume of data increases the storage costs, data centre costs, network costs, etc. For the end user, the experience might see a bad U-turn due to slow loading speeds of web pages and applications.
- The process of making sense of Big Data starts by correctly [marker-highlight]locating and rationalizing this data from various sub-systems[/marker-highlight] of Enterprise Application. It’s essential to narrow down the sources of data that can otherwise create a lot of repetitiveness.
- Enterprise data can be used to implement Big Data projects once the data is curated, organized and centralized. These projects can, in turn, provide useful insights that can increase the productivity of the organization.
- It’s recommended to move the inactive data to Big Data platforms like Hadoop that offer affordable storage, maintenance, and security. The active data can continue to exist on the Tier-I infrastructure of your company. Using Hadoop like platforms are 50 times cheaper than Tier-I infrastructure costs.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]One choice you will have to make while choosing a Big Data Application is if it is going to be on-premise or cloud-based. On-premise means the software will be hosted on your data center. It is recommended to use the cloud-based software as there is more ease of management and scalability can be more.[/su_box]
#5 Changing Technology
We have seen how cloud computing changed the whole landscape of Enterprise Application and how Software as a Service (SaaS) replaced the traditional delivery models. Technology has a way of changing forms with so much innovation and research going on. What is relevant now might become obsolete tomorrow. An Enterprise Application should be ‘future-proof’ so that there is no need of reinventing the wheel.
- Artificial Intelligence, for example, is being deployed commercially in almost all industries. According to Adobe, 15% of enterprises are using AI as of today, and 31% of enterprises will be using it in the next 12 months.
- An Enterprise Application particularly can greatly benefit from Artificial Intelligence due to data-driven tasks used in an Enterprise Application.
- Modular Architecture can help greatly to make quick changes with respect to changing technologies.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Keep a constant eye on the latest trends and insights. For example, IoT (Internet Of Things) and microservices are trending topics for Enterprise Application today. Build a strategy to be in line with the latest technological changes and be prepared for what’s coming tomorrow.[/su_box]
It is required that systems in an Enterprise are well-linked with each other. For example, Leave Management System and Payroll System must be linked for consistency across all functions. Similarly, a Customer Management System will be using data from the Sales System.
- Enterprise Applications is a web of neatly linked functions across different sub-systems.
- There should be a smart link between applications that use the same set of data to achieve optimization in an Enterprise Application.
- [marker-highlight]Interoperability standards should be followed[/marker-highlight] to achieve effortless sharing and usage of data.
- Careful design is necessary especially for heterogeneous environments that involve disparate systems.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Several Enterprise Interoperability Frameworks like European Interoperability Framework, ATHENA interoperability framework, etc are available that addresses various approaches and barriers in Enterprise Interoperability. Make sure your Enterprise Application religiously uses one of these frameworks religiously to achieve flawless interoperability.[/su_box]
#7 User Interface and Experience
Is functionality everything? No. If an Enterprise Application has a basic user interface, employees might not enjoy using the software. If consumer apps can have sleek interfaces, why not an Enterprise Application?!
- The importance of [marker-highlight]beautifully designed, comfortable user-interface[/marker-highlight] should not be underestimated as it can result in greater and impactful engagement, ultimately extracting more value from the same software.
- Adding small details to the application to make navigation and accessibility easier can have big results in terms of employee satisfaction and productivity.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Designers can create default settings and automatic form-filling so that the Enterprise Application is both fast and friendly.[/su_box]
#8 Low ROI
Enterprise Application Development, as mentioned before, needs expertise and detailed planning. It’s a costly affair and the expenses don’t stop there. There are [marker-highlight]high maintenance costs and expenditures[/marker-highlight] like in creating and sending regular updates. But, a feeling of disdain comes when the costly development and maintenance doesn’t bring in the expected results.
- The aim of an Enterprise Application can be to improve the sales cycle, increase the productivity of the employees or to smoothen and optimize internal processes.
- The goal should be clear and it should be reflected in the design and development of the Enterprise Application.
- Regular measurements and comparisons need to be done to know the real value of your Enterprise Application.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Identify the most relevant KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) with respect to your goal for the calculation of ROI. These KPIs can be tangible like frequency of use, time saved in a particular process, etc. Or there can be intangible KPIs like improving employee morale, a difference from competitors, etc. These intangible KPIs can’t be included in ROI calculation but should be included in Application’s performance review.[/su_box]
#9 Time and Cost
Enterprise Application Development can be a [marker-highlight]time taking process if the approach isn’t clear[/marker-highlight]. It can take months to develop an Enterprise Application, sometimes 5-6 months.
Incorporating and integrating various systems of a company takes time. Half-a-year, on an average, is a long time period, especially when you want to get started with an Enterprise Application quickly. But, is the solution?
- A Modular architecture is an answer to this problem. Modular Architecture uses pre-made blocks of code (ready-made functionalities) that are customized according to the needs of an organization and linked together accordingly. This can cut short time by one-third, thereby you can save a lot of time and thus money.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]A regulatory framework is the foundation of the Enterprise Applications. Using a framework, like WisdmTREAD for example, that uses a Modular Architecture helps develop quality Enterprise Applications in lesser time. A carefully designed framework makes maintenance easier, thereby saving a lot of time and money later on as well.[/su_box]
Maintainability is as crucial as developing an Enterprise Application. It is not just limited to operating the product but also detecting defects and correcting them quickly.
- Maintainability should not be a cumbersome job. The adaptability to new environments and future-requirement should not be a stressful process.
- Also, maintenance should be a fast process. You don’t want to be in a situation where you are spending US$ 3000 per year on maintenance and yet it is a time-taking process.
- Modular architecture again makes life much easier. For example, if you wish to make changes or correct a fault in ERP system, Modular Architecture makes sure that the Content Management System, that is independent of the ERP system, is not at all affected. This all leads to easy maintainability.
[su_box title=”PRO TIP” box_color=”#ffffab” title_color=”#333333″]Using a strong foundation can lead to better productivity years after the development of the product. It’s advisable to use an underlying development technique like WisdmTREAD that is based on Agile Software Development. It simply means using this technique will lead to rapid and evolutionary development. It becomes easy to maintain your product at lower costs and lesser time invested as WisdmTREAD helps to achieve rapidness and flexibility while responding to changes.[/su_box]
If there was a single underlying technique that would make enterprise application development easier, it would be to adopt a modular, scalable design. The use of existing, tried-and-tested frameworks that offer such a design makes the job a whole lot easier.
And that’s where WisdmTREAD comes into the picture.
Exploring WisdmTREAD– a technique for Rapid Application Development
WisdmTREAD or Wisdm Tailored Robust Enterprise Application Development is a smart technique to help develop best-in-class Enterprise Applications much faster. Its crucial importance lies in the ideology it is based on– [marker-highight]simpler and easier development of Enterprise Applications. [/marker-highight]
WisdmTREAD uses Modular Architecture for the development of Enterprise Application. The reservoir of pre-made modules helps in quickly setting up the framework for the application. The exact requirements of the business are carefully acknowledged and implemented. The use of Modular Architecture [marker-highight]ensures easy integration between constituent systems and also effortless maintenance.[/marker-highight]. The framework assists in developing products that are robust, scalable, highly secure, fast and easy to maintain. Also, a lot of time and money is saved as development is done quickly without compromising on the quality of development.
Coming back to the analogy of building up a football team, WisdmTREAD acts as the coach of the team, that helps build winning applications. It helps in overcoming general and specific challenges related to Enterprise Application Development.
The expectations from an Enterprise Application are many, from the smooth integration of constituent systems to adaptability to changing business and technology environments. [marker-highlight]Having a framework as a guide is always recommended.[/marker-highlight] It helps you save numerous hours from getting wasted on untangling malfunctioned cross-links between various sub-systems. At all point in time, it’s advised to check how efficient is the Enterprise Application (or going to be) in achieving the main goal.
Please feel free to reach out to us with any queries you might have. You can also download this 36-page guide that explains the characteristics of an Enterprise Application and various aspects of WisdmTREAD in detail!