The enterprise software development process does not drastically differ from other software development projects, even if the goals of enterprise software are different. For example, think about any web or mobile application you are familiar with. These apps were created to meet the needs of a target audience. On the other hand, enterprise software is built to meet the needs of an organization.
Typically, custom enterprise software is developed to improve or automate existing business processes. Enterprise software should ideally improve efficiency, productivity, functionality, and drive corporate digital transformation. The demand for custom software continues to grow as enterprises realize the bottom-line benefits.
There is no perfect development process, and each project will have its unique challenges. However, if you understand the basic enterprise software development process outline, you can keep your software development team focused and your project on track.
This post will outline the basic enterprise software development process and explain each step in detail.
Understanding the Enterprise Software Development Process
Developing software for enterprise use follows the same development outline used for most custom software development projects. While every software development team might have slight variations to this process, some steps are essential for project success. The critical stages of the enterprise software development process are:
- Ongoing maintenance and security
The planning phase of the software development process is critical to the project’s success. However, this part of the process is often rushed or overlooked. Take your time when creating a plan for your enterprise software. You might be itching to start designing and developing your new software, but if you don’t take the time to thoroughly understand your project’s requirements, you run the risk of going over budget and failing to meet your deadlines.
During the planning stage of the development process, your team should identify what type of software you want to create, whether a web app, cross-platform app, low code app, hybrid app, or native app. Once you know what type of product you want to build, you can determine which development tools and programming languages you will use.
Deciding these things might not seem like a big deal. Still, until you figure out some of the preliminary requirements, you won’t be able to assemble a development team or effectively schedule and budget your project. When it comes to scheduling, set a realistic deadline based on the feedback of your development team.
Finally, you need to ensure that the enterprise software you want to create fits your budget. Software development can get costly, so make sure your project fits your budget. Also, remember to consider additional costs like hardware and other resources that might be needed to complete your project.
Once the planning phase has been completed, you can begin designing your enterprise software. Your designers should start with simple wireframes to get the User Interface elements right before moving to more complex prototypes that focus on the User Experience. During the design phase of development, make sure that the architecture of your software is intuitive and easy to follow.
Before development begins, key stakeholders should review and approve the project’s design. It is far simpler to make changes to the design before development begins. Once the design has been approved, you can start developing software.
Now that a design has been approved, the development phase begins. The software development team will use the documented requirements from the planning phase and the design to code your enterprise software. It is important not to rush or push your development team too hard. You don’t want bugs or vulnerabilities in your software.
However, your development team should stay on schedule. If you took the time to create a reasonable schedule that your developers agreed on during the planning phase, you should have no problems. You will have custom enterprise software at the end of the development phase. However, the process is far from complete.
There is no such thing as perfect software, which is why you always need to test thoroughly. QA testing helps you eliminate bugs and other errors in your enterprise software before sharing it with stakeholders and deploying it to your employees. There are several different aspects of your software that should be tested to ensure quality, including:
- Code – Find and eliminate bugs, and ensure your software has clean code.
- Unit – Ensure that each software component is functioning as expected.
- Performance – Ensure that your software is fast, responsive, and reliable.
- Integrations – Ensure that all integrations work as expected and don’t hamper performance levels.
- Security – Find security vulnerabilities in the software before malicious actors exploit them.
Testing doesn’t necessarily have to follow development. Many software development teams prefer to perform ongoing testing to ensure the quality of their code throughout the development phase. Additionally, testing should never truly end. Even after deployment, you should continuously test and monitor your software to maintain its expected performance levels.
After thoroughly testing, your enterprise software is ready for deployment. The crucial part of enterprise software deployment is employee training. Once the software is released, employees must be trained on using it and how it will fit current business processes.
Ongoing Maintenance and Security
If your enterprise software development project is ultimately successful, ongoing maintenance and security will be the longest phase of the development process. As we hinted at during the testing portion of the content, testing never truly ends. The same is also true for software maintenance.
To keep your enterprise software secure and functioning in the manner intended, it must be constantly monitored. Additionally, there will likely be new bugs discovered, and based on user feedback, there will likely be new updates that you will want to make.
Modern businesses benefit from having custom software built for their business processes. There are different approaches to software development, but all the steps included here are vital to any enterprise software.
If you need help determining what your project needs or if you want to talk with a professional about your app idea, reach out to an app development partner. A partner can help you understand the enterprise software development process and help you build software that meets your needs.