Software Solution Companies: Expectations vs. Reality 

 

As a growing enterprise, in this fast-paced, changing business landscape you are bound to be using software to run, control, manage or audit enterprise operations. At some point, your organization would require a centralized, enterprise level software solution to run or assist with core operations. If your organization does not belong to the IT industry, it is likely that you do not have a sufficiently proficient in-house software development team. Your organization would then have to resort to paying an enterprise software development company to build software for you. The term “software solution company” was coined for software companies that provide multiple software that serve different purposes across an enterprise. 

According to a survey from CIO (IDG Communications) more than 50% of software projects fail due to a lack of time, resources and importantly, a gap between what enterprises perceive the “ideal software” to be and the actual product that is delivered.  We will first look at what an enterprise software actually is, in a nutshell, they aim to automate workflows, accelerate operations, and transform organizational workflows. What most enterprises fail to understand is that however proficient a software development company is, enterprise applications present unique challenges such as multiple users having different needs, shifting roles, changing requirements, strict regulations, and rapid scaling. 

Expectations of the “ideal enterprise software”

First and foremost, end users and business leaders would like a feature or change to be made as quickly as the decision makers require them. Secondly, enterprise software must provide enterprise-grade security, it is crucial that valuable data is safe for anyone who uses the application with major data breaches occurring every day in different parts of the world with increasingly innovative attacks.  The ideal enterprise software must connect seamlessly to the organization’s existing application architecture and provide minimal integration difficulties. 

The Reality: How Enterprise Development Actually Works 

Most users in the enterprise, especially those with limited technical expertise expect applications that provide similar consumer-grade experiences to what they encounter in commercially successful applications. One thing that is forgotten in this scenario is that most commercially successful apps were built with extraordinary amounts of funding, years of development, testing, and improvement. Designers and developers usually build applications to achieve the primary objective of helping clients achieve their goals with what is technically possible. 

It is common that in reality, the enterprise application development process is slow, the process is extremely difficult, there are never enough developers or hours during a typical workday (usually extended) to cope with frequently changing requirements. In the present business environment companies utilize a whole heap of different applications to complete a variety of tasks. With different de-centralized applications, databases, and applications storing information, a new application will merely add to the hodgepodge of a siloed enterprise application architecture. 

The Enterprise application development process is often rushed like everything else in the modern enterprise making the development process highly project-focused. Organizations developing a solution focus on completing the project as soon as possible but it is of vital importance that enterprise applications are as dynamic as the end-users who will be making use of them. 

In order to bridge the gap between expectation and reality, the requirements elicitation process and subsequent documentation must be perfect. Key stakeholders and every potential end user must clearly state and justify their requirements, this must be clearly communicated to the development team. Rigorous testing and continuous updates are imperative to the success of any enterprise application development project. Ample time must be given for testing and bug fixes as this would save time, effort, resources and money over the long run.  

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