Custom Enterprise Software Development vs. Regular Software Development: What’s the Difference?

December 20, 2021 - by Synoptek

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With technological advancements happening at a remarkable speed, businesses often end up outsourcing their IT to improve productivity, efficiency, and results. Enterprise software development and regular software development are two popular methods that enable organizations to leverage modern features and capabilities to meet their unique needs. And, although the terms are used interchangeably, they have several differences. Typically, enterprise software development is built with the organization in mind, while regular software development is tailored to the individual. Read this blog to uncover the common differences between the two and learn why enterprise development is the best choice for organizations.

What is Enterprise Software Development?

Enterprise software development aims to satisfy the needs of an organization rather than an individual user. The software is usually developed for users across many different business functions and disciplines of an organization, and enables different kinds of users to accomplish day-to-day tasks. Offering a unique set of permissions and views, such software is designed specifically for people across different roles.

Building custom software for your enterprise organization allows you to meet your unique business needs and improve the efficiency with which tasks are performed. Since every update that is made to the software adds to the overall goal of the project, it helps in meeting the larger goals of the organization. Common use cases include ERP and CRM systems, BI tools, project management software, and marketing automation software.

How Does Regular Software Development Work?

Unlike enterprise software development which caters to the needs of an entire department or business entity, regular software development solves the needs of a single end-user or a group of users with similar qualities or interests. Such software is mostly generic, and is sold directly to end-users for use, who can install it on their personal devices as an application.

Although end-users can provide suggestions and feedback for improvement, they do not have a say in the development process. The power to decide which features need to be added or removed lies entirely on developers. Common use cases encompass media and entertainment apps, educational software, communication tools, and office productivity tools.

The Main Differences Between Enterprise Software Development and Regular Software Development

Enterprise software development and regular software development, although beneficial in their own ways, vary from each other in several aspects. Here’s looking at the main differences between them:

1. Performance

In contrast to regular software development, where the product or application is expected to work only for individual end-users, enterprise software needs to seamless work in isolation as well as in association with other systems in the business. The software is used by multiple people simultaneously, and via different kinds of devices, and it requires developers to constantly assess the current situation, forecast where the business is heading, and streamline and standardize your process – for the best results. Since the software must work well over all the areas in which it is required to work, constant efforts towards performance optimization have to be made.

2. Security

Although security breaches of any kind can have extremely far-reaching impact, in enterprise software development, the impact can be potentially devastating for the business. Loss of personal information, misuse of data, or compromised networks can bring the entire business down. Therefore, enterprise software developers must focus on integrating security early and often throughout the software development lifecycle.

3. Storage

With regular software catering to the needs of individual users, they do not require massive storage. Developers can use simple on-premises databases for storage purposes, but that’s not the case with enterprise software. Enterprise software systems are usually large and complex, and process business-critical information; they need large and secure storage. The process of manually acquiring, setting up and maintaining high-performing, highly-available servers can be time-consuming, which is why developers need to opt for cloud storage options. Cloud storage not only helps in adapting to fluctuations in demand; it also helps in keeping development costs to a minimum – since organizations only need to pay for what they use.

4. Scalability

Unlike regular software that isn’t expected to offer seamless scalability, enterprise software developers need to ensure scalability of the software under development. No matter what the size of the business, the software needs to grow as the business grows, and continue to offer the same level of performance and availability in the future as well. Therefore, it is important that the development architecture allows for sudden growth – without an accompanying slump in performance.

5. Cost

Businesses that rely on enterprise software want to see an immediate return on their investment. Therefore, while developing enterprise software, it is important for developers to ensure initial outlay and ongoing maintenance costs are kept to a minimum while also ensuring the software performs as intended and meets the needs of those using it.

Regular software is widely available in the market today, forcing many to wonder – why go through the effort and pain of building custom enterprise software instead of using what’s already available? Given the great variety of industries, operating in different regions, using different models, and serving different customers – it’s hard to come by two enterprises that are identical. Since each organization has its own unique processes and its own needs, keeping up with the times requires them to opt for software that makes most business sense for them.

For instance, opting for enterprise software enables organizations to standardize processes, improve employee productivity and efficiency, and get visibility into their business as a whole – while constantly optimizing costs and risks. At the same time, organizations that need to empower their users with the tools and capabilities they need to do their jobs need to rely on regular software.

What’s important to note is that no development method is better than the other; the approach you choose depends entirely on your business need – as both would help you in achieving your goals and driving faster innovation.