Enterprise applications are the heart of an organization. They manage everything including operations, supply chain, human resources, and other crucial functions of the enterprises. Unfortunately, CIOs face a number of challenges when building business-critical enterprise applications instead of choosing commercial off-the-shelf software.
A 2015 study revealed that new enterprise applications are expected to be created in shorter periods of time with fewer or the same amount of resources. The same study discovered that 43 percent of respondents expected an 50 percent or greater increase in “technical complexity of web and mobile apps.”
For CIOs who attempt an enterprise application development project, whether they use an internal or outsourced development team, it can be frustrating to solidify the specs and business demands of the app.
However, a solid planning foundation does not always guarantee that an application will be built quickly and meet all of the expectations from the start. Even if the specs are determined and agreed to at the start, they can often change. Supposedly quick projects can easily spin out of control.
Many organizations underestimate just how much these changes can drive up the cost and development time. What appears to be a small functionality change might actually add months to the project.
From employee and management costs, to consultation and directional planning, to tool and platform licences, to testing, enterprise applications aren’t always cheap.
Most CIOs have costs firmly in their mind. They have to be able to prove that the new enterprise application will provide the organization with great ROI. The new application must seek to improve efficiency, revenue, or other business-critical metrics.
CIOs know that this is a delicate balancing act. They need a legacy system modernization to reduce costs. But their long-term ROI must far outweigh the development costs to even have a chance of getting off the ground.
One big problem is that there’s not a hard and fast rule for how much an enterprise application will cost to create. Some important aspects of the application that determine final costs can be:
- Purpose of the app
- Chosen application platform
- Development approach
- Complexity, customizations, and functionality
- UI/UX, features and design
- Third party tools and integration
- QA and testing
- Hardware necessities and capabilities
Unless your project team has successfully created an enterprise application before, your best bet is to rely on consultants or case studies for a realistic cost assessment. Internal estimates are often optimistic.
Many organizations will attempt to create a whole new application or attempt a legacy application modernization project in-house.
The problem? Enterprise application development project is that it takes incredible expertise, skill and knowledge to ensure that the development process goes smoothly.
Because enterprise apps must integrate very closely with existing systems and processes, the entire development team must be accustomed to constantly refining their knowledge of the business processes and software infrastructure for their project. Keeping up with such a moving target requires a high level of baseline expertise.
Creating apps that consistently meet business needs takes the right combination of teamwork and a variety of different skills and expertise that many in-house teams simply do not possess. These skills can include frontend and backend development, user experience, development, and security, and optimization.
37% of IT professionals surveyed face a mobile app developer shortage.
Almost half of respondents reported dissatisfaction with application development time. And it’s easy to see why developers are frustrated: more than 80% of mobile apps take over three months, and 40% of apps take longer than 6 months to develop.
CIOs have to take a long, hard look at their internal teams. It’s okay to admit that their team can do some of the work but perhaps not all of it. Are you missing knowledgeable architects, for instance? Are your developers fresh out of college? A critical component to successful enterprise application development is using a team that has successfully finished these types of projects in the past.
Today’s end users and customers expect to be engaged through a variety of digital channels.
However, when CIOs attempt to develop applications for the first time, they can be shocked to learn that one app may not work with all platforms right out of the box. This cost can be sneaky, mostly because it can be underestimated. CIOs don’t often realize how much testing and development are required in order to ensure the application functions across a multitude of platforms.
Plan from the beginning to achieve a flexible cloud-enabled application or web app that works in multiple browsers. Work with knowledgeable specialists and choose the right platforms and migration options.