Enterprise applications have become a core strategy for effectively managing a business and will continue to provide increasing value to companies that understand their benefits. Here’s what you need to know about enterprise apps, including what they are, how they’re built, and how to know when you need one. Exploring the examples of successful enterprise software development projects will give you ideas for which features to include in your own enterprise app.
What Is an Enterprise Application?
An enterprise application is a software system platform used by a business to assist the organization with solving its problems. These apps integrate or interface with other enterprise apps, which requires high reliability, stability, and predictability. These apps are highly adaptable with pre-configured and customizable options, and they support deployment across multiple networks. Enterprise apps require speed and scalability, and to meet strict security and administration management requirements.
How Does This Differ From a Consumer App?
Consumer apps solve consumer problems, while enterprise apps are designed for businesses. Enterprise apps are larger and more complex than individual consumers need. However, some individuals use enterprise software like Zoom, and sometimes enterprises use consumer apps like Twitter.
Types of Enterprise Apps
Enterprise apps help companies support many different areas of their businesses. If a process is consistently used across businesses, there’s a good chance that an enterprise application exists to assist that process. If such an enterprise app doesn’t exist, perhaps you’ve found an opportunity to build one.
The most common kinds of enterprise apps include all of the following:
- Client portal app
- HR management
- Enterprise search
- Payment processing
- Business intelligence
- Marketing automation
- Content management
- Project management tools
- Automated billing systems
- Call center and customer support
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
- Messaging and collaboration systems
- Enterprise application integration (EAI)
- Customer relationship management (CRM) email marketing systems
Some of these applications may entail cloud computing, where some or all of the support infrastructure is in the cloud. Others may have on-premise systems or even a hybrid version with both.
It’s also important to differentiate between off-the-shelf software and custom software. Sometimes you can find an existing application that will meet your business’s needs. But if existing options aren’t a fit, you’ll want to build a custom app. Building custom business software solutions is more expensive, but it gives you complete control over the outcome.
Learn more about the different types of enterprise software and how they can be used to grow your business.
When You Need an Enterprise App
Enterprise apps support growing businesses in many ways. One of the biggest advantages of enterprise apps is their ability to improve productivity and efficiency. They help to optimize business processes in all areas of an organization and support new business models with greater transparency.
Benefits of Enterprise Apps for Customers
Custom business software improves customer interactions. An enterprise app can enhance communication between a business and its customers by providing real-time access to information. Custom business apps also enable customers to purchase and access digital products in just a few convenient clicks.
When an enterprise app gives customers and clients more access to everything they need, it reduces the customer service burden on the business. Enterprise software solutions can also serve up customer insights and analytics for sales executives and customer-facing staff. Actionable insights empower better preparation for calls and enable more satisfactory responses to requests.
Benefits of Enterprise Apps for Employees
Enterprise app analytics don’t just support customer-facing roles, but organizations overall. The powerful insights unlocked by the more digestible data enterprise apps pave the way for companies to find and leverage competitive advantages, new market opportunities, and more — the list is endless.
Businesses can customize the KPIs they want to see and how they want the information presented, making it more actionable, and all in real time. Gone are the days when companies needed to wait weeks or even months after a sales cycle to understand market impact — now it’s right at their fingertips at any point in time.
How To Develop an Enterprise Application
Before you jump into building an enterprise app to meet your organization’s needs, craft a strategy to set the foundation for success. Review all tools your company currently uses to see what is working and where you can attain more value. Plan for how your enterprise app will integrate with the apps you will retain. Determine specific KPIs to define success in such a way that you can quantify it and do an honest evaluation of your in-house abilities. Though you may be able to save on cost through building an enterprise app in-house, if you don’t have the expertise, you run the risk of it not effectively meeting your needs.
Once you have a strategy in place, here is the process to follow to create an enterprise app:
- Evaluate your business goals — What goal(s) are you trying to achieve, and what are the features required for the app?
- Determine your budget — Before you get started, figure out how much you can spend. It’ll help your development partner work with you to prioritize your needs.
- Document your needs — Detail your goals, expectations, and the core functionality of your enterprise app. Include the apps it will interact with and any development requests you have, including platforms and technologies you may want to use. It’s helpful to work up a wireframe as well, though your tech partner can help you navigate this if you don’t have the expertise.
- Craft the UI/UX design — A web designer can create a design based on the technical specifications you detailed in the last step.
- Build and test — It’s exciting to watch your enterprise app come to life. Make sure to collect and integrate feedback from your employees.
- Deploy and maintain — It’s showtime! Install the app on your employee’s devices, and share it on app markets if customers will also use it. The job isn’t over yet, as you’ll want to collect feedback for enhancements and fix defects as needed.
Learn more about the Apple Developer Enterprise Program and how to distribute your enterprise app.
21 Enterprise Application Examples
There are a lot of different enterprise apps already available to choose from. Here are some of the most popular:
1 – Salesforce
A leader for enterprise sales teams, this customer relationship management platform connects sales, marketing, commerce, and service teams.
2 – Microsoft Office 365
The software giant gives us this productivity cloud with traditional Microsoft Office apps like Word and Excel, as well as apps handling device management, security, and more.
3 – SAP Concur
A leading ERP solution, SAP connects travel, expense, and vendor invoices, enabling individuals and companies to manage their end-to-end spending.
4 – Slack
This messaging system enables people to work together more effectively in a secure environment. Several business owners call it out as a top enterprise app.
Norbert Raus, CEO & Co-founder at Alphamoon, says the best enterprise apps all have one thing in common: “they make our hybrid work model seamless.” He notes that Slack is especially great for customer service. “I’m right there with the clients and can assist when needed.”
Andrew Meyer, CEO of Arbor, adds that Slack offers a terrific user experience. “I love it for its intuitive design, ease of use, and ability to help my team work productively and efficiently.”
There’s a lot to love about Slack, but we can’t possibly overlook the opportunities for integrations with other enterprise applications. “Slack offers a wide range of integrations with other tools and services, allowing us to centralize our workflow and access important information without switching between multiple applications. Whether connecting project management tools, file-sharing services, or video conferencing platforms, Slack is a hub that brings everything together,” says Yeespy‘s CEO, Peter Michaels.
5 – Jira
The popular work management tool collects requirements, manages test cases, and tracks bugs or issues. It’s popular for software development teams, especially those that practice Agile.
6 – ADP
Enterprises use ADP for human capital management solutions app that brings together HR, payroll, time tracking, tax, and benefits administration.
7 – Amazon Web Services
Amazon’s set of global cloud-based products helps organizations lower IT costs, move faster, and scale.
8 – HubSpot
This CRM offers marketing automation, powering targeted marketing campaigns to engage with your audience via social media, SMS, digital ads, and email.
“I find the HubSpot App very helpful in keeping me organized throughout the day. When I open the app every morning, I can see what open tasks are waiting for me and the upcoming meetings. As a small business owner who relies heavily on CRM, I find it very helpful as it helps me stay on track and ensures that I don’t miss anything.”Oran Yehiel, Founder, StartupGeek.com
On top of the great reporting and sleek user experience, HubSpot opens the door to significant time savings.
HubSpot CRM saves us significant time by automating repetitive tasks and workflows. It seamlessly integrates with other HubSpot tools, such as email marketing and marketing automation, enabling us to automate follow-ups, track email opens and clicks, and manage lead nurturing campaigns. This automation saves time and ensures that no opportunities slip through the cracks.Nathan Clark, Co-Founder, Gate2Ai
9 – Cisco Meraki
This app provides unified management of an entire network of devices from a centralized dashboard, including services security, deployment, and troubleshooting.
10 – Confluence
Another terrific option for building a content library, this collaboration and wiki tool enables team collaboration and knowledge sharing.
11 – NTS WorkZone
The efficient client portal app from National Trench Safety helps users keep track of rented equipment.
12 – Zoom
This popular video conferencing app helped businesses replace in-person meetings, especially during the sudden shift to remote work.
13 – Infor
Infor is a leading ERP solution that can be tailored to specific industries and is ripe for Infor development projects like NTS WorkZone. A high potential for customization allows enterprises to get more from Infor.
14 – Evernote
The popular note-taking and task management application makes it easier to collect and organize ideas or other information. Will Yang, the Head of Growth and Customer Success at Instrumentl, describes it as a digital filing cabinet with a productivity app built in.
“On top of all that,” he says, “it comes with a ton of features that make it useful beyond just storing files: photo albums; calendar reminders; reminders (of course); even math equations! It’s great for taking notes in meetings too because you can easily add images or photos directly from within the app itself —no need to email yourself links or wait until later to upload them somewhere else first.”
15 – Notion
Evernote isn’t the only big player in the content organization game. Notion has been picking up a lot of steam in recent years, and for good reason. Sreeram Sharma, Head of Content and SEO at Angleout says he’s tried them all, and he’d put his money on Notion to survive an enterprise app-ocalypse:
“As soon as I saw Notion, I knew it was the one… It’s completely customizable. It helps me manage my daily tasks, acts as a CRM to store important data, and reminds me to send invoices on time. I’ve literally switched between several project management tools, and none of them have been helpful. The best part, since it has a simple mobile app, I can keep track of everything on the go.”
16 – Dropbox
This is one of the first big cloud storage solutions. It has access controls to keep enterprise data safe.
17 – Elastic
If your enterprise site is getting unwieldy, you might be ready for Elastic. The search tool aims to boost engagement by making websites easier to navigate.
18 – Asana
Turn to Asana for an enterprise project management app with rich reporting, team collaboration features, and task automation capabilities.
Will Yang says, “Asana allows us to efficiently organize and prioritize tasks, assign due dates, and involve all team members in a cohesive and productive work environment. The platform’s interface is intuitive and easy to use, making it possible for new team members to quickly adapt and engage with the tasks assigned to them.”
Will also loves Asana’s ability to create templates for recurring progress, which saves time and eliminates busywork. He says the different visualizations help managers evaluate project status and allocate resources appropriately. We have to agree with Will, here – Designli uses Asana to power our own process and keep projects on track!
19 – GoLinks
This is a great information management platform that you don’t have to be a database expert to navigate. It allows users to create and share intuitive, memorable links to the enterprise’s most important resources.
20 – Zendesk
Zendesk is a help desk software that enhances customer service workflows. Shaunak Amin, the co-founder and CEO of SwagMagic, says it helps boost the company’s customer satisfaction rating to an impressive 99%:
“As one team handling multiple brands, we have thousands of pieces of information coming in each day. And Zendesk enables us to maintain the individuality of each brand when it comes to customer support. This way, we can segment ticket management, live chat, knowledge base, and customer engagement tools accordingly. The result is a faster and more personalized experience for our clients.“
21 – Airtable
An enterprise favorite in recent years, Airtable is a low-code platform for creating powerful databases and even simple applications. Gaurav Nagani of Desku says, “I use Airtable to track my finances, manage my to-do list, and organize my research. Airtable is incredibly flexible and powerful, and it’s easy to learn how to use.”
22 – Loom
Loom is a video messaging tool that might be just what you need when it’s hard to explain a concept or demonstrate a process in text alone. Record any combination of your screen, camera, and microphone to get your point across efficiently.
Phil Strazzulla manages employees on six continents, collaborating to compile information that helps HR professionals discover and buy the right software. He says Loom helps his team at SelectSoftware share information without blocking off big chunks of time for meetings. “Instead of scheduling and coordinating multiple people’s calendars, we can now record a concise video message where we can explain our thoughts, share our screen, and even demonstrate processes or workflows within 5 minutes.”
Leverage the Power of Enterprise Apps for Your Business
Enterprise apps make running organizations easier by directly solving business problems. When you start with clarity as to your business needs and define a strategy that enables you to choose the best enterprise apps for those needs, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without custom business software.
Want to learn more about custom enterprise software development? As a top-rated enterprise app development company, Designli knows what it takes to build a product your customers will love. Get in touch, and let’s chat about your project!
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