The digital transformation for organizations continues. With it, the technical requirements that systems have to fulfill are becoming increasingly complex. Many companies lay their focus on customized "enterprise applications" in their plans to grow. According to a study, 74 % of the companies surveyed see customized software as a success-driving factor. What is behind the term “enterprise applications”? Why is the need for customized development increasing? And what about out-of-the-box solutions?
First things first, the term enterprise applications refers to all applications that guarantee the ongoing business operations of a company or organization. The range is very broad: from internal processes such as accounting or personnel management, to enterprise resource planning (ERP) or data management, to comprehensive e-commerce platforms in sales. Every company, i.e. an enterprise, is a kind of project. Enterprise applications are therefore all applications that support this project.
Foremost, Enterprise applications play an important role in the automation of business processes, which significantly influences the technological development of a company. A classic example: employees should no longer laboriously maintain data in Excel sheets and manually transfer it to different systems. Instead, the systems should exchange data automatically with each other, for example by allowing changes to customer data to flow from the CRM directly into the ERP.
This saves not only working time and costs, but also enables new profit zones thanks to more efficient usage of resources. On a construction site, for example: Workers are given a mobile device with a specific ordering software with which they can order and reorder materials and specify what they want on the construction site and when. The software then regulates the internal ordering processes behind it and on day X the materials arrive at the right address at the right time. In this way, work can be done efficiently on the construction site. In addition, storage space is saved, which is an important issue, especially in city centers.
The goal of every company should be to develop and perfect precisely this type of automation. Because in today's market, you no longer set yourself apart through your product range alone; service and the efficient use of resources are playing an increasingly important role.
With increasing digitisation, the requirements for these systems are becoming more and more complex. Various aspects must be taken into account when setting up the system architecture. Standard solutions are often cheaper and develop their strengths in their specific use case. With a best-of-breed approach, companies can use many different standard solutions for different tasks.
However, in order to profitably link the various solutions without creating a “big mud of code”, customized enterprise applications are needed that act as mediators in the middle of the architecture. These individually developed solutions are more expensive to purchase, but can be tailored to the specific needs of a company and offer more flexibility and adaptability in the long term. Companies must weigh up to what extent available standard software meet their requirements or whether customized solutions are more cost-efficient in the long run. The choice depends on the specific use case, the existing systems and the company's long-term goals.