Enterprise Software Development: Steps, Timelines, and Cost Factors
In software development since 1989, ScienceSoft carries out the development of modular multi-user software, which efficiently controls complex business operations.
Enterprise Software Development: The Essence
Time: The end-to-end development of the first version of enterprise software or several essential enterprise software modules usually takes around a year. The exact timelines depend on the business domain it is used in and the composition and complexity of the required modules.
Key project steps: Discovery, enterprise software planning and design, UX and UI design, development and testing, data conversion and uploadin, deployment, regulatory compliance assessment and certification procedures, iterative evolution.
Cost: generally, between $50,000 and $500,000.
Team: A project manager, a business analyst, a System Architect, a regulatory consultant, UI and UX designers,a database developer, front-end and back-end developers, QA and DevOps engineers.
ScienceSoft helps enterprises increase efficiency and productivity with the help of secure, reliable business applications that are easy to maintain, integrate, scale, manage, and are cost-effective with a lower cloud footprint. Our team takes over end-to-end enterprise software delivery - from planning to engineering and support.
Enterprise Software Development Plan
Below are described the typical steps we at ScienceSoft take to complete enterprise application development projects.
Step 1. Discovery
Duration: 1-2 months
- Documenting key business processes and how they’re covered with existing software, understanding the capabilities and limitations of the existing IT environment.
- Eliciting business needs and concerns regarding the existing and desired business process flows.
- Analyzing a broad business strategy (e.g., planned company growth and IT budgets) that can affect architectural and tech choices for planned software.
- Drawing up high-level functional and technical requirements to software.
- Evaluating risks of possible negative impact on business processes due to the introduction of the new system (e.g., lost productivity and downtime associated with transitioning to new digital processes, business user training).
Step 2. Enterprise software planning and design
Duration: ~ 2 months.
- Drawing up technical requirements for the new enterprise software.
- Deciding on the architectural style of the new enterprise software system (mostly, point-to-point/event-driven service-based or microservices) and developing its detailed design.
ScienceSoft's tip #1
Often, we see that is more cost-efficient and less risky to re-use a part of our client's legacy enterprise systems than develop and implement new software modules and enable their communication with other enterprise systems. When we decide to re-use existing legacy modules in a new enterprise software development, we add to our project plan all or several of the following activities:
- Reverse engineering of the legacy system (including all connections and interdependencies), interfaces between software components, data structure, and data design.
Show all activities
- Code re-factoring to simplify conditionals, remove unneeded code parts, improve code structure, review complex or memory-intensive algorithms.
- Adding new intuitive and integrated interfaces.
- Designing and implementing the integration of the legacy modules with new software (see more info on software integration in Note 2).
ScienceSoft's tip #2
When integration with other enterprise or third-party software is required, we add to the plan:
- Identifying integration touchpoints.
- Choosing integration approaches (integrating via common data storage, mediated integration of SOA/microservices via message broker/ESB or PaaS, point-to-point integration, integration via UI/RPA, etc.) and technologies (e.g., for an ESB-based integration – Talend ESB and SAP PI, for iPaaS-based integration – Azure iPaaS or Informatica iPaaS).
Non-invasive integration (integration via UI/RPA, data storage) is less flexible but also less costly and risky. Invasive integration (e.g., via implementation of SOA with re-usable functional modules that communicate via ESB) can improve enterprise agility and be cost-efficient in the long-term, but it’s expensive in the short term, architecturally risky, and may require quite deep preliminary code changes (very dangerous for legacy applications with their old, not well-documented code). At ScienceSoft, we prioritize non-invasive integration approaches when it comes to legacy software and, for more complex invasive integrations, always consider the adoption of the iterative integration approach to better control risks and prove architecture feasibility in the early iterations.
- Enterprise application integration architecture design.
- Planning how data should flow and whether it needs to be transformed into a different format.
- Checking how many communication protocols between integrated applications will be used.
- Designing additional security enhancements.
- Preparing a comprehensive QA strategy to verify all uni- and bidirectional calls between the integrated systems, backup and recovery mechanisms, how well the integrated system works within established bandwidth limitations, etc.
Step 3. UX and UI design
Duration: 1 – 3 months.
- UX designers and Business Analysts collaborate on UX research to understand the target audience and their needs, goals and mental models.
- UX designers describe how a user will interact with the system (identify digital touchpoints) and design information architecture.
- UX designers create wireframes that demonstrate basic content layout and functionality.
- Wireframes get combined into a prototype of the application.
- The prototype undergoes user testing.
- Once the prototypes pass user testing, UI designers transform them into full-color graphic interface mockups that are then handed over to front-end developers.
Step 4. EAS development and testing
Duration: from ~ 6 months to several years (depends on software complexity).
- Back-end development – to build the server side and APIs of new enterprise software. It also includes integration with required business applications.
- Front-end development – to transform static interface images provided by UI designers into a fully functional enterprise client side and ensure its communication with the server.
- Reviewing whether the system matches functionality, performance, security, and integration requirements. Testing usually runs in parallel with development.
- In parallel with software development, training materials should be prepared to help users adopt the new system.
Our clients often like the idea of shortening the time to release and optimizing the development budget by developing an MVP. It is a software version with only the essential features, which helps us test whether software meets the key stated user needs. Upon confirming or adjusting the initial EAS idea, we add other features to the MVP. We deliver the first working version of enterprise software of small to medium complexity in 4 – 8 months, with new functionality being added during major releases each 2-6 weeks.
Step 5. Data conversion and uploading
Duration: 3-6 weeks.
- Inspecting the legacy data to migrate, avoiding duplicated or inconsistent data.
- Deciding on the supported data formats and handling the required conversions if several data formats are in use.
- Extracting, transforming and loading the legacy data.
- Conducting ETL testing to ensure data stays complete and adequately transformed (also, where feasible, developing and running automated ETL testing, e.g., using tools as QuerySurge, Informatica DVO, ETL Validator)
Step 6. EAS deployment
Duration: 1-2 weeks.
Software gets deployed and integrated with the required corporate infrastructure. Complex software should be first moved through staging and testing environments so that the team could safely introduce changes or catch remaining mistakes before release.
For complex projects we perform a trial implementation to minimize possible downtimes in production. The trial implementation is done for a limited number of users and requires comprehensive technical support in case any problems are encountered. Trial stages usually take up to 1-3 months.
Step 7. Regulatory compliance assessment and certification procedures
Duration: up to several months.
This stage is relevant for enterprise software or its parts falling under government or industry regulations, e.g., HIPAA, CGMP, PCI DSS. At this stage, our team compiles comprehensive documentation created during all stages – from software design to verification and validation – to prove that software and software development life cycle meet all essential requirements of a standard or a regulation.
Step 8. Further EAS evolution in iterations
Duration of releases: 1-3-6 months (depends on a development and deployment strategy).
The development and delivery of new working software modules continue iteratively according to the following scheme:
Enterprise software development consulting
- Elicit and structure software requirements.
- Assess tech and economic feasibility of the project.
- Plan application security and compliance.
- Develop a business case.
- Deliver PoC.
- Design architecture, choose a tech stack.
- Deliver a detailed development roadmap.
- Plan a DevOps strategy.
End-to-end enterprise software development
Our team takes over:
- Needs analysis, requirements specification, app architecture design.
- UX and UI design.
- MVP development.
- Software development, integration with other business software, testing and QA.
- After-launch support.
- Continuous app management and evolution (on demand).
Why Choose ScienceSoft to Deliver Your Software Product?
- In software development since 1989.
- In enterprise software development since 2002.
- 10 years of cloud consulting and development of complex applications.
- 17 years in business intelligence and data warehouse services.
- 700+ experts onboard, incl. PMs, business analysts, architects, developers, data scientists, QA, security, DevOps, and support engineers.
- System and database architects with 7-20 years of experience.
- Expertise in 30+ industries and.
- 19 years in cybersecurity. All-level security configuration and monitoring (infrastructure, application logic, security testing, compliance).
- Сutting-edge technologies and data-driven insights. Competencies in advanced techs like big data (since 2013), IoT (since 2011), AI/ML (since 1989), AR/VR, AVI, blockchain, image analysis, etc.; Industry 4.0, Supply Chain 4.0, digital health, smart cities.
- ISO 9001 and ISO 27001-certified to guarantee service quality and customer data security.
Enterprise Apps Delivered by ScienceSoft
Custom Application Development to Drive Digital Transformation across Phytotherapeutic Business
- Custom order management system and its integration with the ecommerce solution.
- Warehouse management tool with abstract APIs to promptly introduce new parameters for data gathering.
- Improved business flows and increased clients’ satisfaction.
Development of Blockchain-Based Supply Chain Software
- Secure blockchain system comprising the distributed ledger, consensus algorithm, and smart contract.
- Web apps for different user groups to trace goods at each stage of the supply chain and output blockchain transaction data easily.
- MVP delivery in 3 months.
Enterprise Application Modernization for Insurance Company
- Modernization of a 20-year-old legacy aviation insurance web application, replacing outdated non-maintainable technologies with moderns ones and optimizing its functionality.
- A 4-year outsourcing engagement.
StreamServe Enterprise Communication Software Development for 1,500+ Store Retail Company
- Ensuring automated processing of 1+ mln documents from 5 SAP systems per month.
- 170+ document types (e.g. invoices, dunning letters, credit memos, bank statements, etc.).
- Integration with an IBM onDemand-based archiving system.
- Continuous software maintenance and support.
Benefits of Enterprise App Development with ScienceSoft
Increased enterprise efficiency and productivity
Custom enterprise software solutions piece together the core functionality for the business process in focus and unique software features and capabilities for your individual requirements.
Easy to use and manage
We build secure, reliable business applications that are easy to maintain, integrate, scale, manage, and are cost-effective with a lower cloud footprint.
Our teams combine consist consultants with industry, functional, and technology expertise to come up with the best solutions.
To help the clients reduce risks, we offers an opportunity to start our cooperation with a PoC. We can prepare a feasibility study with business outcomes bound to each project stage and provide the client with free project estimates.
A privileged position in the technology ecosystem
Partnerships with many key players - Microsoft, AWS, Oracle, etc. - granting ScienceSoft direct access to their advisory, additional discounts and more.
Strong data security
We start cooperation with signing NDA (already at the initial negotiation stage if needed) to guarantee the confidentiality of your information. As the project unfolds, your product stays protected due to our secure IT infrastructure (with IDS/IPS, DLP, SIEM), data security practises approved by the ISO 27001 certificate, and adherence to the industry-specific standards (e.g., HIPAA, PCI DSS, GDPR).
Our solutions are fully compliant with industry and legal requirements (HIPAA, GLBA, GDPR, etc.).
ScienceSoft as a Reliable Enterprise Software Development Partner
The client needed complex trade promotion management software to serve as trade marketing planning system. The solution needed to be easily customizable, as the client operates in over 180 countries and needs to adjust the software to the local requirements.
However, the challenge was not only to provide quality development services but to collaborate with two international teams engaged in the project implementation. ScienceSoft accomplished this task in a highly productive and efficient way. The communication ran seamlessly.
The solution developed by ScienceSoft fully met the client's requirements and expectations.
Mikhail Anfimau, Senior Solution Architect, Leo Burnett
Typical Roles in Our Enterprise Software Development Teams
Below we describe the common roles involved in complex enterprise software development projects. Additional talents may be required, depending on the nature of the project, for example, you may need the skills of data scientists, 3D designers, etc.
- Keeping the project on schedule and within the scope and budget.
- Controlling project milestones and deliverables
- Facilitating and coordinating communication between all team members.
- Managing project risks.
- Uncovering the underlying business issues that need to be addressed.
- Translating business needs into enterprise application capabilities.
- Organizing, specifying and documenting requirements to the new enterprise software system from all stakeholders.
- Representing business interests during system design and software configuration planning.
- Designing software architecture.
- Designing integrations with other in-house and third-party software systems.
Note: A system architect should have a good knowledge of advanced software architecture approaches, including ESB-driven service-oriented architectures and microservices.
- Performing UX research.
- Designing user interactions with the application.
- Designing the information architecture.
- Conducting usability testing.
- Deciding on the colors, icons and screen layouts of the application’s GUI.
- Creating a UI kit for quick development of user interfaces.
- Developing and implementing databases, building data models.
- Optimizing resource consumption and storage space needed.
- Developing and support ETL/ELT processes.
- Writing back-end code and APIs.
- Performing unit tests.
- Creating functional components of the user interface.
- Designing a test strategy.
- Selecting test tools.
- Designing, developing, and maintaining tests.
- Documenting, implementing, monitoring, and improving the testing process.
- Tracking test results, finding and reporting bugs.
- Planning, configuring, documenting, testing and optimizing software infrastructure.
- Incorporating an infrastructure-as-code approach.
- Optimizing orchestration.
- Designing and creating CI/CD pipelines for automated deployment.
- Selecting and configuring tools to execute daily monitoring of the enterprise application system.
- Performing root cause analysis of EAS performance faults.
An entire EAS development process is in-house
- Direct supervision over the development process and team productivity.
- High costs.
- Lack of experience and resources can lead to the project delay, setup and management risks.
- All hiring and managerial efforts are on your side.
A mix of an in-house team and outsourced consultancy
- In-house team has a deep understanding of internal processes and software environment and direct access to all assets.
- Outsourced consultancy provides expert guidance, mentors through the most challenging migration activities, closes up the gaps in specific tech skills.
- Risks related to vendor selection.
- Requires time and experience to establish smooth collaboration and communication between the in-house and consultancy teams.
- Project team coordination, the concerns about quick and quality delivery, risk management are partially/totally on your side.
Full EAS development process is outsourcing
- Established EAS design and development processes.
- A vendor assumes full responsibility for the team arrangement and management, quality of the project deliverables and related risk management.
- High vendor risks.
Frameworks and libraries
Architecture patterns (Front end)
Progressive web app (PWA)
Single-page application (SPA)
Architecture patterns (Back end)
Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
Traditional 3-layer architecture
Domain-driven design (DDD) pattern
In our experience, SME can expect the costs of custom enterprise software to range anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000. For large enterprises, the cost will often vary between $200,000 and $500,000.
Major cost factors:
ScienceSoft is a US-headquartered global software development company with 33 years in the market. We employ extensive technical expertise and practical knowledge of 30+ industries, professional business analysis, and KPI-based development to help our customers re-engineer, build and integrate enterprise software that covers complex business processes. As the holder of ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 certifications, we rely on mature quality management and guarantee the cooperation doesn't pose any risks to the customers' data security.