How Companies Can Build Enterprise-ready Apps and Compete With the Giants
Serious enterprise software requires unquestionable scalability, performance and security. Here’s how to judge if an app is at that level.
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Smaller companies have traditionally been able to tolerate quirks and technical issues when deploying an app, but larger enterprises have never really had this luxury. In order for an app to be enterprise-ready, it has to be able to keep all of the information that passes through it safe regardless of how many different hands it has to pass through. Considering that some major financial and social media apps may share data with literally hundreds of partners, that's a bigger undertaking than you might imagine.
If an app has to interface with any outside service, then it's also faced with the challenge of keeping all of the additional data it collects secure. Performance issues also factor into the question of enterprise-readiness, especially when scalability features become an issue. A few simple criteria can help technicians judge whether or not any particular solution is ready for the big time.
Organizations that find themselves in this position will want to consider the issue of not only data security but also safety.
Purging Showstopper Data Concerns from Your Apps
Sticking to industry-standard frameworks like React and Node.js should help to ensure a high degree of data security from the ground up. That being said, it's important to make sure that business information is protected against unauthorized access as well as data corruption. Proper use of strong access controls based on the roles of each individual user can go a long way toward protecting data. That being said, corruption is still a major issue that quite a few app developers don't take quite as seriously as they should.
One way to deal with the problem of ensuring that an app is ready for an enterprise environment is to work with an expert development team that's established themselves in this sector of the industry. Some companies are looking to outside agencies in order to help them deal with enterprise readiness, and this approach is starting to grow in popularity among those who represent firms that do business in a variety of market sectors. By dramatically reducing the risk of unintentional releases of information, apps can be hardened to the point where they'll work in a more professional environment. That's one of the biggest reasons why companies may want to work with these firms.
Many of these vendors also work to provide additional enterprise-level features to apps that help consumers work with these apps. In many cases, it's best if an experienced development vendor manages the coding process from the beginning. By building high-level enterprise-grade features into a program from the start, the need to rebuild things, later on, will be drastically diminished. Companies that find themselves in a growth stage are focused on ramping up their enterprise-readiness in almost all zones, which means they'll need mature SaaS products that can offer everything a wide variety of consumers may end up demanding. Everything from subscription-based financial systems to a flexible infrastructure could end up being vital at this point.
As one might expect, that can translate into a complicated testing phase. However, the fact that back-end development usually happens on a dedicated platform means that the testing of SaaS applications doesn't have to be as complex as that of a piece of general-purpose software. Nevertheless, it's still quite stringent. Technologists usually need to ensure that there's no way for a bad actor to execute arbitrary code on top of the code they themselves have written. That's a tall order when working with data on the scale of some of these apps.
Developers will generally rely on a pre-built framework like the aforementioned React or perhaps Rails, which helps to further reduce costs and some of the security and privacy issues related to writing a proprietary service from scratch. That being said, truly enterprise-ready apps aren't merely cobbled together from existing codebases and then deployed in the wild. They're made like puzzle pieces that fit into much more complex ecosystems.
Over time, these tools can build more focused SaaS products that zero-in on the kinds of consumers that enterprise-level operations and growing companies attract. In order to do so, they often need to integrate workflows from a variety of inputs.
Workflow Integration in an Enterprise Environment
Average users normally have to complete several tasks simultaneously in order to get a job done. Enterprise-grade software normally can't predict the needs of every end-user that downloads it simply because a single app could be used by literally hundreds of people. That's why enterprise-ready apps need to be tightly integrated with one another and share data without losing any of the information their users create.
By folding several communications platforms together, enterprise software can facilitate more efficient workflows and help users share knowledge with one another. Numerous problems in the manufacturing and warehousing sectors are the result of miscommunication, which these apps need to be designed to prevent. Well-designed software applications can help reduce the risk of these problems occurring.
In many situations, users will demand a minimum level of connectivity. If people have to repeatedly re-enter data, then they're not going to be pleased with the programs they're working with. They might also make a mistake if the reentry process is particularly tedious. Apps that scale well and support multiple communications protocols are usually able to perform fairly well in this respect.
In general, the performance of any enterprise-grade app can be measured with just a few simple metrics.
Assessing the Enterprise Readiness of Any App
Some computer scientists and business specialists have come up with several different metrics they use to see whether or not a particular app could ever perform well in an enterprise situation. While there isn't one single readiness assessment test, marketers do agree that apps that don't meet security and privacy guidelines could never pass any audit. Those that perform poorly in terms of responding to queries from individual users would also score poorly on any hypothetical test.
DevOps teams have long emphasized the importance of streamlining operations, especially with some claiming that there's a coming second wave in digital communications. Regardless of whether this kind of market forces would impact any particular business, those who use an enterprise-grade app to communicate with a distant cloud server will want to be sure that their app doesn't lag when performing a lookup or sort request.
User interface design is also a consideration, but this shouldn't be as difficult to deal with since mobile and desktop system software vendors tend to publish UI guidelines that specify what apps running on their platforms should look like. As long as developers don't stray too far from these guidelines, they normally shouldn't run into problems.
More serious issues start to crop up when companies can't answer simple questions about where their data is hosted at any given time.
Planning for a Distributed Hosting Network
Any given cloud-based application could potentially host data at any remote server without notifying system administrators where that information was being held. This can potentially cause problems for enterprises who can't maintain a nebulous presence anywhere outside of their normal service area.
In order to certify that a particular app is totally ready for use in an enterprise environment, data scientists have to make sure that the information they're transferring never enters or leaves an untrusted network. With cloud storage networks growing on a daily basis, this has quickly become a more difficult process than it ever was before.
That being said, there are now dedicated hosting services that can explicitly state where data is held and for how long. Some enterprise-level companies may consider using colocation services to get a better handle on their information. Multiple cluster management technology has made it possible for specialists to keep an eye on their servers regardless of how much physical distance is between them and the actual metal that their software is running on.
While all of this might sound complex, making sure that apps are ready for use in an enterprise environment will prevent bigger problems in the future.
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