What to Look For in an Enterprise Web Application

Enterprise Web Application
tiffany-palmer@2x By Tiffany Palmer November 24th 2020

If you’re a business owner moving to full-time remote work like hundreds of other companies, you may be looking for software that can make the transition easier. You’re probably wondering if there’s an easier way to collaborate online, instead of just using Google Docs and Zoom. Could an enterprise web application allow you to complete all your work in one space?

If you’ve been looking for solutions but don’t want to spread your workflow over half a dozen different platforms, it may be challenging to find software that fits all your needs. Your IT guy knows some coding, but creating the kind of software you need is beyond his scope. But surely there’s something you can find! 

If this dilemma sounds familiar to you, you should look into purchasing or designing an enterprise web application. Enterprise web apps will make you look more professional and streamline your business operations. By finding the right development team, you can design the perfect enterprise app that fits all your needs. 

What Is an Enterprise Web Application?

An enterprise web application is an app that helps you to manage your business operation. If that seems a little simplistic, that’s because enterprise web apps have a broad scope of functionality. 

Enterprise apps are applications explicitly made to handle revenue or business proceedings. They differ from other sites and applications because they are made specifically for business use, and demand better source code and security for it. Most enterprise web apps are bespoke, made specifically for one company. 

These apps often have a client-facing side and an employee-facing side. They often boast both in-app messaging and payment systems while also integrating well with other platforms (i.e., PayPal, Outlook, Gmail). They can track inventory, productivity, and sales, giving you more time to focus on the human aspect of your job.

These kinds of applications take some pretty beefy coding skills, so they’re usually beyond the scope of an in-house IT team. That’s why it’s smart to hire a team of developers to devote themselves to making your web app. 

What an Enterprise Web App Can Do For You

Above all else, having a great web app will save you time. You won’t have to toggle between screens to communicate with your employees and will be able to keep all your records in one place. 

Some other features that can be incorporated into your web app are:

  • Payment processing (either to employees or from customers)
  • Automated billing
  • Customer relationship management
  • Call centre management 
  • Customer tech support
  • Chatbots and AI-powered customer service
  • Email marketing systems

And much more, depending on what you’re willing to spend. Software as a Service (SaaS) companies are more than happy to integrate more features into your web app when you ask. It’s worth it to have all your business functionality accessible in one place. 

Having a multi-functional web app will help you be more productive in other areas of management. You won’t have to worry about sending out mass emails or hiring more customer service representatives: it can all be automated! 

The Most Important Enterprise App Features

So, you’ve decided to contract a developer to craft the perfect app for your business. But how do you know what to look for?

Since enterprise apps are usually created for mission-critical purposes, it can be hard to figure out the most important features in one. The source code for enterprise apps is almost always proprietary, preventing you from being able to compare and contrast between companies. It makes sense when you consider that SaaS is a multi-billion dollar industry, and ownership of source code is hugely important. 

Here are the features you absolutely must not compromise on. 

1. Security

This is priority zero in developing your web app. The walls into the app must be impenetrable, ensuring that the average hacker cannot gain access to your internal operations. There is no worse publicity than a massive hack of your database. 

Work with your development team to see what their mode of security is. If your web app takes and tracks payments, make sure they have multiple methods of encrypting customer information. Also, ask about implementing an Advanced Web Application Firewall (AWAF) to prevent hacks and leaks. 

Your development team should be able to tell you about their integrated security solutions confidently. Don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions and make sure you’re getting the protection your business deserves. 

2. Multi-Platform Functionality

In the digital age, we switch between laptops, desktops, cell phones, and tablets multiple times throughout the day. Your web app should be able to work just as well on a computer as it does on a phone.

If your clients are mostly logging in from their phones, you need to make sure they’re not staring at a tiny screen intended for their desktops. If your clients are using desktops, your app should not have loads of wasted space because it’s meant to be viewed through a phone screen.

Having a web app that can work on multiple platforms will also increase your productivity, as you will be able to manage your work even when you’re AFK. We all have tiny supercomputers in our pockets nowadays; make yours work for you. 

3. The Need for Speed

Humans are impatient, especially when they’re online. We’ve gotten accustomed to lightning-fast internet speed and websites loading on demand.

Google even factors in load speed when ranking web pages in their search. You don’t want to get bogged down on the fifth page because you have a slow-running app! All the SEO in the world won’t help you there.

Your web app will need to be able to load fast and work even faster. 47% of internet users expect their web pages to load within two seconds or less. Your web app will be useless if it has a multitude of features, but takes aeons to load them.

This requires a development team that is capable of streamlining its source code for maximum efficiency. 

4. Scalability

Even if your business is on the smaller side now, your web app should allow for higher volume later on. The development team should create your app with increased traffic in mind, and be able to outline how the functionality can handle more work. 

The three most essential features for your app to be considered scalable are performance, recoverability, and ease of management. Your app must perform well with many users online at once and must be able to recover important data if the app crashes or glitches. Along with those, your app must still be manageable at high volumes and not require tons of upkeep. 

Because it’s unrealistic (but not impossible!) for your app to work perfectly 24/7, ask your development team what data recovery processes they are implementing. They should be able to talk you through the coding and process in case your web app crashes. 

5. Ease of Use

The source code and foundation of your web app will be very complex, especially if it’s a multi-functional tool. The back end may be all but impenetrable, but the user-facing side must be logical and straightforward. 

The design should be intuitive and user-friendly. Today’s modern internet surfers are used to a certain kind of page structure: there’s a visual hierarchy, an easily-accessed menu, and a clearly-displayed search function. If a client can reach your site but has no idea how to navigate it, they’ll leave. 

The ease of use must also extend to the back end of your app. You and your employees should also be able to access all their needs and job functions without any heavy searching. Work with your development team to make sure your app is intuitive on all sides. 

6. Enjoyment of Use

Your web app can be both functional and fun! The rising trend of motion User Interfaces (UIs) has led to a lot of creativity in the coding world. 

It can be as simple as incorporating a small animation when a page is loading, keeping the user entertained throughout the load time. You can also work with your development team to integrate friendly chatbots or other simple animations on your home page. 

Having a web app that is both easy and enjoyable to use will inspire clients to keep coming back to you. That will increase your business and web traffic, and allow you to stand out from the competition. Being unique will work in your favour. 

Should You Go for the Cloud?

Many app development services offer cloud-based computing apps. That means that the application relies on remote servers to process data and requires a consistent internet connection to function. Cloud-based apps can be helpful if you have a large amount of data to store, such as financial records or customer information, as they offer nearly unlimited storage space. 

But is a cloud-based web app right for you? They offer simplified management, and changes can be made to cloud apps in seconds. They’re also instantly scalable and can handle high volumes of traffic without stuttering or compromising security. 

Cloud-based apps also usually work with a third-party cloud to function. That means that you have even more resources working to ensure your enterprise app is running smoothly. However, it’s also a new variable introduced to your process. 

The main downside of cloud-based applications is that data cannot be up- or downloaded without internet functionality. The base code of a cloud app will still work, but you cannot make any changes until the WiFi is back. 

Since cloud computing is such a new and developing field, there is a lot of room for experimentation. It also means there’s more room for error. But venturing into the cloud could be a bold and beneficial move for your company. 

Enterprise App Development and PWAs

Progressive web apps, or PWAs, are having a boom in popularity. PWAs combine the best features of mobile apps with the best features of hosted web sites to create a better user experience. Essentially, they are web apps that feel like a phone app. 

Developing a PWA is beneficial to you and your business because they are great for both ease of use and multi-platform functionality. The source code is unique but adapts well to different devices, and prevents any glitches or hiccups when switching platforms. 

PWAs focus on user experience. They utilise the hosting capabilities of the web application while incorporating the more fun look and feel of mobile apps. PWAs are innovative and will allow you to stand out from the competition. 

Two important unique features of PWAs is that they can function offline and send push notifications. Having an app that can work offline is a huge leg-up to the competition. Being able to send push notifications can ensure that your clients never forget about you. 

Work Smarter With Enterprise Apps

Whether you’ve decided to purchase a pre-made web app or work with developers to design your own, you’ve made an important step in business advancement. Incorporating an enterprise web application into your work will make your life easier and your enterprise more productive. There is no smarter move in the digital age. 

If your goal is to have a bespoke web application, don’t be afraid to contact a web development firm. We here at EB Pearls have extensive experience designing applications and sites for business use, from the WWF to Habitat For Humanity. Whether you need eCommerce functionality or want to have the smartest AI Chatbot in Australia, we can deliver. 

Browse our packages and deals and don’t hesitate to reach out and schedule a consultation! 

tiffany-palmer@2x By Tiffany Palmer

Tiffany comes with a unique creative ability. She is one of the quickest learners of new tools and methodology. She leads the atomic design principles within our UI & UX team that has helped us to deliver high-quality design faster.

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