Digital transformation goes beyond launching snazzy customer-facing apps. Enterprises everywhere are also building custom applications for their internal customers – employees too.

From accounting to HR, administration, and sales, every department within an enterprise uses various applications to complete its tasks effectively.

Most departments use 40 to 60 different applications on average.

Since demand for enterprise applications will increase by 20.1% in the next eight years, it’s necessary to know their benefits and challenges.


Why Use Custom-built Enterprise Applications?

Let’s first understand custom-built enterprise applications. Most enterprises use commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) applications to manage their operations and tasks. However, sometimes they need bespoke solutions to address specific issues or meet business needs. That’s when enterprises build custom applications. These apps are developed for a particular enterprise, function, or process to meet specific goals.

With the help of the proper custom-built enterprise application, enterprises can:

1. Enhance Efficiency

Custom-built applications streamline tasks, reduce errors, and improve employee productivity. Employees can use these applications to schedule meetings, manage tickets, and handle administrative tasks effortlessly.

2. Get More Data

Custom-built applications can easily be integrated with other enterprise systems, platforms, and third-party sources, using APIs. This helps employees gather critical data from different sources and view it in a centralized platform. Detailed insights can help enterprises make informed data-driven decisions and serve customers better.

3. Easy Communication

Custom-built applications can improve communication and collaboration between different departments, teams, and individuals within the enterprise. This reduces silos, enhances information flow, and accelerates the decision-making process.

4. Improve ROI

As custom-built applications streamline operations and enhance productivity, enterprises can focus on improving their ROI. Alternatively, these applications could generate an extra revenue stream for enterprises. Take the example of Slack. Slack was built as an internal communication platform to facilitate effortless communication between team members at Glitch. The tool was eventually made public and is now widely used in other enterprises worldwide as a communication tool.

5. Streamline Operations

Custom enterprise applications can automate many processes like invoicing, order management, and payment processing. This reduces errors, accelerates task completion, and improves overall efficiency.


The Exciting World of Custom-built Enterprise Applications [The Trends]

1. Open-Source Tools

Several enterprises have started using open-source tools like GitHub to build custom enterprise applications. They are cost-effective and enable developers to build applications quickly with the help of readily-available open-source libraries. Take Goldman Sachs, for instance. The investment bank uses GitLab to manage its software development platform. GitLab offers a common DevOps platform for all development projects. It has helped Goldman Sachs accelerate their delivery time and work on thousands of updates daily and enabled developers to streamline workflows through a single interface.

2. Low-Code/No-Code Apps

Low-code and no-code platforms have democratized coding for non-technical users. Non-technical employees can also build enterprise apps. Although employees might need help from technical experts to build low-code applications, the overall design and development cycle will be shorter and more agile. They can develop their own apps to improve productivity, manage operations, and adapt to the changing business landscape. They don’t have to depend on IT teams for that. They can also scale the app and make it accessible to other departments across the enterprise to improve business outcomes.

3. Cybersecurity 

Cyberattacks have increased and become more sophisticated than before. As more enterprises undergo digital transformation, use their own devices, and add more endpoints, the chances of risks have increased too. That’s why enterprises are increasing their security budget and investing in sophisticated tools to thwart every attempt at cybersecurity attacks. Besides that, they are also:

  • Updating the security and privacy policies to make them relevant to the current landscape
  • Establishing zero-trust guidelines
  • Investing in secure access service edge (SASE) to protect data at the entry point and beyond the enterprise boundaries.

They are also doing extensive security testing, implementing artificial intelligence (AI), and using multi-factor user authorization to build a secure enterprise app. Every third-party integration and unpatched open-source software and tools are checked thoroughly to prevent vulnerabilities from entering the network.

4. AI, IoT, Data Analytics

Enterprises have always used artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and data analytics to serve customers better. But now, they can also integrate these technologies with custom-built enterprise apps to gather data insights, automate processes, make predictions, and improve decision-making.

5. New ERP Systems

Enterprises will soon replace legacy ERP systems with new, cloud-based ERP systems. The cloud-based ERP systems are more flexible and can be customized to meet specific business goals. They reduce technology costs, integrate with new technologies like blockchain, analytics, and other applications, and enable enterprises to stay ahead of the competition.


The Scary World of Custom-built Enterprise Applications [The Challenges]

Although building custom enterprise applications is exciting, some challenges make them a scary initiative.

1. Security Concerns

Enterprise apps store and exchange large volumes of sensitive data and are accessible to various departments. Factors like inadequate precautions, unauthorized access, unpatched software and libraries, and no audits of APIs and third-party systems and tools make these apps susceptible to security breaches and data leaks. However, enterprises can resolve this with updated security policies, robust encryption techniques, regular security audits, and extensive employee awareness sessions.

2. Lack of In-house Experts

Most enterprises don’t have enough in-house experts to build custom applications. Even no-code/low-code applications require specific knowledge about solving business problems with technology. Every employee in the enterprise may not possess that skill. Hence, consider working with a trustworthy IT partner who understands the objective and has the expertise, experience, and domain knowledge to spearhead this initiative.

3. Changing Business Needs

The core objective of custom enterprise applications is to address specific business requirements. However, business needs change over time, and that could render the application useless in the future. Hence, ensure that the applications are flexible and adaptable to the changing business needs.



Enterprise applications have become necessary to streamline processes, improve collaboration and productivity, aid employees in their work, and meet insatiable customer demands.

Be clear about the objectives, discuss its potential with all the stakeholders, and find a partner to build the application. Ensure the app is easy to use and doesn’t involve a steep learning curve. Everybody should be able to use it without any hassle. Think of it as a customer-facing application, and focus on building an app that enhances employee experience.


Want to develop a custom-built enterprise application? Contact us today!