Enterprise systems, or enterprise applications, are software programs designed to help businesses in different areas of enterprise operations, such as human resources, finance, manufacturing, supply chain management, customer relationship management, etc. These abilities are used in any business, from small businesses to large corporations. These systems help companies manage data and processes more efficiently, automate processes and workflows, reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve customer service.
All these benefits have come to define the concept of application modernization which is a new way of developing efficient applications that meet the modern needs of businesses and ultimately increase an organization’s competitiveness in the marketplace.
One of the most valuable components of enterprise application design is the “abilities.” So, let’s discuss what abilities are in the context of enterprise application design and their value.
What are enterprise system abilities?
Enterprise system abilities are the key capabilities that an enterprise system must have to succeed. They allow the technical team to make crucial decisions regarding architecture and implementation choices. They also play an essential role in system acceptance and determining what non-functional requirements need to be detailed. Managing risk, increasing efficiency, optimizing resources, and providing transparency are necessary for any enterprise system. Furthermore, the ability to integrate with other systems and to scale up or down according to need is also crucial.
In short, enterprise system abilities are essential for successful enterprise application design and development. Without them, an enterprise system will likely fail no matter how good the development team is.
Tricension relies on these abilities to deliver world-class enterprise systems access to the below core areas:
Re-develop a legacy application
Assess business application
Enterprise systems development
You can trust Tricension to modernize, design, build and support your core business system.
But what exactly are these abilities? Well, 15 product/system attributes or abilities define a system. As we’ve just seen, the prioritization/ranking of these attributes is most important. How you prioritize them determines the value of the technical team’s decisions concerning the architecture and implementation.
Let’s take a look.
Functionality means that the app must be able to perform all the tasks that users need it to be effective. It’s essentially the measure of the system’s ability to provide business requirements (rules) with a defined level of consistency with other methods utilized by the business and within any and all defined business environments.
Apps that lack functionality will not be effective and will not be able to meet the needs of the business. Therefore, ISO emphasizes functional completeness, correctness, and appropriateness.
Usability is the measure of how easy it is for users to do what they want to do with a product. It’s all about ensuring users can accomplish their goals quickly and easily. Good usability is essential for any user-facing product, as it can distinguish between a successful outcome and one that fails to gain traction. Two essential elements contribute to usability: user interface and user experience.
User interface (UI) refers to how humans interact with a product. It is the interface between the user and the application. It includes graphical user interfaces (GUIs), which are collections of menus, icons, and other visual elements with which the user can interact. The UI design must make the interaction between the user and the product as efficient and intuitive as possible. Good UI design improves usability and reduces the learning curve for new users. It can also make the difference between a successful product and a failure.
Essentially, the product’s visual/graphic presentation should be appealing and consider various human elements such as color blindness, the potential for seizures, eye strain, etc. It’s also crucial to align perfectly with the organization’s branding.
The best usability must achieve the perfect balance between fitness for purpose, ease of use, and ease of learning. According to ISO 9241-11 guidelines on usability, a good metric for how usable a product is determined by how easy the product achieves its “purpose with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.” ISO 9241-11, Guidance on Usability, 1997.
User experience (UX) is focused on the satisfaction of users. It considers every interaction a person has with the product or service, from the initial interaction to ongoing use and customer support. A positive UX can lead to brand loyalty, while a negative UX can cause customers to take their business elsewhere. Because of its importance, developers are increasingly investing in UX research and design to create products and services that meet the needs and expectations of users.
By focusing on users’ satisfaction, developers can create products that are functional and enjoyable to use. And when users derive pleasure from using a product, everyone wins.
Security refers to the ability of a system to ensure that proper steps are taken to validate events and actions against its intentional communities and capabilities. Validation must be a preventative and proactive element within the system design. Additionally, aspects such as password policy must be analyzed and incorporated into the design.
Enterprise applications must be designed with security in mind from the beginning, as it can be difficult to add security features afterward.
Performance measures how well the system works regarding the speed of response to the user’s and other systems’ requests. In other words, it measures how efficiently the system can handle its workloads.
When designing a system, engineers must carefully consider the workloads implemented on the system and how those workloads will fluctuate over time. Other considerations include time behavior, resource utilization, and capacity. Advances in computing power and storage capacity have now made it possible for systems to handle more extensive and complex workloads than ever before. However, this increase in capability has come at a price: complex systems are often challenging to manage and optimize, and even small changes can have unforeseen effects on performance. As a result, performance tuning is essential to maintaining any large or complex system. In addition, constant performance monitoring and timely adjustments ensure system performance is always at its peak.
Availability is the measure of the system’s ability to provide continuous access to the system’s functionalities and data. A system with high availability is always available to users, even during periods of heavy use or unexpected downtime. Conversely, a system with low availability may be unavailable for extended periods, making it unusable for mission-critical tasks.
Many factors can affect a system’s availability, including Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity. Disaster recovery is essential because the ability to resume operations after an interruption rapidly is critical to maintaining customer confidence and minimizing financial losses. A well-designed disaster recovery plan can ensure that a business can recover quickly from a wide range of potential disruptions. A disaster recovery plan may include provisions for alternate working arrangements, backup facilities, and redundancies in critical systems and data. While the costs of implementing such a plan can be high, they pale compared to the costs of being unable to recover from a disaster promptly.
This refers to accessing all data created by or through the system, whether in flight, real-time, or historical. This means authorized users must access data regardless of location, device, or time.
An enterprise system that cannot provide data accessibility is not meeting the needs of its users.
Stability / Reliability
Scalability measures the system’s ability to be held in a stable, reliable, and dependable state. This is precisely within the constraints and context of a system’s resistance to change, deterioration, or disruption. As a result, the system can respond to users’ functional expectations and its ability to react well under normal operating conditions, as defined by the users’ perceptions.
This is the measure of the ability of the system to dynamically monitor, track and report its objects (entities), states, performance, and versions. As a result, the system can be internally aware of its business entities and externally aware of its system parameters and intended implementation versions—items such as traceability of entity objects and the Audit trail, i.e., who did what, when are crucial.
It is the ability to add users to the system or extend the system to additional customers without impacting any other “abilities”.
In other words, a scalable system can grow to meet the demands of a growing business without sacrificing any of its other functions. Some key elements that define the ultimate security of a system include confidentiality, integrity, non-repudiation, authenticity, and accountability.
Supportability is an application’s ability to make it easy for support teams to troubleshoot, analyze and resolve user issues with the system. The system should also be self-supporting to users, with clear and helpful documentation.
Supportability can have a significant impact on the overall user experience. Optimal supportability will save support teams time and effort and make it easier for users to get the help they need. In contrast, a system with poor supportability can be a significant source of frustration for both users and support teams.
Accessibility / Mobility
Accessibility / Mobility is all about where the system can be accessed from in terms of devices and location: Essentially, enterprise systems should be accessed from anywhere imaginable as long as the user has appropriate access permission and privileges. Examples of access and mobility options include mobile devices, private networks, offline, the web, etc.
A system is extensible if it can be extended to provide new functionality without requiring significant changes to its internal structure or data flow. For example, changing a system’s behavior may not require recompiling or changing the source code. This often contrasts with a system that is not extensible; we’re adding new functionality that requires significant changes to the system’s code or architecture. In other words, an implementation should take care of future growth.
Interoperability measures the system’s ability to interact with other defined applications and procedures required by the business users—for example, Microsoft Office, the organization’s Enterprise Resource Planning and CRMs, etc.
Without interoperability, businesses would be unable to exchange data between their different systems, hindering productivity and collaboration.
Maintainability is the ability of a system to be kept in working order over time. This can involve routine maintenance and repairs to more significant overhauls and parts replacement. In the business world, maintainability is often used as a metric for assessing the long-term viability of a product. The core identifiers of maintainability include modularity, reusability, analyzability, testability, and modifiability.
The goal is to create systems that can be retained or restored to a specified condition in which specific technical skills can repair or enhance the system using prescribed procedures and resources. The enterprise application should always be in a steady operational state through changes, updates, errors, etc.
Autonomy measures the system’s ability to operate in isolation from other clients, datasets, applications, and procedures in an enterprise system or application. This means that the system can continue to function even if there are problems with other parts of the enterprise applications that are attached to it.
For example, if a particular dataset suddenly malfunctions, the system should still be able to continue functioning without that dataset. Autonomy is significant because it ensures that the system is always available, even if there are problems with some of its parts.
All these abilities define the overall software product quality. They are the key ingredients that make the enterprise application design, which is why Tricension takes them seriously for each project we undertake for clients. It’s also essential to consider the future costs of the abilities you feel are valuable in the product.
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