Business Software Development
Business Software Development is essentially a branch of software development that concentrates on developing software applications primarily for commercial needs.
Being a part of the IT revolution that has redefined the way organizations functions and interact, Business Software is a huge resource for any firm that employs it. Over the past decade, this offshoot of Information Technology has dug itself in, so much so that it has established itself as the backbone of efficient functionality.
There is of course a difference in usual software development and developing business software.
• System software like an operating system (Windows, Linux) allows the user to interact with his system. Its features include system tools, utilities, drive management etc.
• Programming software helps the programmer write/create programs or software for various purposes. It includes tools like editors, compliers, debuggers, linkers, interpreters besides different programming languages to help the programmer achieve his target. er to write programs and software for varied needs. However,it is limited to developing software.
• Business software on the other hand is different in its field of application. It consists of several in-built modules like editing, accounting, resource management, inventory control et al that are meant to help the organization with the respective departments. It aims at synchronizing the operations of individual departments by bringing them under a centralized command.
Business software’s primary goal is to enhance productivity of an organization. Industries have come a long way from the days of rudimentary logistical requirements of trading agricultural produce. Up until the last century all businesses relied heavily on human control and supervision. Different divisions had individuals or trained groups looking over their operations. But just as the Industrial revolution changed the dynamics of the world forever, the coming of age of business software has been no less of a revolution.
Advantages of Business Software:
Although the possibility of absolute elimination of human inputs and supervision in business functions seems remote, what business software dies have to its credit is the immense increase in productivity and efficiency.
1) Reduced Time requirements : the ease of data creation and modification/editing/sharing/storage is phenomenally enhanced with the use of business software. Manual operations in comparison are time guzzlers.
2) Enhanced efficiency : The use of software is always preferred over manual work when it comes to commercial needs. This is simply because of the above mentioned time advantage and the numerous options that such software provide which make manual labor cumbersome in comparison.
3) Ease of Inter-departmental communication : many software meant for large scale business operations simplify inter-departmental communication and database management. This is a major advantage in large,complex corporate entities.
Types of Business Software:
• For small organizations/home users:
Many fledgling firms and/or individual entrepreneurs use software like Microsoft Office or OpenOffice.org or simple accounting software for their daily operations. These are developed and priced in a way that makes sense to purchase for regular low-key business needs.
• For medium scale business enterprises:
These include a broader range of operations like Customer Relations Management(CRM), Inventory Management, Human Resource Management, shopping carts etc. These arms call for extensive database management and coordination. Such enterprises use software like NetSuite, Sage Accpac, SAP Business One, Sage Abra HRMS,Taleo Business Edition, ABS Accounting Systems etc.
• For large Enterprises:
Software packages like SAP All-in-One have become extremely popular with large corporate entities for the advantages they bring into everyday operations and the time they save in activities that are usually lengthy and tiresome. More examples of this type of software are Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0, Onyx Software CRM, Microsoft Dynamics NAV etc.
The Major Players:
The skills required for developing software that can take on the needs of a business organization, small or large, are immense. Therefore, there aren’t many scattered development centers that work to churn out such software. Instead, there are development firms that employ professionals to identify potential business sectors and develop software for them.
A few such organizations are SAP, Microsoft, Google(OpenOffice), Sage Group PLC, Agresso Limited and CedarOpenAccounts(COA). Most firms around the world use software released by these firms. The popularity of Microsoft Office is a fine example. So is the advent of SAP systems that has found decent success with organizations and industries alike.
Business software development is becoming the nerve-center of businesses all over the world. Understandably so, with the priceless advantages of time reduction, efficient documentation and smooth database record management. The present trend is however toward online business software use. This has been prompted out of the necessity to cut costs further and avail the same services as a marketed software would provide. The fact that developers and vendors are turning to the Internet to market their products, albeit at a much lower price, shows just how popular and how important business software has become for individuals and conglomerates alike.