Understanding Enterprise Software
November 05, 2021 / Katarina Rudela
Reading Time: 13 minutes
There are key differences between enterprise software and B2C software. Typical software that's common in small organizations and for use by individuals isn't designed to scale. It's designed for individual users. It's also useful for small teams and companies in a single location. These solutions can be ideal and cost-effective for one person or a small company. For large enterprises, it's nearly impossible to keep all of your data and documentation organized using these tools. For more efficient workflows and data that can be updated in real-time, enterprise software is a more beneficial choice.
Enterprise software is designed specifically for large organizations. It's built to scale, allows flexibility, can be used by many staff members, and helps large-scale organizations develop workflows. There are also different types of enterprise software. In this blog, we'll dig into what enterprise software is and how to choose the best solutions for your individual business model and needs.
CRM, for example, is a type of enterprise software used most often by marketing and sales and it leads in the technology investments that companies are making, but most of the spend is going toward software that improves customer satisfaction, as illustrated below:
Things to Consider When Choosing Enterprise Software
Companies interested in updating their enterprise software need to consider the scale of their current enterprise, as well as their projected growth. The solution that’s right for the organization needs to fit its unique goals. Some common factors you’ll need to consider are the software’s ability to integrate with current practices and improve automation to streamline efficiency.
The main function of enterprise software is to gather and make use of all the data involved in your organization. The solution should give you the ability to gather data, display information intuitively, run reports and work with a complex and large set of information in a way that allows for actionable insights. The software is also designed to simplify business processes in individual departments and across your entire organization.
In the scope of this blog, we’ll look at what enterprise software is, the types of enterprise software that are on the market, what trends in technology should be considered, and how to choose the best solutions for your business.
Common Characteristics of Enterprise Software
Enterprise software is developed for organizations rather than individual users. This includes large companies, government bodies, schools, universities, and charities. Because enterprise software is designed for larger organizational use, there are some key differences between this type of software and the applications developed for consumers.
Some common characteristics of enterprise software include:
Scalability. Enterprise solution software is designed for large organizations and can scale for your business needs. As goals and departments increase, the solution can help your company organize and expand.
Customization. Whether you choose enterprise software on the market or build a solution specifically for your organization, the software should be customizable for your industry and business.
Integrations. Large organizations typically work with many applications and file types. For your enterprise software solutions, it’s ideal that all common business processes can integrate with the system to allow for seamless automation and less manual manipulation of data. You may also use more than one enterprise software solution, and it’s integral that they integrate with each other to give you a full picture of all business insights.
Increased Security. Data security is a key priority for enterprise software. Many applications are designed with features to layer security options and maintain compliance, for your data as well as regulatory requirements based on industry.
Used Across Departments. As the name suggests, enterprise software is used across departments in an organization. The software is designed to meet the goals of the organization, rather than individual departments. Various roles and departments will often have different authorities designated for their use. The solution allows for one robust systematic way to approach data collection and access while simplifying the workflow for individual users.
How Enterprise Software Differs from B2C Software
Enterprise software is interdisciplinary. It’s designed to be used across various departments in your organization. In designing and choosing the right software, the workflow for each of the users needs to be considered. A good solution will mean higher productivity throughout your organization.
This can be the most challenging aspect of choosing the right solutions. To get the highest ROI from your enterprise software, it’s important that every staff member uses the solution uniformly. You don’t want to launch enterprise software and find that it decreases productivity or increases errors in one of your departments. It’s also counterintuitive to launch a solution that some team members find too cumbersome to use because they may rely on other tools and solutions outside your system.
Here Are Some Enterprise Software Differences to Consider
The goals of the organization are the primary focus when investing in a new solution. But you also need to consider each discipline when designing your enterprise software. The tools and applications should make workflows easier to complete and more intuitive. This means that you need to consider individual workflows overall and get each department to buy into the process. Ask for feedback. Encourage adoption universally.
There are many moving parts to an organization and the people who make software decisions don’t always know the processes involved in each department on an intimate level. The purpose of your enterprise software is to make these processes more intuitive for every person using the solution.
Roles and Authority
With many enterprise software solutions, you can control roles and authority within the database. This means that your employees and staff members will only access the information and data sets that they need for their specific responsibilities. This adds another layer of protection to your security methods. It also gives the company documentation on individual people who accessed and changed data or documents.
Company Ownership of Enterprise Software
Enterprise software is typically owned by the company. If you have custom-designed enterprise software, these solutions may be proprietary. There are some benefits to company-owned software. First, it’s not a solution that you’re sharing with the public. A solution used by and designed for your organization can be customized to perfectly fit your industry, company culture, and workflows. With these solutions, your internal IT staff can make changes as needed to improve functions.
Enterprise software makes oversight much easier to manage. A robust solution can give you real-time information on individual departments, segments of your workforce, or the whole organization. You can gather business insights from all your departments to make more accurate projections.
One key benefit to enterprise software is that it standardizes processes. If every department is using the same software, all your employees become familiar with the dashboard, features, and functions. Training and cross-training are much simpler because all of your staff is familiar with the system.
Automation of Manual Tasks
One of the main goals of your enterprise software is to help automate tasks to aid in productivity. This is a benefit for the organization, as well as your individual employees. By automating mundane processes, employees can concentrate on the higher level, interesting responsibilities involved in their position. This gives your staff the tools to succeed in their job and a higher sense of satisfaction in the position. At the same time, you’re supporting the improved performance of the organization.
Types of Enterprise Software
Enterprise software isn’t defined by one category. There are several types of enterprise software your organization can use. Many organizations use more than one enterprise software solution and ideally, they make sure that these solutions integrate well with each other.
Here are some of the most common types of enterprise software:
Enterprise Resource Planning
Human Resource Management
Customer Relationship Management
Supply Chain Management
Business Process Automation
Enterprise Resource Planning
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is software designed to manage all of your departments. How important is ERP to an organization? According to these statistics that weigh how much ERP boosted success
, 88% of companies say their ERP helped them succeed and 50% plan to upgrade or acquire new ERP systems in the near future.
The main function of this type of solution is to provide a solution for disparate types of data. Rather than silo your marketing data, IT data, accounting, sales, etc. You can use ERP to bring all of these separate data sets together to offer better options for decision-making and flexibility in your business management.
One of the key benefits of ERP is that it streamlines data collection and access throughout your organization. If the information has been entered into the system, it’s already there. Different departments won’t need to re-key the same information, making it less likely that mistakes are made. When information is updated, it updates across the organization. Decreasing errors caused by outdated information and improving the ability to serve customers in real-time.
With ERP, you can streamline workflows across the organization. They offer solutions to automate processes and help you get a better overview of productivity. Most importantly, they can integrate with your other software solutions to offer a central location for all of your data.
Human Resource Management
Human Resource Management solutions offer a wealth of tools to help larger organizations with recruitment, onboarding, payroll, collection and security for personal information, employee performances, and even training options.
With large-scale organizations, training and HR initiatives can be an ongoing and complex process. HRM automates many tasks, sends alerts to keep management and employees on schedule, and allows for improved communication options. Reporting features streamline the necessary steps in hiring, training, performance reviews, and promotions. HRM can also include payroll and time management functions or the company might use enterprise software designed for payroll functions.
Customer Relationship Management
As this image from Superoffice shows, CRM is one of the largest software markets, and it's only projected to keep growing. The graph gives you the amount spent on CRM from 2010 through 2017, along with the projected CRM revenue in 2025.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is designed to help your organization foster loyalty through every phase of the customer cycle. For many organizations, this might be the main software solution used to maintain up-to-date information on individual clients and your sales and marketing departments.
The solution helps your employees see specific data on a client-by-client basis, as well as information necessary to develop sales and marketing initiatives the increase your conversion. In the image below, also from Superoffice, we see the marketing initiatives that professionals polled planned to increase their spending on. These include email marketing, mobile marketing, and even display advertising, all of which their CRM helps them organize and keep track of.
Let's Talk Mobile CRM
CRM has added mobile offerings to allow users to access the wealth of knowledge in their customer relationship management solution. Mobile CRM is becoming increasingly important. It's included in the CRM package, but we'd like to highlight what this facet of your enterprise software allows your team to do—get the full range of your CRM anywhere you are. From your phone or any device, at any time. Customers today expect immediate responses. Your sales and marketing team needs to be able to meet these real-time demands.
Mobile CRM works in a hybrid or remote work environment, which offers companies a great advantage now and going forward. Staff is about to strike a better work/life balance for higher efficiency and satisfaction. Customers are catered to quickly and effectively.
Business Intelligence Software
Business Intelligence software is designed to gain actionable insights and improve decision-making throughout the organization. It sifts through a massive amount of the data generated from your different departments, as well as outside business statistics and trends. The purpose of BI software is to help make organizations more flexible, by gathering data that leads to clear and actionable insights.
Supply Chain Management
Supply Chain Management software is a specialized type of enterprise management software used in the manufacturing industry. There are many moving parts to manufacturing which include logistics, procurement, storage, and distribution.
With supply chain management software, processes can be automated to decrease human error and improve productivity. A good software solution has been shown to reduce loss and decrease miscommunication errors. In many industries, there are numerous regulatory requirements to consider as well as a wealth of information on the various stages in the process to manage.
Business Process Automation
Business Process Automation (BPA) is designed to help businesses automate processes that are typically handled manually. It also helps the organization align all the departments to eliminate waste, such as duplicated steps in numerous departments. BPA offers better data and oversight to give a full overview of the workflows to streamline for efficiency and improved productivity.
Building a Custom Solution for Your Business
Is building a custom solution right for your business?
There are many applications available on the market and one or more may be ideal for your business. However, no single out-of-the-box solution will meet every possible scenario or offer the flexibility necessary to maintain a competitive edge and scale according to internal goals. For many large organizations, building a custom solution is the perfect solution. It allows you to brainstorm your exact goals and how the solution will fit your company culture and current workflows. The solution is designed for your business today, as well as your goals for projected growth.
When you decide to build a custom solution, you’re designing that solution to fit your current processes and to move in the direction of your benchmarks. This eliminates obstacles caused by third-party solutions that are made for general use, rather than your industry.
Building a custom solution is a bigger investment of time, but it means that the solution will meet all your laid out requirements, rather than trying to make your process fit into a generalized workflow.
You may currently have a solution that fits your needs. If you’re not experiencing pain points with the current process, there may be no urgent reason to invest in new solutions. However, if you’re experiencing loss from miscommunication and an inability to gain actionable business insights that move you closer to benchmarks, reassessing your processes should be a high priority.
Baytech is passionate about the technology we use to build custom business applications, especially enterprise solutions that optimize business processes. We’ve been delivering software solutions in a variety of technologies since 1997. Our success is due to the skill and efficiency of our senior staff, which includes software engineers, project managers, and DevOps experts. All of our engineers are onshore, salaried staff members.We focus on the quality, usability, and scalability of our software and don’t believe in mitigating cost at the risk of quality. We manage project costs by implementing an efficient development process that’s completely transparent and uses the latest standards and practices to build software right the first time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business. Find us online at https://www.baytechconsulting.com/contact.