What Is an Enterprise Solution? Definition and Advantages
By Indeed Editorial Team
Published April 14, 2022
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Enterprises are large organizations that comprise multiple functional areas. Enterprise solutions are tools aimed at facilitating the operations of these entities, thereby improving their performance. If you work in the IT department of an enterprise or are just curious about tools that can improve the efficiency of operations, you may be interested to learn how an enterprise solution can help you. In this article, we define enterprise solutions, look at the different types that exist and discuss their chief advantages.
What is an enterprise solution?
An enterprise solution is a software application designed to meet the multifaceted needs of an organization rather than an individual end user or small business. Being large organizations with broad ranges or operations, enterprises often face unique challenges, such as interdepartmental communication and international commerce. The use of enterprise solutions can help an enterprise to overcome these challenges, thus improving its performance.
Enterprise solutions commonly integrate multiple systems within an organization, allowing for the correlation or dissemination of information across its various databases, which can streamline business processes and improve workflows. They can be particularly useful for enterprise professionals whose responsibilities cover multiple functional areas within the organization. A compliance officer, for example, may require access to the systems of all the departments of an enterprise.
Types of enterprise solutions
There are multiple types of software solutions intended for enterprises or that may be useful to them. Some of the most broadly used enterprise solutions include:
An accounting solution provides tools that facilitate the completion of tasks relating to financial transactions and management. At the enterprise level, a common challenge in the area of finances is the access and integration of monetary data from various functional areas. Accounting enterprise solutions commonly aim to resolve this challenge by centralizing financial data and providing automation capabilities for repeatable processes. They also commonly include features that allow enterprises to maintain a general ledger, complete tax reporting obligations, track accounts and assets, manage the payroll and handle billing concerns.
Business intelligence refers to the concept and practice of drawing insight from business data and using it to inform sound decisions. A business intelligence solution facilitates the practice by integrating data from various sources and visualizing it, allowing analysts a clearer view of the enterprise's performance and areas of improvement. Such software commonly draws data from sales, marketing and manufacturing databases, has customizable dashboard capabilities and features robust reporting functions.
Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management, commonly known by the initialism CRM, is a category of tools for tracking customer data that can help an organization to improve their relationships with their customers and thus increase revenue. An effective CRM solution can help an organization to create better sales techniques and streamline the stages of CRM, from developing leads to retaining existing customers.
Enterprise asset management
Enterprise asset management, known by the abbreviation EAM, is a solution for tracking physical assets and their associated life cycles. The life cycle of an asset refers to the stages involved in identifying the need for an asset, acquiring an asset, maintaining it and then liquidating it at the optimal time. With an EAM tool, an enterprise can more easily stay informed about the values of their respective assets and make informed decisions about acquisitions and disposals.
Enterprise resource planning
Enterprise resource planning, or ERP, refers to a solution that integrates multiple essential processes within an organization, namely those relating to accounting, inventory and supply chain management. With an ERP tool, an enterprise can maintain relevant data in a central database where leaders and other decision-makers can access it as required. The software also allows for the automation of repeatable workflows, thus improving operational efficiency.
Product life cycle management
Product life cycle management, or PLM, is the process and practice of overseeing the product life cycle — the length of time that starts with its conception and ends with its removal from market circulation. A PLM solution allows members of an enterprise to access and modify data relating to the product life cycle. The centralization of this data can help teams to stay aligned in terms of product designs, specifications and goals.
Supply chain management
Supply chain management is the process and practice of overseeing all of the steps involved in creating a product and delivering it to the customer. The process includes devising product ideas, acquiring raw materials necessary for a product's creation, moving and storing these materials, receiving orders that initiate production, storing finished goods and transporting them to their destinations. An enterprise-level supply chain management solution can facilitate the process by centralizing data, integrating essential operations and providing features for monitoring, analytics, material procurement, and order process, to name just a few.
Advantages of enterprise solutions
Using an enterprise solution can provide an organization with numerous advantages by improving operations in the following areas:
One of the primary advantages of using an enterprise solution is that it can help track data throughout an organization. Broad access to data is important in numerous roles and for various purposes. Payroll, for example, involves visibility into salary records for all of an organization's employees. An enterprise solution makes sure that type of data is accessible to those who require it, helping to ensure a smooth-running operation.
Decision-making and problem-solving
Making the right enterprise decisions can be the deciding factor that allows an organization to realize its goals. An organization can foster good decision-making by basing its decisions on data. An enterprise solution integrates the various systems within an organization, allowing decision-makers to access the data they require to inform their decisions.
Broader data access can improve an enterprise's problem-solving as well. Integrated systems provide individuals with a broader view of the organization's performance, which can lead to a clearer understanding of its strengths and areas of improvement. With this understanding, you can more easily identify problems and use the data available to you to devise a solution.
Productivity and quality
Enterprise solutions can improve productivity throughout the organization in a couple of ways. One is by simplifying how people within the organization access the information they require. Instead of spending time locating relevant data, they know to look for what they seek in a central database associated with the solution. Another way is through automation, a common feature among enterprise solutions. Automating repeatable processes removes the necessity for human operation, which allows for faster, more consistent completion of tasks.
The automation factor can also improve the quality of the goods or services an enterprise provides. It removes the possibility of human error, such as in data input, helping to ensure that the data within the organization is accurate and streamlined. This, in turn, can improve the quality of the insights that analysts can draw from the data, leading to better-informed business decisions.
Customer retention refers to practices aimed at ensuring that customer decides to prolong their consumer relationship with a company. Various factors can affect the customer retention rate, including but not limited to the timeliness and accuracy of service and the quality of the goods provided. The data centralization and automation features of many enterprise solutions can improve an enterprise's capabilities in these respects. Moreover, it can use a dedicated CRM solution to track the data necessary to understand its customers better and devise strategies that may lead to stronger, longer-lasting customer relationships.
The various advantages that enterprise solutions can provide all contribute to higher revenue for the organization. For example, improved insight pulled from business data can guide an organization's decision-making toward directions that lead to greater profitability, a business intelligence solution can identify areas that may be limiting revenue potential and a CRM solution can ensure that it maintains the relationships that reliably generate revenue for it. Working together, these solutions can optimize the level of performance that an enterprise is capable of achieving.
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