What is Enterprise Technology? Here is Everything You Need to Know.

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: August 14, 2023

Enterprise technology serves as the foundation for most organizations. It is the technology that enables businesses to expand, scale, and deliver their products or services, ensuring their long-term success. However, the numerous categories of enterprise technology can be complex and challenging to comprehend. This article aims to elucidate the major categories of enterprise technology.

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Enterprise Software

Enterprise technology can be classified into several categories. The first is enterprise software, which encompasses the applications vital for running a business. Often, organizations utilize Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, which integrate end-to-end business processes throughout an enterprise. Notable ERP and enterprise technology vendors include SAP, Oracle, and Microsoft. However, enterprise software extends beyond just ERP systems.

There are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, Human Resources technologies, business intelligence applications, and Supply Chain Management software, among others. Each of these systems focuses on particular functions within an organization. This broad category, known as enterprise software, predominantly consists of commercial off-the-shelf technologies that can be configured and deployed according to an organization's unique requirements and processes.

While numerous enterprise software systems exist in the market, a few prominent ones have been highlighted.

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Technical Infrastructure

Enterprise systems and applications necessitate technical infrastructure for hosting. The technology infrastructure category serves this purpose. Organizations may opt for a physical infrastructure, comprising servers and computers for on-premise hosting. In contrast, many organizations are transitioning to a cloud infrastructure, leveraging capabilities for deploying cloud solutions. Beyond this core infrastructure, mobile solutions have become pivotal, offering access via mobile devices instead of conventional computers. Furthermore, the IT organization, although not a direct technology component, is crucial. An IT department is needed to manage the infrastructure and enable efficient deployment of enterprise technologies. Hence, infrastructure is a primary segment of enterprise technology.

Custom Software

Beyond commercial off-the-shelf software, there's custom software. While many organizations benefit from widely-used software, some require custom solutions tailored to their specific needs, offering them a competitive advantage. Some organizations rely exclusively on custom solutions due to unique industry demands or business models. Even those utilizing standard enterprise systems might require custom software for specific organizational niches. It's crucial to consider both off-the-shelf technologies and potential custom-developed software for holistic enterprise technology solutions.

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Cyber Security

Cybersecurity stands as a vital category of enterprise technology, especially in the light of rising cyber attacks in the 2020s. Cybersecurity has two pivotal layers: protection against external hackers and internal risks. As technology moves to the cloud, it's imperative to fortify against potential external threats. Simultaneously, it's essential to ensure employees follow stringent security protocols to prevent accidental data leaks or mismanagement. A robust cybersecurity strategy is indispensable in any enterprise technology roadmap.

Data and Analytics

Data and analytics form a significant layer of enterprise technology. While enterprise applications facilitate workflow automation, the captured data's value is realized through analytics. This category emphasizes the accuracy of data in enterprise technologies and its meaningful interpretation. Proper management entails cleaning up "dirty" data accrued over time and leveraging business intelligence, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning for actionable insights. Hence, data and analytics are foundational in enterprise technology considerations.

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Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies, applicable to enterprise scenarios, are evolving rapidly. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are now integral to enterprise systems, custom software, and other tech varieties. These can either function as standalone technologies or as components within larger systems. Additionally, blockchain and the Internet of Things represent more emergent technologies. It's essential to stay updated with these trends and integrate them into an enterprise technology roadmap, ensuring the organization remains at the technological forefront.

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I would enjoy brainstorming ideas with you if you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation or are looking at selecting an ERP system, so please feel free to contact me at eric.kimberling@thirdstage-consulting.com. I am happy to be a sounding board as you continue your digital transformation journey.

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices.

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Eric Kimberling

Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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