What Is an Enterprise Application?

An enterprise application (EA) is a large software system platform typically designed to operate in a corporate environment such as business or government. Enterprise application software integrates computer systems that run all phases of a company’s operations. They enable cooperative workflows and reduce the complexity of large projects.

EAs range from simple content management systems to larger management software that automates business processes. The software companies that make these products include many of the world’s best-known brands, such as IBM and Microsoft.

For many companies that use them, enterprise software is mission-critical. Any software system failure would have a terrible impact on their business.

6 Examples of Business Applications

To better explain what an enterprise application is, let’s look at some examples you may be familiar with:

Accounting and Billing Systems

Example: Sage Intacct.
Accounting and billing software handles cash flow. These apps keep track of a company’s monetary value and budget. Without an accounting or billing system, businesses would struggle to track and record their expenses or profitability.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Example: Salesforce.
CRM systems allow companies to collect and manage incoming client information. This allows them to secure leads and ensure retention. CRM has a range of functions, from enabling sales to giving customers access to business information.

Point-of-Sale Software (POS)

Example: Vend POS.
POS software manages and records customer transactions. With this information, businesses can monitor income and inventory. Typically, retailers and boutiques use POS solutions to manage their in-store merchandise and purchases.

Supply Chain Management (SCM)

Example: Oracle SCM.
SCM solutions enable enterprises to handle internal processes and third-party partners across their supply chain. So, businesses can establish a direct connection between manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. This helps to minimize miscommunication between companies and improves supply chain visibility.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Example: SAP ERP.
Companies use ERP systems to manage and integrate the important parts of their business. They help implement resource planning by integrating all the processes needed to run their companies on a single system. ERP apps help different departments in larger companies communicate and share information more easily.

Business Intelligence Systems

Example: Funnel.
Business Intelligence apps are designed to retrieve, analyze, transform, and report data. This helps executives, managers, and workers to make informed business decisions.

Human Resource (HR) Systems

Example: UKG Dimensions.
HR systems allow employee information to be stored, processed, and reported. They store, track, and give insights on staff scheduling, time off requests, recruitment procedures, and training.

Developing Your Enterprise App

As we just saw, many off-the-shelf enterprise solutions support a wide range of business processes and needs. However, a lot of companies prefer to build their enterprise applications in-house. This is particularly true if they have unique needs or if they are using digital technology to generate business advantage.

We recently hosted a webinar with John Bratincevic, Senior Analyst at Forrester Research, about when you should build and when you should buy enterprise software. This session explores how the “build” approach has been gaining momentum as technology evolves, and new modern development approaches appear. For the full conversation, check out the webinar; for the abridged version, read the blog post.