Technology plays an important role today in shaping how we interact with one another, how we shop, and how we work and live. What’s more, it has changed how we conduct business to the point that performing even the most basic tasks without it seems almost unimaginable.
Technology empowers us to improve and speed up processes, visualize ideas and plans more clearly, and evolve our businesses to meet strategic goals. However, using the wrong piece of software or hardware can have the opposite effect and lead to confusion, overcomplication, and chaos. This means that selecting the right tools for your organization is of utmost importance and can make all the difference.
Enterprise technology definition
“Enterprise technology” refers to software solutions that focus on serving the needs of an organization instead of those of individual users. The goal of enterprise technology is to solve business problems, as well as integrate and simplify workflows, enable access to information and facilitate communication in the business.
Ultimately, enterprise technology supports the organization in achieving its objectives and increasing productivity.
Examples of enterprise technology
An organization is typically composed of several segments or departments. There will be different business needs to address in each segment, which means utilizing different types of technology and software. Common types of enterprise technology include:
- Business analysis (BA) and business intelligence (BI) tools: These are used to gather and analyze data about the organization. While BI looks at historical data and enables descriptive analyses to evaluate business performance, BA aims to provide an understanding of the reasons why the business performed in such a way in order to improve business planning.
- Human resource management (HRM) systems: As the name suggests, these tools are used to manage human resources processes and employee information. This can relate to recruitment, payroll, benefits, appraisals, etc.
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems: The purpose of these systems is to manage interactions with existing and prospective customers, as well as their data. The idea is to register the customer journey of each client to keep track of all relevant details and then streamline sales, customer service, and other efforts.
- Enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology: This type of technology integrates multiple business processes and collects data from several sources to make it accessible through a centralized database. This ensures data integrity, removes duplicates, and reduces bottlenecks. It is used to manage elements like supply chain, finance, accounting, risk management, and more.
Effective enterprise technology
Nowadays, organizations are highly dependent on the technology that supports their processes and activities. This means that enterprise technology has a bigger role to play than simply offering certain functionalities. Correct use of enterprise technology can set a business up for success by improving and accelerating processes, integrating information, and helping create a path for strategic growth.
Having the right enterprise technology means the organization can make the best use of all the data it holds and achieve its goals in the most dynamic and effective ways possible. It also ensures the business is flexible and prepared to adapt to new challenges and customer demands.
Enterprise technology and enterprise architecture
Enterprise architecture (EA) can support effective enterprise technology, as one of its main purposes is to map the organization’s structure and operations to optimize processes. Enterprise architects create a blueprint of existing business processes and IT assets and then look at how they can be enhanced to better support the organization’s goals and objectives. In other words, EA is about understanding what the company wants to achieve and aligning it with the technology required to make it happen.
There are four basic domains or subsets of Enterprise Architecture: Business Architecture, Application Systems Architecture, Data Architecture, and Technology Architecture.
- Business architecture describes how the business is organized in terms of governance, key business processes, and business strategy.
- Application systems architecture maps application systems and their interactions, as well as how they relate to fundamental business processes.
- Data architecture defines how the organization’s data assets are structured and describes the data management resources that are available.
- Technology architecture outlines the software and hardware capabilities required to support the implementation of business, application, and data services.
Enterprise architecture standards
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a proven methodology for developing and managing enterprise architectures. Created and maintained by The Open Group, this framework provides best practices and a structured approach to organizing and implementing technology that enables the achievement of business objectives. It is flexible and adaptable so that organizations can adopt only the practices that suit their needs and goals.
ArchiMate is another very useful standard by The Open Group and is extremely complementary to TOGAF. It provides a common language and tools that support enterprise architects in the analysis and description of business processes, technology, information flow, and organizational structure. This facilitates communication and understanding among stakeholders.
If you would like to learn more about studying TOGAF, ArchiMate, and other certifications, visit the Good e-Learning website for a free course trial or contact a member of our team today!