Enterprise systems, according to the text, are: a set of integrated software modules and a central database that enables data to be shared by many different business processes and functional areas throughout the enterprise. (Laudon & Laudon, 2011)Let’s say, for example, the financial department of an organization needs to audit all of the orders fulfilled by the Sales and Marketing department. With an integrated enterprise system, there is no need to request the information and wait for it to be sent to the financial department from the distribution center. Both departments are linked by a central database that they can both access at any given time.
This reduces the time between requesting the data and utilizing it for the department’s needs. If the Sales and Marketing department does not keep the Distribution department aware of what is being sold, then prompt delivery of the product cannot be guaranteed. These enterprise systems also increase the security of the database. Having separate databases for each department will increase the chance for lost data. The needs of each department can be considered separate, but when looking at it from an organizational perspective, each department is a part of a larger entity. This entity cannot survive without the cooperation of each of its departments working together.
•How does effectively implementing and using enterprise systems contribute to achieving operational excellence?
As stated in the above answer, a properly implemented enterprise system creates a more accessible, secure, and usable database. An organization that allows each department to access the information needed to run smoothly and effectively can save time and productivity. If compared to a system of separate departments and databases, we can see the benefits of the enterprise system. Any department, with the proper access, can get the information they need to do the work that they need to do. Without this, we would see an information system with the possibility of lost data due to poor communication between departments.
This relates to the question of security. It is easier for a database specialist to keep one large database secure and safe than it would be to work with several separate databases. The question of who can access what data from what department is easily controlled within the database itself, which allows for easier backup of data as well. A unified database can also benefit each separate department by easily allowing them to access only the information they need, this boosts the security of not only the database, but all information in that database. All of these contribute to the ease of use of the database and a smoother running operation.
•What challenges are posed by enterprise applications?
There are many different challenges that arise when implementing an enterprise system. Accessibility is one of the biggest. What department can access what data? How can this data be used by the departments that have access to the data? The information used by the enterprise applications are the core of the database. Without it, there would be no need for the database to exist. Each department must have the proper applications that can communicate the data between the other departments.
I have seen many instances where improper implementation was due to each department not complying with the software or hardware requirements of the enterprise system. This results in not only loss of productivity, but money wasted on applications not compatible with the base system. This also lowers the security of the enterprise system, which can result in the loss of data. Having a secure database, as I have said before, can also benefit the ease of use and better productivity not only for the IT department who keeps the database and systems running properly, but for the end user in the offices of each separate department. Only by working in concert and by having the appropriate applications for each separate department can an enterprise system work for the betterment of not only the organizations, but their customers or clients.