What is enterprise software

Enterprise Application Software Explained

Let’s assume that you are a small, young company with only one or two employees. You don’t have a lot of money (perhaps $10K-$20K). You don’t have a lot of people (maybe 10-30) and you don’t have any customers. But all those things count in your favor:

You can choose the kind of software you want to give away for free, but if you do that, you will probably lose some people. Also, if your users spend most of their time reading this blog and not paying attention to what they are doing on your site, they will find out that they aren’t getting anything out of it.

So there comes a time when you need to make real money with software… If you are like most small businesses — “small enough to not have much money, but too big to not be considered large enough” — then enterprise software might be the right product for you.

Enterprise Software is software that supports an entire organization across multiple locations: your company as a whole; your marketing department as a whole; and so on. It can be distributed among multiple enterprise IT departments — in some cases it might even be distributed among different levels within the same department. There are many different kinds of software in this category: ERP systems for companies (there are several examples here); CRM systems for companies; web-based applications for companies — like Salesforce or HubSpot; standalone applications for individual employees (for instance, Autodesk or Adobe); and so on.

For each kind of clientele there is a set of pieces from several different vendors: ERP systems from SAP/ERPNext/Excel/Sharepoint; CRM systems from SAP NetWeaver/SOA Suite; web-based applications from Atlassian JIRA or Salesforce; standalone applications from Oracle or Microsoft Dynamics CRM.)

Each piece has its benefits and drawbacks depending on which one suits the needs best for which type of business:

• An ERP system is good if your company has as many people as possible spread all over the world (or at least around the world). It will probably cost more than one person wants to spend on something like email management at home using his iPhone instead. However, it will generate more profits than just one person could manage by himself. If there has been too much churn (a term I use loosely), then an

Why Enterprise Software?

Enterprise software has many uses, from internal applications to systems that support external organizations. The portfolio of software types is huge and the variety of use cases is enormous, so deciding what software is right for your company can be a daunting task.

Aside from features that matter to you (e.g. security, compliance with regulation, business intelligence) and features that matter to the organization (e.g. storage management, network integration), there are various other factors to consider: 

  • who will use it; 
  • how they will use it; 
  • how they want it used; 
  • where they will store it; 
  • what other tools are already in market place;
  •  what licensing options are available for purchase or for lease;
  •  who has experience with this type of software?

For example:

SAP HANA is a big enterprise toolkit which has the potential to support any business using the SAP platform or an equivalent product . This is great if you are an IT department and have experience in SAP but not great if you don’t. It makes sense if you run your own company or have some years of experience running a small business but not as much if you’re just starting out.

If you need a large-scale solution for all your needs then there are several good choices (there are dozens more I could mention): Oracle Fusion Middleware (Oracle), Hadoop (Hadoop), MapR Redshift (Redshift), AWS Elastic MapReduce (Elastic MapReduce), Splunk (Splunk). Each will be different in terms of features and approach but each should be more than capable of supporting your needs if deployed well by an experienced team with some hands-on experience.

The Business Case for Enterprise Software

Enterprise Software is a large category of products that are designed for applications that span an entire organization, and it encompasses a huge number of products. And yet, many of these products are developed by teams in various departments within the company and it is not clear who should be responsible for buying them or what their real value is.

Here are some questions that agencies and other organizations have asked: “Why do we need enterprise software? Are we actually just using technology to do work?” A common answer is: “We’re using it to run our business, so let’s buy enterprise software.” But that’s not enough: you need to make the case for enterprise software as a strategic business tool (e.g., to raise capital or acquire customers). The argument needs to be that enterprise software has unique features that make it an effective vehicle for supporting your business, not just being a technology solution to run your IT department.

For example, if your company runs its business on Excel spreadsheets, then running your business on Excel spreadsheets might be an adequate justification; but if you want to reduce your time spent on paperwork, then you’ll need to make the case for why Excel spreadsheets would be a better choice than simply running your business in Excel spreadsheets. Some companies have tried making the case with metrics like gross margins or cost per employee: these metrics are helpful but they don’t tell the whole story about whether enterprise software is useful for your organization—they can only tell you which parts of your operations are best suited for use with enterprise software. Enterprise software can also help deploying new applications across multiple systems in different departments/businesses because it provides more flexibility than traditional systems can provide (e.g., cloud-based applications can move seamlessly between separate systems without needing to re-deploy them).

Finally: there’s no right or wrong answer here; you should pick one approach based on which makes the most sense in terms of price/value/functionality/etc., and stick with it over time if things work out well.

Considerations to Make Before Picking an Application

For many organizations, the right application isn’t as easy to pick as you may think. What if your company is a small startup or it has been acquired? The problem here is that it’s hard to make sure the company will be able to grow its business and maintain a healthy balance between the needs of the organization and those of its customers.

The first thing you should consider (and this is something we talk about on our blog frequently) is how well-known your company is in your industry. If you have a product that has been used for well over a year by others, which ones are your competitors? How about your customers? Both of these categories need to be taken into account when choosing an application for your company.

The second consideration is how mature are your applications already? For example, if your applications have gone through a number of releases over their lifecycles, do you have enough data to make sure they aren’t outdated (however badly they might be)?

Finally, just because there are other companies that use applications doesn’t mean you can ignore them. We know very few startups whose growth and revenue trajectory could afford not to use enterprise software; however, we also know that 99% of startups don’t have enough money available to pay for it all upfront. In fact, there are some big gaps between what companies pay for enterprise software and what they actually need from it:

For example, one recent survey found that 59% of respondents paid for enterprise software in hopes that it would improve employee productivity and 37% paid for this on their own initiative without any external help as noted by IEEE Spectrum in their article “What Enterprise Software Really Costs You: A Survey Analysis” (see source). Even after paying for enterprise software, 65% said they still had too many bugs or bugs were getting worse since joining the organization. This study confirms what many other surveys have shown: most organizations don’t get what they pay for when implementing enterprise software (source).

It makes more sense than ever before to test out different solutions before you buy something; however, we do recommend doing so once you already know which solution would work best for you based on our experience with this topic here . To be frank, nobody can predict exactly which option will be best until within weeks or months after purchasing it; therefore there’s no sense in trying different options right off the


This is the first in a series of posts that I will be writing on enterprise software. I am going to focus on two different use cases: large-scale software that is used by an entire organization, and software being deployed within an organization to support one or more functions (such as accounting, human resources, etc.).

In this post I want to discuss what enterprise software is and how it fits into an organization’s budget.

A quick note on terminology: If you are reading this post then you are not new to this subject! There are many different terms that we use while talking about enterprise software (e.g., SaaS, ISV, B2B). Enterprise Software is a broad umbrella term for any large-scale application or service that is used across the entire organization. It can be anything from mid-size ERP systems or web services to large-scale applications like SAP HANA or Oracle’s AEC products.

In order for us to talk about enterprise value we need to discuss what the various pieces of the value chain look like in a larger context. In part one of this series we looked at what enterprise value looks like for individual companies (e.g., a startup developing a business case for their product). In part two we looked at what companies look at when deciding whether or not they should go with SaaS vs B2B vs hybrid models (e.g., if they have enough sales revenue and can afford to pay consultants). However, there are many other pieces of the value chain that impact these decisions; those include:

• Management

• Investment

• Labor

• Technology infrastructure

• Operating costs

The steps in this series all build upon each other in order to discuss how each step impacts the overall strategy around enterprise software as well as our wider positioning with regard to SaaS vs B2B vs hybrid models. If you want further detail on any of these topics then let me know and I’ll write another blog post about it!