What is enterprise technology?
Enterprise technology streamlines workflows, improves communication, and provides access to data. At best, enterprise technology makes it easier for the entire organization to work seamlessly and achieve its goals. At worst, it leads to employee complaints, confusion, and inefficiency.
Increased agility, responsiveness, and security are some of the aims of enterprise technology — or the systems, platforms, and tools that are shared across an organization. As a member of the IT team, it is important to understand the breadth of technology that exists. It is likely that you will be asked to evaluate or prioritize technology investments as part of your role.
Types of enterprise technologies
Enterprise technologies span functional areas from accounting to marketing to security — and may be used by both internal and external teams. The table below includes a summary of the common types of enterprise technology.
Gather, store, and process financial information. Also used to manage payroll and taxes.
Business analysis (BA) tools
Collect and analyze data to help define project scope and requirements, build predictive models, and improve business planning. Focused on the "why."
Business intelligence (BI) tools
Collect and analyze data to measure business performance and identify areas for growth. Focused on the "what" and "how."
Collaboration and communication technology
Coordinate and complete cross-functional work, share documents and information, and hold meetings.
Content management systems (CMS)
Store, create, manage, and publish content. Depending on security permissions, content may be accessed by individuals, teams, the entire organization, or the public.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
Manage customer information and interactions. Often used by sales, support, and marketing teams.
Database management and storage management software
Store, manage, and share data within teams or across the organization. Data access and permissions are set by database administrators.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) technology
Integrate business processes and reduce bottlenecks. Used by accounting, risk management, and compliance teams.
Human resource management (HRM) systems
Manage employee information related to hiring, payroll, benefits, taxes, and other employment details.
Network administrator tools
Manage and install tools and systems at scale. Used by system administrators.
Payment processing systems or point of sale systems (POS)
Process payments from customers. These can be used in a traditional brick-and-mortar store or online through an e-commerce web platform.
Portfolio, product, and project management
Plan, prioritize, and monitor the progress of product releases and cross-functional projects. Software like Aha! allows you to set strategy, capture ideas, and share visual roadmaps.
Security monitoring systems
Identify security threats and vulnerabilities to protect the organization's sensitive data.
Supply chain management software
Track inventory of physical products and manage supplier relationships. May be used for fulfillment and delivery services.
Which technologies are essential for your organization? The answer will vary based on your size, industry, and objectives. Starting with a clear IT strategy helps to highlight technology gaps and opportunities.
Most IT teams develop an evaluation process for new technologies that account for multiple criteria. These may include features and benefits, setup and maintenance costs, integrations, and security. You need to understand how particular tools and systems meet current and future needs.