What Are Enterprise Applications and Why Are They Important?

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 22 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Enterprise applications are a type of computer software designed to integrate and control all or parts of a company's business operations. These applications allow companies to manage multiple business processes, such as accounting and payroll, under one coordinated system. Understanding the functions of such applications may help you understand why they are important to companies. In this article, we explain what enterprise applications are and why they're important, explore the key components of efficient enterprise software and provide examples of their use.

What are enterprise applications?

Enterprise applications are computer software designed to perform specific business operations. Companies may combine many such applications into one larger system with a central control that allows for improved coordination of business processes across the company. Different departments may have specific enterprise software they can access, and companies may integrate their existing procedures and policies into the software to facilitate workplace tasks. The most comprehensive application system may provide control over the entirety of a company's operations and departments.

Here are examples of the individual components that an enterprise software system may include:

  • Accounting and finance

  • Payroll

  • Communication systems

  • Business operations

  • Content management

  • Human resource (HR) management

  • Company invoicing

  • Procurement

  • Cybersecurity

  • IT maintenance

  • Sales tracking

  • Customer service

  • Client relationship management

  • Marketing systems

Related: Cybersecurity Tools: Definition, Importance and Examples

Why are enterprise applications important?

Companies may value enterprise software applications because of their important role in business operations. These applications often facilitate efficient functioning in large companies by providing a single operations system, allowing multiple members of staff, teams and departments to operate under centralised policies and processes, making management much easier. Importantly, companies may develop, improve and expand their enterprise software as the business grows or changes.

Here are the most important benefits of enterprise applications:

  • Streamlines the business operations of large corporations

  • Minimises the chance of human error by automating processes

  • Provides opportunities for data collection, storage and analysis

  • Allows implementation of company policies across multiple departments

  • Provides managers with more control over operations

  • Allows for easy implementation of cloud storage, accessible employee portals and intranet systems

  • Coordinates project management across multiple departments

  • Provides systems for managers to monitor and track employee progress, productivity and development

  • Allows managers to monitor sales figures, customer satisfaction and customer retention levels

  • Enables businesses to replicate existing operations models when expanding

  • Helps HR managers to keep track of holiday allowances, payroll and sick pay

  • Improves overall productivity and efficiency

  • Increases profitability

Related: What Is Software Development: Definition, Processes and Types

Key components of enterprise application software

The different elements of enterprise applications may work more efficiently when fully optimised and tailored to the company's needs. The ideal key components of these applications for any company-wide system include the following:

Computing speed

Computing speed is one of the most important elements when selecting or designing an enterprise software system. These applications improve efficiency in the workplace and may require a robust working system as a prerequisite. A fast computing speed enables employees to quickly access the tools, resources or data necessary to do their job. A more complex system may require faster software capabilities.

Computing power

Large corporations and complex enterprise software systems may require extensive computing power to function efficiently. Companies may need powerful processors and up-to-date hardware to provide their employees with the best power output. More computing power may mean that engineers and developers can include more applications in a system, allowing for improved control and coordination of company-wide operations.

Cloud-based storage

Companies may ensure easy access to application systems through cloud-based storage. Cloud-based storage allows uploading applications, data, tools and resources to an online database or storage system. Employees may access what they need anywhere and any time, allowing for more flexible working hours and locations.

Related: What Is Cloud Computing? (With Types and Benefits)

Software and data backups

Regular backups of software, applications and data may ensure the safety of enterprise software systems against unexpected malfunctions, malware or cyberattacks. Backing up enterprise software systems through cloud-based storage systems may allow for an easily accessible fail-safe in an emergency. Backing up software and data through hard drives and physical servers allows for a second fail-safe.

Related: Roles of the IT Department in the Workplace (With Job Types)

Industry-specific systems

Enterprise software systems are often useful when their designs are industry-specific or, better yet, company-specific. Companies may employ software engineers to develop applications tailored to their needs. For example, the requirements of a medical company may differ greatly from a governmental department.

Cybersecurity

Companies may ensure adequate protection of enterprise software systems from cyberattacks, malware and computer viruses. Cybersecurity protection enables staff to confidently operate and use enterprise software on a daily basis without worrying about information theft, leak or loss. Cybersecurity may be more robust for specific industries where sensitivity, secrecy or data protection is key, such as the aerospace industry or government bodies. Before installing such application systems in the workplace, ensure their protection from outside threats.

Related: 12 Cybersecurity Careers and Tips for Pursuing Them

Scalability

An enterprise software may need scalability to be effective. If the company or department you work for plans to expand in the future, it's important to expand existing systems. For example, scalable enterprise software makes it easy to add new users, expand storage space and change company policies when necessary. Scalability ensures that these enterprise software applications are adaptable to new business operations, demands or policies.

Customer reviews

Considering existing customer reviews may help you decide which enterprise software or systems may work best for the company you work for. This may provide an insight into the functionality of the applications you are considering. For example, if other companies have experienced exceptional service and results with the software, you may consider using similar systems.

Related: 12 Good Customer Service Examples

Support systems

An enterprise software may require support systems to keep them optimised for efficiency. Support systems may comprise external systems engineers or software developers, while large corporations may have internal IT support departments that may fix problems and maintain company-wide systems. An effective support system gives employees the confidence to use enterprise software daily.

Related: What Is Level 1 IT Support?

Examples of enterprise applications

Enterprise software systems may contain multiple applications and elements designed to function as part of a wider system. Here are common examples of individual enterprise software that may be useful for companies:

Communications

Communication is vital if companies wish to improve efficiency or productivity through enterprise software. This may include communications software such as company email systems that allow for effective communication between staff members and departments at an official level. Applications may include personal messaging apps that allow quicker, less formal communication between staff members.

Company invoicing

Financial management is one of the most common uses for enterprise software systems. Finance departments may integrate important accounting processes into enterprise software systems, including company invoicing procedures. This may make it simpler for employees and the finance department to send invoices to clients, bill suppliers for goods and make payments.

Related: How to Use Online Invoicing Software (With Benefits)

Client relationship management

Companies may integrate client relationship management software into enterprise software systems. This may include databases that safely store client information that customer service agents may easily access. This may improve customer response time while ensuring that customers don't repeat information to different staff members. Integrated systems may provide clients multiple contact routes, including online chat services, email or telephone systems.

Related: What Is Customer Relations? Definition, Importance and Tips

HR management

HR departments may find carrying out important administrative duties easier through enterprise software. This may include organising payrolls, approving holidays and tracking allowances. HR managers can benefit from an application that provides access to valuable resources, such as company policies and government regulations, that enable them to carry out legal HR obligations and improve working conditions for employees.

Related: What Does an HR Manager Do?

Content management

Marketing departments may benefit from integrated content management systems. This may allow for easy uploading of new blog posts, social media content or advertising videos to websites and marketing channels. Content management applications allow marketing staff to track viewing figures, audience engagement and content schedules.

Explore more articles