What is an enterprise application?

An enterprise application is specialized software that helps organizations integrate and automate their core processes, streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and gain valuable insight into their data and performance. Get an overview of enterprise applications and learn why they are important for managing specific operations.

An introduction to enterprise applications

Enterprise applications are a type of software that have a specific purpose and help employees to do their work, such as word processing, human resources management, and accounts receivable and accounts payable. These applications operate on a large scale, enabling your entire organization to improve internal workflows and customer service processes. For example, enterprise applications allow you to:

  • Store data in a usable format and permit employees across the organization to manage, access, and analyze it.

  • Automate and streamline processes for better employee and customer experiences.

  • Minimize the need for human intervention and free up employees to focus on other business-critical tasks.

  • Alert your IT team to suspicious activities using built-in security measures.

Complex software stacks—independent components that work together to support an application—are notorious for reducing efficiency and increasing costs. Conversely, an enterprise application helps you to customize your software to automate business processes, introduce greater efficiency, and reduce overall costs. Implementing an enterprise application gives you the opportunity to evaluate and rationalize your current software stack and retire anything that doesn’t serve your purposes. This also helps you evaluate how employee needs are met across the organization; they require tools with the right capabilities to do their jobs.

There are plenty of enterprise applications on the market, but building instead of buying is an option that organizations often choose because it enables more customization and better integration of their software. It also gives developers the freedom to adapt to changing needs and optimize modules that are already in use.

Why is enterprise application software important?

Enterprise application software provides a specific set of tools for a particular process or operation in your organization; it simplifies the management of business processes in areas like business intelligence (BI), customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and human resource management (HRM). Enterprise application software enables multiple teams and departments to work under centralized policies and procedures, which makes it easier for IT to manage activity and security.

In addition to streamlining and automating processes, enterprise application software helps your organization to:

  • Enhance data management. Consolidate data from various silos, apply proper data governance, and share relevant information among business teams.

  • Improve collaboration. Enable your employees to access one source of truth for data and help foster better communication and productivity.

  • Gain insights into performance. Monitor and track system use and employee experiences to gather recommendations to optimize your enterprise application.

  • Create a competitive advantage. Develop opportunities through data management, collaboration, and performance to maximize your resources and be an industry leader.

Other components of enterprise application software include computing speed and power, cloud-based storage, software and data backups, and security. These are important because they contribute to workplace efficiency, anytime and anywhere access, data restoration after a disaster, and protection against cyberattacks.

What is enterprise application integration?

Enterprise application integration facilitates communication among your organization’s enterprise application software. It helps you to synchronize databases and make data available and accessible between applications, which leads to streamlining and improving the efficiency of business processes. Enterprise application integration also presents a single user interface as opposed to a different interface for every type of software that’s in use.

Organizations depend on their databases and software to accomplish business-critical tasks, but without enterprise application integration, information often gets trapped in silos. Worse, data may be copied-and-pasted from one place to another because these silos don’t communicate with each other.

Integration creates one source of truth for your data—often in a cloud environment—so that whoever accesses it knows they are getting up-to-date and accurate information for their business needs.

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Best practices for successful implementation

Choosing and implementing enterprise application software for your organization takes careful planning. To support the critical functions of your organization, you must understand the scope of the software to achieve successful implementation.

Considering the cost and extent of enterprise application software, stakeholder buy-in is your first priority. After that, ponder these best practices during your enterprise application decision-making process.

  • Define business requirements. Know what you want the software to do and how your employees will use it.

  • Evaluate multiple options. Look for flexibility, scalability, and ease of use, and estimate your return on investment for the options you’re considering.

  • Communicate with other systems. Establish a framework that doesn’t require significant changes to configurations in order for systems to communicate with each other.

  • Provide training. Give your employees the support they need to learn new business processes and work efficiently and effectively.

  • Avoid budget cuts. Allocate sufficient funds for implementation and refrain from cutting costs in important areas like change management and training.

  • Build enthusiasm. Throughout the implementation processes, keep your stakeholders and team members well informed of its progress and find ways to build their enthusiasm for the new processes and procedures coming their way.

Enterprise application solutions

Enterprise application software caters to the needs of the whole organization—not just a few employees—and helps to deliver the efficiency and cost savings that are expected of such applications. Choices abound for commercially available software and narrowing down your choices requires a deep understanding of your organization’s needs.

Similarly, deciding to develop your own enterprise application helps to ensure that your organization gets the features and functionality that drive greater employee productivity and customer satisfaction.

Explore tools and resources that aim to transform your organization’s technology and processes. Build and ship enterprise applications, manage large teams, and apply policies and security controls across the organization with GitHub Enterprise. The developer experience is collaborative and automated, and has compliance built into the developer workflow.

There are three pillars to GitHub Enterprise administration and security:

  • Access control: Keep your code private through role-based access control and identity and access management.

  • Observability: Get comprehensive audit logs that cover every project, repository, and member in your organization to help you monitor activity and detect threats.

  • Governance: Centralize your policies at the enterprise level while giving business owners the flexibility to apply additional policies where and when they are needed.

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When combined with a suite of tools from GitHub Enterprise, GitHub Advanced Security and GitHub Actions provide native security, end-to-end automation, and a complete platform to help developers deliver quality code faster. Top organizations use GitHub Enterprise to support their entire software lifecycle, empowering developers to do their best work yet.

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Frequently asked questions

What is an enterprise application?

An enterprise application is specialized software that helps organizations integrate and automate their core processes and streamline workflows.

What are the types of enterprise applications?

Types of enterprise applications are categorized by function, which include, but are not limited to, BI, accounting and billing, CRM, ERP, HRM, product lifecycle management, and supply chain management.

What are some features of enterprise applications?

Features of enterprise applications include the ability to scale to your organization’s needs, handle large amounts of complex data, accommodate your existing infrastructure and legacy data, and provide security to protect your data.

Why is application security necessary?

Enterprise applications are intended to be used across your entire organization; therefore, data security is necessary to help prevent instances of unauthorized access, data leaks, and breaches.

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