What is an Enterprise Management System?

Learn about what an Enterprise Management System is and how it can make large organisations more efficient

Digital Transformation

Enterprise Management Systems (EMS), sometimes just known as Enterprise Systems (ES) are enterprise-scale application software packages which address the different software needs of large organisations - similar to ERP. They allow IT teams to support and manage large, complex and sometimes geographically-dispersed IT infrastructure and applications.

Most EMS solutions will include core business functions like financial processing, HR management, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), budgeting, sales activity and logistics and supply chain management. Most EMS tools are presented as a single package, but can also be bespoke systems created around an organisation's specific needs.

Enterprise Management Systems are designed primarily for large organisations, as the name suggests, and are usually not suitable for small or medium organisations due to implementation costs and the less complex IT infrastructure often found in smaller businesses.

What's the difference between EMS and ERP?

Some people may interchange the terms for Enterprise Management Systems and Enterprise Resource Management (ERP) but there are some significant differences. An EMS can include ERP as part of the package, but ERP itself is a standalone application that provides separate modules to address different back office functions.

Because EMS covers all the necessary business functions in one package, transfers of information from one section to another is fast and accurate. ERP systems are able to check stock, assist in planning and management and keep track of back office activities, but EM systems will then be able to go beyond this and monitor competitors, use real-time advanced data analytics to suggest new market areas and ways of engaging customers and keep track of the external relationships of an organisation.

Unlike ERP, EMS has no architecture, and its applications use information already available in an organisation's own database, allowing businesses to be much more efficient with their use of data.

Pros of an Enterprise Management System

One of the key benefits of an EMS is the reduction in the number of people needed to support complex IT infrastructure and business operations, as it's all bundled into one package and is therefore much easier to manage across the business. This in turn allows IT in the business to be an enabler rather than a cost.

Unsurprisingly, an enterprise management system doesn't come cheap. However, because so many core functions are bundled together in one package, the cost of the whole system is normally cheaper than going to separate providers for tools for different areas of the business, and this is particularly true for larger businesses. Because these different functions are integrated and can all draw off each other, businesses can streamline their processes and improve collaboration across teams, which in turn creates efficiencies.

Because an EMS is cloud-based(ERP is also available in the cloud), it offers high scalability without the IT complexity. This is beneficial for enterprises that operate around the world, as it can scale to any size, and also simplifies the management of international trade across suppliers, contractors, partners and customers.

An EMS also draws on real-time data intelligence, meaning that business-critical decisions can be made using accurate information. Many EMS services on offer are both customisable and flexible, meaning that they can grow with a business as well as be ready for newer innovations, such as the Internet of Things.

Accelerating core business processes like procurement, inventory, sales and customer service with accurate data intelligence is a good way to ensure stable business growth as well as future-proof evolution over time.

Picture: Bigstock

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