Efficiency and productivity

How business systems define your operation

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Businesses, whether large or small, have a unique set of rules, which often lead to the competitive advantage, success and profits of the enterprise.

Business systems are the methods, procedures and processes that define the operation of any business.

Large corporations often dedicate a huge amount of resources and capabilities to creating efficient business systems which are largely credited for corporations’ overall operations and profitability, whereas small businesses often overlook the necessity of having a business system. Regardless of the size of a business, the main objective of a business system is to create and add value to a business.

There are a various business systems which cover specific tasks for specific areas of a business. A decision support system otherwise known as an executive support system, is often utilised by management for long-term strategic decisions pertaining to the business.

Management information systems contain tools and techniques that gather relevant data to inform choices and make decisions that can be used for strategic plans, whilst, a knowledge management system applies knowledge that is classified and distributed to employees, allowing for greater communication within any business. Transaction processing systems, whether billing systems or payroll systems, also form a vital component to the daily operations of businesses.

The advent of technology in business systems, has spurred many companies to implement new business systems that adopt new technologies. Technology has become a central aspect of business today, which allows businesses to increase efficiency and maximize productivity. Big data and analytics are capabilities increasingly embedded across functions and operations of businesses, which allow managers to have the best information to make better informed business decisions. Moreover, social technologies are also becoming important to business operations as they allow increasing engagement between suppliers, employees and customers.

Technology in a business system offers numerous advantages to businesses, such as automated processes, which improves a company’s efficiency by creating computerised reports, monitoring projects and finances, leaving employees with ample time to perform other pressing duties. Due to technology, more options are emerging for businesses to interact with customers, reducing previous barriers between business and customers and creating or expanding new revenue streams to a range of businesses. Furthermore, technologies create electronic storage systems such as virtual vaults to protect a company’s valuable records as well as securing customer files, which is vital to business integrity.

Although technology and software have become fundamental aspects for business all functions of a business, whether they concern the IT department or procurement, should be in agreement on aligning technologies with the business’s overall strategy. Various companies assist businesses large or small to navigate the task of integrating technology and software in a business system.

As a business expands, often, the software architecture has to expand to accommodate rapid developments in account management, inventory management and financial consolidation. If it is not achieved a business’s ability to grow is inhibited. Hence, technology solution companies exist to offer products and services that achieve sustainable results for any business, through the implementation of components that complement an existing business system.

The services which technology solution companies offer vary according to the individual needs of a business. These offerings include specialised products and services for particular industries. For example, customer intensive businesses often rely on customer relationship management (CRM) software for their business system. CRM entails the use of technology to facilitate marketing, technical support or customer services in order to guide current and future customer relations for businesses.

Businesses which rely on huge amounts of data and documentation often resort to enterprise content management (ECM) to organise and store documents and content related to operational processes. ECM practices include end-to-end Sharepoint, which is a platform created by Microsoft that enables the creation of intranets for information sharing purposes and storing of documents.

Cloud, application and mobile (CAM) practices are an essential aspect of any business operation as they assist in modernising a business’s technology assets and gain competitive advantage.

Business systems have evolved owing to technology advances. Businesses, regardless of their size or the sector they are in, have to embrace technology in order to ensure sustainability. With the suitable products and services offered by technology solution companies, a business is guaranteed to thrive and profit in a rapidly changing environment.

Puseletso Nkopane

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This edition

Issue 72