With so many software choices out there today, how do organisations determine which software they need to operate?

Like a pyramid, software applications build upon the layer below, so that an organisation needs to have the core foundations in place before successfully embarking upon niche or innovative technology.

Here are five essential applications that companies cannot do without:

PayrollYour People
Financial AccountingYour Money
CRMYour Customers
Teamwork HubYour Collaboration
Business IntelligenceYour Insight

These are generic areas of IT which fit virtually all organisations. Naturally, each organisation will have requirements to manage their core operations, which vary from one organisation to another. For example, a distribution, warehouse, or retail solution which is specific to the industry.

But returning to the core five applications, these represent the common platform which forms the backbone of each company. They provide the work-engine that helps the organisation tick. Without any one of these five applications, the organisation is immediately operating sub-optimally.

Each of these applications can be deployed independently. However, linking and integrating these core applications significantly advances an organisation’s effectiveness. Yet this basic knitting together of the foundational building blocks is often absent. The lack of integration can arise from a number of factors, but the four principal reasons are:

  1. Lack of vision or over arching strategy.
  2. Stakeholder bias or political fiefdoms.
  3. System incompatibility.
  4. Timing.

Each of these four factors is surmountable with understanding and planning. We see this in organisations which take a holistic view of their IT needs; even with the core applications, the use of technology within these companies flourish. Organisations which do not approach their IT requirements systematically flounder and struggle with technology. It is therefore important to assess the use of these applications and their integration within your own company before looking further afield. Does your organisation have all 5 building blocks in place? And, are they tightly integrated?

So what comes next? What is number 6.? Perhaps, take a closer look at BPM (Business Process Management). Every company has procedures. Yet the adherence to these and the effectiveness in which they are carried out often leaves much to be desired.

[READ NEXT: Learn how BPM helps small businesses with process automation]

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