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The value of integrated business systems

The value of integrated business systemsEnterprise resource planning has all too often been associated with large enterprises and more complex IT organisations…not forgetting those with the deepest pockets and largest resource pools to invest in best-of-breed solutions. In reality, though, many mid-market businesses will already be running their own version of ERP. This could be through, amongst other things, stock management systems, staff scheduling reports, project reports and financial reporting tools. In this final edition of the year we explore the real benefits of ERP for mid-market organisations.

ERP is really the effective use of resources, to deliver business efficiencies measured by increased turnover, improved margins and cost reduction. If businesses take a joined-up approach to their business systems they will always be in a better position to deal with the challenges of innovation, growth and business development.

It’s also important to remember that it’s not always the case that moving to an ERP system requires a wholesale replacement of your existing solutions. Similar results can be achieved through better integration of your existing technologies…and to achieve the full value, an organisation must focus on integrating the organisation, optimising business processes, and using and analysing system data to improve decision making.

ERP has had a chequered history, but trends now point to a turning tide…organisations have gained a wealth of experience and from the evidence of this year’s Evaluation Centre ERP survey, ERP systems now provide the cornerstone for nearly two-thirds of all organisations’ applications portfolio.

Maybe…this dawning realisation of the challenges of big data is another catalyst for reassessing the value of integrated business and technology strategies.

The world of big data and business intelligence is a dynamic one, with new technologies emerging to make it even more compelling. Any organisation that wants to thrive and survive in this business landscape will need to embrace big data and the technology required to maximise its potential. The insight big data can provide is unparalleled and places the CIO in a pivotal role. Technology has generally been a reactive discipline, but as the guardian of better data analysis it will truly enable the CIO and IT to take a much more dynamic and entrepreneurial role in the business.

Enjoy this issue of IT Adviser… have a great Xmas and best wishes for a prosperous 2012.

Ian Jones
NCC head of publishing & content
National Computing Centre

Download the whole issue as a PDF: IT Adviser, Issue 68, Winter 2011

Industry news - Winter 2011 - 25 Nov 2011

2012 cloudy outlook Gartner top 10 technologies Among the technologies expected to have an increased impact on the enterprise next year were cloud computing, mobile devices, analytic tools for big data and in memory computing this corroborates very nicely with the findings of The NCCs own UK-based IT ... read more..

The challenge of ERP - 25 Nov 2011

enterprise resource planning Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is commonly associated with either manufacturing or only the largest organisations; those with the money and resources to invest in a best-of-breed system. In reality, though, many mid-market businesses will already be running their own version of ERP already. This could be through ... read more..

Insecure software development undermines business value - 25 Nov 2011

software development Routinely, the security weaknesses in software systems of enterprises are exposed by hacking incidents immediately the recent Sony and breaches come to mind. The majority of these incidents are back-door breaches. Bola Rotibi from (ISC)2 explores the need for security considerations to be part of the ... read more..

Integrated business communications - adds real value to business strategies - 25 Nov 2011

integrated business communications The age old imperative for businesses to do more with less in order to maximise profits has never been more applicable than it is today. John McGee, COO at Thunderhead, explores the real value from a fully integrated communications and technology strategy. With senior management often focused ... read more..

Is the solution in the cloud? - 25 Nov 2011

enterprise cloud computing Sean McAvan from Datapipe explores how the cloud can realistically drive productivity, reduce costs and improve ROI. Most enterprises are more than aware of the potential benefits of the cloud, but few believe that it currently offers a panacea. At a simplistic level, the ability to marry ... read more..

When pain does not mean gain - 25 Nov 2011

enterprise resource planning Among its ERP trend predictions for 2011, Forrester listed customers demanding better flexibility, cost transparency and mobility. This was echoed in a survey we recently conducted with YouGov. The research questioned IT and finance managers in mid-sized businesses and found that software cost, inflexibility and underperformance are ... read more..

Business Discovery: a new era of business intelligence - 25 Nov 2011

business discovery Sean Farrington, RVP Northern Europe MD UK Ireland at QlikTech, explains how Business Discovery enables organisations to stay ahead of the game. There is a groundswell of change in the world of business intelligence (BI). It may be surprising to many that such a revolution is ... read more..

At the centre - Winter 2011 - 24 Nov 2011

New NCC Guidelines releasedThe prized NCC insight, packaged and published as the Management Guidelines, continues to present a unique perspective of the challenges encountered across a wide cross-section of UK organisations. The end of 2011 has seen a real flourish of new titles, these include:SharePoint: Do We Have a Problem? ... read more..

Taking desktop applications to mobile devices - 24 Nov 2011

mobilising desktop applications The abundance of smartphones on the market, and our need for greater convenience and flexibility at work means that, for many organisations, enabling enterprise mobility is now firmly at the top of their agenda. David Akka, UK MD at Magic Software, looks beyond the user interface and ... read more..

Big data, big opportunity - 24 Nov 2011

big data There has never been as much information and data in the world as there is now. So much so that it has been awarded its own, slightly misleading name, big data. Yes, the volume of data is huge, but it is the variety and complexity that is driving ... read more..

E-discovery in the Smartphone and social media era - 24 Nov 2011

e-discoverye-discoverysounds as though it could be something to do with food additives, but in practice its a subject which is currently attracting a lot of attention in business circles. E-discovery (short for electronic discovery) essentially refers to the process of recovering email, SMS and other electronic forms of information when ... read more..

SharePoint at the heart of modern businesses: the challenges of migration and management - 24 Nov 2011

SharePoint migration and management When used properly, SharePoint can be an incredibly useful tool, but unplanned SharePoint implementations can be easily derailed if CIOs are not aware of the particular drivers, requirements and challenges that can be barriers to success. The launch of SharePoint 2010 has meant that businesses ... read more..

Time to stop throwing your business over the waterfall - 24 Nov 2011

agile innovation John Milway, UK country manager at Mendix, explains why agile is the way to go and why the IT departments effort to hang on to the traditional, tried and tested waterfall development technique may in fact be your biggest barrier to technology innovation and that it really ... read more..

Riding the wave of IT consumerisation - 24 Nov 2011

IT consumeration Ewen Anderson at Centralis explains how organisations can manage consumerisation in an efficient and secure manner, boosting productivity and employee satisfaction while delivering on longer-term strategic objectives. Much has been made of the wave of consumerisation sweeping across the corporate landscape. New devices and applications are being adopted ... read more..

The Windows 8 routemap - 24 Nov 2011

Windows 8 I was lucky enough to get a press pass to attend Microsofts Build conference. (I say lucky because the show sold out early and even press passes were hard to come by.) If you werent there, bookmark and see the videos of the many, many interesting talks ... read more..



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