Enterprise applications such as enterprise resource planning systems, supply chain management systems, customer relationship management systems and knowledge management systems are designed to support organization wide process co-ordination and integration so that the organization can operate more efficiently. They span multiple functions and business processes and may be tied to the business processes of other organizations. Enterprise system integrates the key internal business processes of a firm into a single software system so that information can be flow throughout the organization, improving co-ordination, efficiency, and decision making. Supply chain management systems help the firm manage its relationship with suppliers to optimize the planning, sourcing, manufacturing, and delivery of products and services. Customer relationship management uses information systems to co-ordinate all of the business processes surrounding the firm‘s interaction with customers to optimize firm revenue and customer satisfaction. Knowledge management systems enable firms to optimize the creation, shearing, distribution and application of knowledge to improve business processes and management decisions.
The array of application systems available to businesses can help businesses achieve higher levels of productivity and financial worth. Management challenges include the tension between building systems that both serve specific interest in the firm but that also can be integrated to provide organization wide information, the need for management and employee training to use system properly and the need to establish priorities on which systems most merit corporate attention and finding. Solution include inventorying the firm‘s information systems to establish organization wide information needs, employees and management training and establishing a system for accounting for the costs of information systems and managing demand of them.