The rapidly evolving digital landscape in South Africa is seeing larger organisations focus more on optimising their business processes and improving cost efficiencies to remain competitive.
Ian McAlister, General Manager at CRS Technologies, says this is where the advantages of using enterprise solutions become apparent.
“Enterprise software provides for a more configurable and scalable environment where the organisation can tailor the solution to help meet its strategic objectives,” he said.
“So, even though software designed for smaller businesses is more affordable, its inability to scale according to the growth needs of an enterprise makes the investment a waste of resources. Consequently, companies should rather consider how best to integrate bespoke solutions into their operational environment.”
Of course, this approach does take more time (at least initially) and requires specialist skills (often something the organisation does not have), but the long-term platform it creates makes the investment worth it.
This is not to say a company should rip and replace its legacy infrastructure in favour of something different. Instead, it entails a detailed assessment of what is being used and identifying the components that are most critical for upgrading.
“Unlike cloud solutions, companies own the enterprise software they purchase outright,” added McAlister.
“This means that they could continually fine-tune the software to evolve as its business requirements change. Furthermore, this more nuanced approach can ensure the business can more easily expand operations into new territories without being concerned about issues such as data sovereignty that often complicate cloud approaches.”
Perhaps one of the most pressing issues when it comes to enterprise software, is its inherent security over solutions designed for smaller companies. Because it installs directly on organisational services, the connection is generally more private and secure as opposed to transferring sensitive data over the Internet to a cloud provider.
“It has become easy to be tempted by the allure of going the cloud route,” said McAlister.
“Yet when it comes to the performance, security and scalability most needed for a large company, enterprise-specific software solutions should be a business priority.”