Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System





Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System

In his article “Putting the Enterprise into the Enterprise System” Thomas Davenport examines the effects of integrating the enterprise system in a business. He notes that many companies are attracted by the possibility of having all their information in one system. Having an enterprise system enables the company to save costs and it increases efficiency. He observes that some companies have not seen any benefits of installing the system, although they have invested a lot of money and effort in the process. He notes that although many companies are using the enterprise system, they are not realizing the related benefits. Some companies have complained about failed projects or systems that have gone out of control. He notes that although some systems fail because of technical issues, most of the systems have problems because they are not able to integrate with the business needs of the company. Davenport recommends that companies need to have a clear strategy before they plan for their enterprise system. They need to be aware of the implications that the system will have on the business before installing it.

Enterprise systems may decrease the company’s competitive advantage. A company decreases its ability to differentiate its products when it uses the commercial systems. Davenport discusses the process of enterprise system configuration. He notes that configuring involves negotiating between the business needs and the system capabilities. The process involves determining the module to install and using configuration tables to determine the best fit for the business. He examines the effects of the system on a company, noting that it will affect the organizational culture in positive and negative ways. He also looks at the role of the management and he notes that managers should be involved in the installation of the system and they should not leave the issue to the technical department.

I agree with the author on most issues. Many companies spend a lot of money on installation of computerized systems without understanding the impact it will have on their business. Some of them install the systems because it is the current thing to do and their competitors are doing so. This shows that they lack a clear direction, vision and organization. The companies end up incurring unnecessary costs. Technology has changed and advanced since the publication of the article. Therefore, some of the problems and challenges that the author noted have been addressed. For instance, companies have managed to solve the problem of using uniform software. Such systems had denied them the chance to differentiate their products and this had reduced their competitive advantage. However, the situation has changed today. Companies use systems that are customized according to their needs. They are able to integrate their specific needs on the systems and this has enabled them to maintain their competitive edge.

Davenport has overemphasized the importance of aligning technological changes in the organization with the business needs. He notes that companies will be able to realize many of the benefits of the enterprise systems when they are aware of how they are aware of the consequences that such technology will have on the business. He has underemphasized the technological aspects of enterprise systems. He has failed to include information concerning the existence of technical problems and the solution for such challenges. The author assumes that organizations are ready, able, and willing to install the enterprise systems. He also assumes that companies face the same challenges when using the systems.  

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