What is enterprise management?

Enterprise management describes the tools and strategies used to administer, monitor, and improve vital day-to-day business processes.

Business is more complicated than it used to be. And while emergent technologies and expanding connectivity have made it possible for companies to do more and reach wider audiences than ever before, one side effect of advancing capabilities is increased complexity. Simply put, increasingly convoluted tool stacks and scattered infrastructures can hinder information flow, making it difficult to coordinate the resources, information, and activities needed to complete business processes—particularly for larger businesses.

Enterprise management offers a solution. By bringing management of IT, reporting, analytics, and other business operations onto a single enterprise management system (EMS), organisations can reduce unwanted complexity, and ensure that all relevant aspects of the enterprise are controlled and aligned to the needs of the company.

Enterprise management systems can cover a range of specific uses and functions. That said, they generally relate to the following primary functions:

Enterprise resource planning

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) helps organisations manage the day-to-day processes associated with a range of business functions, including accounting, procurement, project management, supply chain operations, and risk management and compliance. With the right ERP solution, businesses enjoy easier access to real-time data, while eliminating duplicate information and identifying and responding to discrepancies.

Customer relationship management

Customer relationship management (CRM) is an organisational tool that focuses on tracking and recording interactions with current and prospective customers. The goal of CRM is to streamline and optimise these interactions, and ultimately increase the value of each individual buyer. Customer service management (CSM) is the logical extension of CRM, leveraging CRM capabilities to integrate customer engagement with customer operations, and to provide a fully-unified view of customer engagement across an entire enterprise.

Supply chain management

Supply chain management (SCM) manages the flow of goods, data, finances, and services, and includes each step in the processes used to transform raw materials into finished products. Other important EMS functions can include HR management, financial processing, sales, budgeting, and logistics.

By simplifying various processes across an entire enterprise, enterprise management systems deliver a number of key benefits. Some of the most noteworthy advantages include:

Increased scalability

Enterprise management solutions are generally cloud based, allowing organisations to allocate more or fewer cloud-computing resources to match current demand. This makes enterprise management limitlessly scalable, without the increased cost or effort.

Reduced cost

Although enterprise management systems can come with a big price tag, they tend to be a less expensive alternative to purchasing and implementing solutions for each core business function individually. Enterprise management tends to bundle many different capabilities together in a single package, allowing companies to reduce their expenses. And because EMS systems are fully integrated together, organisations can improve interdepartmental interaction, potentially eliminating a number of costly inefficiencies.

Improved business insight

Enterprise management systems make it easy to share and track goals, chart customer satisfaction metrics, and compare production and expenses. Most EMS options compile this information together and present it visually on user-friendly dashboards. Decisionmakers can then use these insights to guide planning and strategic initiatives.

Enhanced productivity

A core component of enterprise management is automation. Automation allows businesses to reduce or eliminate the need for manual intervention in specific processes. By freeing up the workforce from directly managing certain key business functions, enterprise management improves employee productivity. At the same time, cloud-based EMS gives users the freedom to work from anywhere, rather than restricting productivity to a single location.

Accurate security, compliance, and documentation

EMS systems include an integrated security system, helping mitigate the threat of data theft. This secure data may be easily retrieved at any time by authorised, validated users, and used to help prove compliance with established laws and regulations.

Although some people may use the terms interchangeably, EMS and ERP are not actually synonyms.


ERP almost always consists of a single application which includes a set of modules. This software application tends to be applied most commonly to HR, asset management, or financial resources. ERP solutions are capable of checking inventory statuses, planning production, and tracking many different back-office activities.


Enterprise management considers the bigger picture, and is more comprehensive and data focused than ERP. EMS solutions often include ERP in their functionality, but are also able to go beyond ERP limitations. In other words, the EMS is a kind of central command designed to securely store and retrieve real-time business data, standardise and automate vital business processes, monitor competitor data, improve and track external relationships, streamline supply chain management, and reduce costs while improving productivity company wide.

Modern enterprise businesses depend on enterprise management to help them navigate and control otherwise-complex IT environments. ServiceNow, a world leader in IT management solutions, is optimising how these businesses approach enterprise management, with IT strategic portfolio management. ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management provides essential visibility into portfolio investments and business strategies, allowing administrators to track progress in real time. Built-in integrations make it easy to connect work plans with investment plans, and make adjustments where and when they are needed. Centralised control and user-friendly dashboards bring strategic and operational work together, reducing bottlenecks and eliminating data silos. In short, Strategic Portfolio Management gives businesses full control over many of the processes they depend on, with unmatched agility and scalability to respond to changing needs.

See how ServiceNow can enhance your approach to enterprise management; try SPM today!

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