Business Processes in the IT Revolution

Drawing upon customer relationship management (CRM), Snow (2007) outlines how customer experience management (CEM) makes the experience of the customer with the organization as excellent as possible. This is to help them become more loyal to the organization. CEM takes CRM further by drawing upon previous experiences and interactions with the customer to create a set of strategies in dealing with the customers. Everyone of the customer service agents of the company will then draw upon the collected data regarding the customer in order to create a meaningful experience for the customer. Snow (2007) outline the strategies that should be used by the company to move from CRM to CEM and use only a single database as a repository of customer information as this would facilitate a better experience for the customer.

As the business world continually presents different kinds of challenges to businesses all over the world, even with good products and services, if a business organization cannot adapt with change, then it will eventually fail. In this regard, Von Halle (2007) presented a framework through which businesses can effectively deal with change. The management of rules within the organization should be according to this model so that they will not become adrift in the sea of change. The first level is the knowledge of rules, which is important in order to provide a solid foundation. Secondly, these rules should become flexible to adapt to various changes in the business environment. Moreover, these rules should be consistent and aligned. Likewise, the organization should be able to predict new rules in the near future and lastly, they should be able to take care and implement these rules for the longevity and continuity of the business in the long run.

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Companies use Business Intelligence (BI) in influencing their management of performance. The level of usage, however, varies. According to Colin Snow (2007), there are four levels of using BI in business. In the tactical level, BI is used minimally and is only arrived at through reporting. At the advanced level, BI is used to manage business processes as well as the company’s relationship with customers. At the strategic level, on the other hand, BI is used in the financial, marketing, sales and purchasing departments of the business. And in the innovative level, BI is well integrated throughout all the processes that the company is engaged in.

In using software and systems for Enterprise Resource Planning, businesses are looking for flexibility and the ability for them to suit the system to their particular needs. Gruman (2007), however, noticed that the available ERP solutions offered by companies tend to be fixed. The needs of businesses are so diverse that such may not be helpful to the company in the long run. Because of these varied needs, the author recommended the use of open source for ERP so that the business can readily use the system in accordance with their own strategies and respond to customers in a more organization-specific way. This customization of ERP strategies is important for the flexibility of the company.

ERP has been conceptualized and developed in the decade of the 1980s. Although there has been a boom in using ERP, the signs of aging are beginning to show and Sommer (2006) likened them to “aging athletes on steroids”. He documented several ways in which the business environment has changed in the past 20 years or so. However, ERP practices and systems have not yet managed to catch up with these developments. There is a clear need now to revitalize the ERP solutions being offered by providers; otherwise, both ERP providers and their customers will be left out in the business world.