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As pictured here, the IT-software landscape is organized around two major axes which are of vital importance for enterprises:

  • their resources: human resources, production, logistics and so on
  • their market: customers, channels, sales, segmentation, pricing, etc.
On that landscape you find countless IT-software products of relative importance (represented by numerous spheres of various sizes), which can be grouped along two broad categories:
  • the ERP-type software dealing with enterprises’ resources axes and
  • the BI/CRM/SRM-type software dealing with their market axis; these are the Business Intelligence (BI) software, the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) software.

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These IT-software typically improves business performance along two major axes:

  • the enterprise effectiveness axes: doing the right things in terms of resources and market management.
  • the enterprise efficiency axes: doing things right (i.e. speed, cost, error rate, etc.) in terms of resources and market management
The first axis is also referred to as the ‘strategic effectiveness axes’ because it is about the ‘what the enterprise should do’ which is, essentially, a strategic dimension; the second axis is referred to as the ‘operational efficiency axes’ because it is about the ‘how the enterprise should do’ which is, essentially, an operational dimension.

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Some of the software products found in the landscape are designed to improve operational efficiency (e.g. production-related software) while other are designed to improve strategic effectiveness (e.g. market segmentation software). Overall, enterprises strive to be ‘efficiently effective’ and they adopt a mix of these software products to excel both at operational efficiency and strategic effectiveness: they strive to do efficiently the right things.

But there are two serious limitations with these enterprise software products:

  • they are specialized software products which are most often used in isolation or in silo-mode, and
  • they are necessary but definitively not sufficient software products

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