Enterprise apps can save money if worked harder

Businesses can reduce costs without freezing budgets or halting spending, simply by using their enterprise applications more effectively, according to an analyst's report.

The Butler Group said that enterprise applications such as CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning), were important in running businesses more efficiently and effectively.

Cost cutting was a natural reaction to the tough economy, according to author of the report Angela Eager, but was counterproductive if businesses weren't thinking about their long-term strategy.

She said that enterprise apps were part of the "DNA" of an organisation. But because they were integral, they were often overlooked as they seemed invisible to operations - yet they could generate value if used effectively.

"Organisations will benefit from a change in perspective in which enterprise applications are perceived as fundamental enablers of change with its capacity to adapt to new business demands," she said in a statement.

She also said it could add further dimensions to new technologies, rather than simply be used as "static back office transaction engines".

This included technologies such as SOA (service orientated architecture), BPM (business process management), BI (business intelligence), and even collaborative web 2.0 applications.

The report also said the need for flexibility and cost efficiency meant that the SaaS (Software as a Service), was ideally suited for the economic times.