I don’t know about everyone else but it seems like every time I open my computer to get my techno-fix, there are numerous acronyms defining the next big multiple letter system to save the day. This is particularly relevant today in an era where minutes used to be days, weeks, months and even years, and measuring and managing actions and results – execution – are the most important things! So, in the interest of making life just a bit less complex I did a little research to define some of the more prominent ones out there today and hopefully help create some distinctions.
First of all, don’t worry if you don’t have definitions on the tip of your tongue. These terms, like many in cyberspace mean different things to different people. In order to make our life easier I am taking what I believe to be the gold standard definition and paring it down to sound bites (bytes?) to help you understand. You guessed it, Wikipedia here I come!
- CRM = Customer Relationship Management
It sounds a bit soft but CRM isn’t about developing a touchy-feely relationship with your customer, instead it is all about having the systems to manage a company’s interactions with customers, client and sales prospects. A CRM system manages all the touch points and business processes that help you find, attract, win and maintain the relationships the company already has. CRM helps entice former clients back into the fold and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. CRM is a company wide business strategy that includes all areas of customer interface and helps demonstrate the value of the customer relationship throughout the company.
- ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning
First of all, beware; the acronym ERP has multiple definitions in many areas of business, science and technology. For our intent and purpose, the most holistic and common one is “enterprise resource planning”. An ERP system integrates internal and external management information across the entire organization (enterprise), an ERP system coordinates finance, accounting, manufacturing, customer info and all other business process information to manage the flow of information between them. A good ERP is the central nervous system of the business coordinating all of the disparate systems. Many ERP systems are notoriously dated, cumbersome and reflect issues after the fact, rather than in real time for corrective measures.
- BI = Business Intelligence
Although perhaps thought of as an oxymoron, BI or Business Intelligence offers the ability for an organization to convert all of its capabilities into knowledge to create a scenario where all parts of the business are informed and information gets to the right people at the right time to inform decision making. Business intelligence can help lead to new ideas and information to assist a business in moving forward. Like ERP, BI uses information after the fact to create decision-making data. Though the term business intelligence is sometimes used as a synonym for competitive intelligence, (they both support decision making), BI uses technologies, processes, and applications to analyze mostly internal, structured data and business processes while competitive intelligence gathers, analyzes and disseminates information with a topical focus on company competitors.
- Big Data = Big Data (literally!)
Big dataconsists of data sets that grow so large and complex that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger data sets allowing analysts to “spot business trends, prevent diseases, and combat crime.
CNC’s strategic diagnostic cloud solutions for business performance, combines the best of all these and some, to provide YOU with EASILY EXECUTABLE DATA. Taking away the question marks (?) for a refined, simple, and real-time strategic planning process that involves and evolves the entire business. Eliminating unnecessary inefficiencies such as the “white binder syndrome” and conference room chitter chatter that never moves to actions and results and thus execution.
The key is to solve the one big business problem that every business incurs: Making sure that you are consistently and constantly executing upon YOUR strategies and not falling victim to the 90% failure rate of strategy execution!
Strategies fail due to poor execution! Sadly most tools tell you that AFTER the failure!