October 9, 2023
The Evolving Nature of Systems of Enterprise

Examining value creation across 3 key systems within the Enterprise – Systems of Record, Systems of Engagement and Systems of Intelligence.

Every System of Enterprise within an Organization revolves around People, Processes, Technology & Data. Examining value creation across 3 key systems within the Enterprise – Systems of Record, Systems of Engagement and Systems of Intelligence.

A System of Record (SoR) is the authoritative data source for specific information in an organization, ensuring data consistency and accuracy across the enterprise. Core to an SoR is a database, housing raw data, which is accessed through an application layer, allowing users to manage the data effectively. They are pivotal for day-to-day operations due to their stability, acting as the organization's IT backbone.

Key systems include CRM, like Salesforce, for managing customer data; HCM, exemplified by Workday, for overseeing employee information; and ERP/Financials, which manage assets and financial details. While many applications interface with a SoR, they rarely attain its strategic significance. For instance, while marketing tools like Marketo integrate with CRMs, they don't rival the importance of the CRM itself, such as Salesforce.

SoRs ensure consistent, reliable data for businesses, fostering opportunities and adapting as technological landscapes shift.

Systems of Engagement (SoE) facilitate interactions between users, emphasizing enriched user experiences through modern channels such as smartphones, social media, and cloud services. Evolving alongside the digital transformation wave, SoEs concentrate on the "front-end", offering more dynamic and tailored user interactions compared to traditional Systems of Record (SoRs). They're user-centric, designed primarily for contemporary user interactions on a plethora of digital devices.

 Slack serves as a quintessential SoE for real-time workplace communication, collaboration, and team interactions.

 WhatsApp and Messenger by Facebook are popular SoEs for personal and business communication on mobile platforms.

 Zoom and Microsoft Teams have emerged as dominant SoEs for video conferencing, virtual meetings, and webinars, especially in the remote-working era.

 Social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok are SoEs designed for social interactions, content sharing, and personal branding.

 Shopify and Wix offer user-friendly platforms for businesses to engage with customers, facilitating everything from product displays to transactions, often integrating with SoRs for inventory and financial data.

 Trello and Asana exemplify SoEs in the project management realm, allowing teams to organize tasks, communicate about projects, and integrate with other tools for a streamlined workflow.

 Salesforce's Community Cloud offers businesses an SoE to build branded spaces for employees, customers, and partners to connect, pulling data from their CRM system of record when needed.

These SoEs often integrate tools for instantaneous communication, collaboration, and feedback. They also frequently interface with SoRs, exemplified when a service app fetches data from an underlying CRM or ERP system. The blending of user experience and seamless integration positions SoEs at the forefront of modern digital interaction.

A System of Intelligence (SoI) is a newer class of enterprise software that sits on top of traditional Systems of Record (SoR). Systems of Intelligence use advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning to generate insights, predictions, and recommendations. SoI pull data from both SoRs and SoEs, to generate actionable insights and predictions.

The Power of Systems of Intelligence comes from their ability to turn data into action. By synthesizing information from both the stable, transactional SoR and the dynamic, user focused SoE, SoIs can provide real-time insights and recommendations that drive business value.

 Data Synthesis: SoIs integrate data from various sources, often pulling from multiple Systems of Record and other data repositories.

 Advanced Analytics: They apply advanced analytical techniques, ranging from statistical analyses to machine learning, to derive insights from the data.

 Predictive Capabilities: Many SoIs can predict future events or trends based on historical and current data. For example, they might predict customer churn, sales forecasts, or maintenance needs.

 Recommendation Engines: Beyond just presenting data or insights, SoIs often provide actionable recommendations. This could range from suggesting which lead a salesperson should prioritize to recommending adjustments in a supply chain.

 Real-time Processing: Systems of Intelligence often operate in real-time or near-real-time, processing data and generating insights on-the-fly.

 Adaptive Learning: As they continue to process data and feedback, these systems can learn and refine their algorithms for better accuracy and relevance.

Importance of Systems of Intelligence:

 Informed Decision Making: By synthesizing vast amounts of data and offering actionable insights, SoIs aid decision-makers in making more informed, data-driven decisions.

 Operational Efficiency: With predictive capabilities and recommendations, enterprises can optimize their operations, whether that's in sales, supply chain management, customer support, or other areas.

 Competitive Advantage: In today's data-driven world, companies that can quickly extract insights from their data and act upon them can gain a significant edge over their competitors.

In summary, while Systems of Record manage and store data, and Systems of Engagement focus on user interactions, Systems of Intelligence bring the power of advanced analytics and AI to process this data and provide actionable intelligence, adding a layer of cognition to enterprise systems.

Rotimi Olumide

Thought leader, speaker, multifaceted business leader with a successful track record that combines consumer & product marketing, strategic business planning, creative design and product management experience.

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