Analytics/Business Intelligence/Data Mining/Forecasting/Big Data
Data analysis, systems analysis, business analysis, and financial analysis are all very important factors within an organization. Having an educated team and the correct software, your organization can use data to predict demographic purchasing trends, financial forecasting, target key demographics with certain marketing, and many other things that can help your organization efficiency increase revenue while spending less money. Data mining has become the status quo of collecting data in the modern industry. This data gets dumped into data marts, which feed a data warehouse and is subsequently filtered and queried out to catch trends based on any number of factors. (e.g., age, religion, sex, race, location, marital status, likes, dislikes, browsing history, etc.) Data mining has given organizations a huge upper-hand in the market above those who don’t utilize this tool. It is no surprise that it’s at the top of the list.

Application/Software Development/Maintenance
Application and software development can be relatively expensive, but can also give your organization a leading edge on those who use out-of-the-box software. This is because when your organization sets out to create a proprietary application or software, you go through the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). This cycle involves collecting end-user requirements and business requirements, which helps insure that your software meets all of your needs. There are different approaches to a SDLC, but most of them start with planning, then defining, designing, building, testing, deployment/implementation, then maintenance is ongoing until a new SDLC is needed.

Security/Cybersecurity
As IT becomes the pillar that many organizations lean on, security and cybersecurity are becoming a growing concern. With the level of importance that an organization’s data holds, it would make sense to put finances toward protecting it. Cybersecurity software and vendors will monitor your systems for Advanced Persistent Attacks, supply your organization with Counter Threat Intelligence that helps you detect attacks, detect threats, and backup/recover data for disaster management. Much of IT security involves training your staff on proper use of the organization’s IT such as; password security and procedures, log-in/log-off procedures, email procedures, and so on. Many organizations who outsource their IT have cybersecurity measures taken through the third party vendor taking on their IT functions.

Cloud Computing (e.g., Saas, PaaS, IaaS)

Cloud Computing has become increasingly popular for data storage, collaborative software, communication, and mobile access.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), is essentially a physical server used for hosting. With IaaS, the vendor will manage virtualization, servers, storage, and networking. This means you will manage your applications, data, runtime, middleware, and operating system. Examples of IaaS would be SoftLayer or RackSpace.

Platform as a Service (PaaS), means your organization will attain an application or framework to build on. This gives your organization a platform to build upon. With PaaS the vendor manages runtime, middleware, operating system, virtualization, servers, storage, and networking. This means that your organization will manage only the applications and data.

Software as a Service (SaaS), is where your organization attains a functionality that is completely managed by the vendor. This makes you the consumer of this product. A great example of a SaaS service would be Gmail which is managed by Google, or Yahoo mail which is managed by Yahoo.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
The customer is the means by which your organization attains revenue, so CRM software is an understandable route for an organization to take and put some financial backing on. CRM essentially manages your organization’s interaction with current and possible future customers. This software can work in tandem with your data mining to automate customer/potential customer contact according to the product and the customer’s data. The CRM automates emails, marketing, phone calls, and more to collect information about customer. This includes customer feedback from purchases.

Conclusion
Every organization wants to have a leading edge in the modern market. Business intelligence software, data collection, application development, security, cloud computing, and customer relationship management software are all great choices for an organization to maintain or increase their ability to compete. Really, protecting your customer relationships, your data, and effective marketing, you can definitely succeed.