Business management software helps an organisation conduct day-to-day operations. It can automate processes and manage information to reduce the risk of human error. Not only that, but it will also stretch your employees’ time by taking some tasks off their to-do list, with automated programs taking some of the load.
Departments traditionally siloed many of these operations:
- Project management
- Supply chain
An integrated solution improves visibility, streamlines workflows, and informed decision making. These are all advantages in any fast-moving and competitive marketplace.
The ideal business management solution will manage your whole operation from end-to-end, from receiving orders to delivering products or services. The benefits include automation of repetitive tasks to increase efficiency, data reconciliation to eliminate errors, and improved transparency so you can keep track of progress in a collaborative environment.
Most business management systems will leverage business data to maximise productivity and minimise operating costs and includes management of:
- Advanced analytics and reporting
- Customer relationships
- Human resources
- Sales and marketing
- Team collaboration
Top 10 Business Management Solutions
We've listed ten of the best business management solutions based on their functionality and customer feedback.
is a well-established project management tool that helps teams collaborate with features for assigning tasks with tracking progress. The tool is intuitive to use, requires very little training to get started and has good support from the developer. It also uses the Kanban framework, which is popular with computer program developers.
The tool really shines in the way it integrates with other applications, which Trello refers to as “power-ups.” These turn what appears at first to be a progress tracking tool into a comprehensive business management program. In addition, the dashboard and various view options provide management visibility and metrics.
Your team can access Trello via desktop and mobile apps or as a web interface. It offers robust account access security options and stores data using Amazon Web Services to provide resilience, although sharing data with third parties is a risk.
The basic version of Trello is free to use with one power-up, making it a perfect small business management tool. However, access to additional power-ups and advanced features requires a paid subscription plan. The good news is that the paid business and enterprise options do not limit the number of users, projects, or power-ups.
is another project management tool from Atlassian. While originally geared for software development projects, this tool works well across all sectors for business management. With its technical project management roots, you’ll get support for Kanban boards and scrum processes.
Good reporting functions combined with issue management capability will support fast-paced development methods and use cases.
The downside to Jira is that the interfaces are non-intuitive. It assumes the user has a technical understanding that makes business management a bit of a challenge. Also, the product requires integration with a third-party application for collaborative work.
Customisable desktop and mobile apps or a web interface provide account access with robust security options and formal certification to security standards.
The free version of Jira includes up to ten users, but you'll need a paid subscription plan (on a per-seat basis) for larger team sizes, which is potentially very expensive for large organisations.
3. Dynamics 365
Microsoft's Dynamics 365
integrated business management applications target financial management and supply chain processes. The focus is on customer relationship management rather than simple project management, and it integrates seamlessly with Microsoft's Office applications.
A major attraction is the powerful underlying technology that includes machine learning processes to automate and streamline business processes. However, these come at a high price point with a non-intuitive user interface that best suits businesses with effective training programmes.
Pricing is complex and expensive, too. Depending on the functionality required, fees are on a per-user basis in most cases. However, the pricing of some functions is based on the number of customers. In addition, reviews of the program call out insufficient support for this class of service.
project management and collaboration tools focus on useability and streamlined functionality. Its attraction is the great high-level view for task assignment and tracking. Detailed task management is limited, though.
This tool aims at generalised business management audiences rather than technical projects. Also, it comes with an extensive set of functions and plenty of options for third party integrations, which makes it well-suited for the operations management software market.
With reasonable account access security options and data storage that uses Amazon Web Services, Monday.com is a resilient business management tool. You’ll be limited to support through online tickets, but their responsiveness is generally satisfactory.
Reasonable pricing on a per-user basis offers different tiers for functionality and data storage options. However, the free option is too limited to be of practical use for most businesses.
, Oracle's enterprise resource planning tool
, offers strong customer relationship management. Its highly customisable interface and reporting functions are great for financial and sales management processes, along with good accounting functions that provide a business governance capability.
Selling points are scalability and a cloud-based service that integrates business data into a centralised database to deliver good end-to-end business management. This suits it for the enterprise management software market. However, third-party integrations can be challenging, with some reports of performance issues.
The cost builds up from a base service price with additional per-user fees, and support is available in differently priced options. Overall, costs for a typical business are relatively expensive in comparison to alternative options.
6. QuickBooks Online Advanced
The QuickBooks Online Advanced
cloud-based business accounting solution has undergone an evolution into providing business management services, including customer relationship management. While the main focus is billing and invoicing, the suite includes project management and scheduling functions along with tracking and reporting capabilities via real-time management dashboards.
This solution comes with workflow automation and integrations with third-party applications. However, watch out for a challenging-to-navigate user interface with a steep learning curve. Also, the move to an online-only option has resulted in limitations to some QuickBooks functions.
Pricing is straightforward on a per licence basis, a single licence allowing access to all functionality for up to 25 users. This pricing structure may be attractive to smaller businesses.
customer relationship and lead management tool supports collaborative working and task allocation functions. Features include a Kanban interface that technical development companies will appreciate. It supports integration with third-party applications and offers comprehensive notification features for task progress.
The downsides are a non-intuitive user interface that can take time to master and limited customisation options. This will suit the technically savvy audience better than more general business users.
Account security is robust, with data storage using a combination of Amazon Web Services and secure independent data centres.
Small businesses may like the free version comprising the core functions, which is available for less than 12 users. A reasonably priced professional plan supports unlimited user numbers and data storage quotas at the top end.
8. Odoo (H3)
open-source business management framework includes applications for enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management.
There is an extensive library of applications available for the Odoo environment, limiting the need for integration with third-party applications for core functions. Not only that, more than twenty thousand third-party apps integrate with the Odoo environment thanks to its modular-based open-source development.
This also makes Odoo fully customisable and speeds the development of new applications. However, the downside is limited support for applications. Also, initial installation and configuration can be challenging for general business users.
Pricing is a straightforward per-user subscription fee for core functions with additional costs for integrated applications.
cloud-based service focuses on financial management and sales processes. It offers project and customer relationship management capabilities, streamlining and automating workflows and providing comprehensive task tracking features.
Its target audience is larger businesses that manage high volumes of transactional data. Features include good status information and business metrics reporting options. In addition, they offer support for task and workflow management using Kanban boards and Gantt charts to provide allocation and tracking capabilities, which supports collaborative working.
Robust security options provide formal certification to security standards for further assurance. If your business is looking for financial services company management software, this may be the perfect fit.
Pricing has a complex structure, with a per-user subscription fee for a range of service options. The cost is at the higher end of the array of business management solutions on our list.
cloud-based platform’s focus is building custom database applications that support integration with applications for business management services. This provides the framework for creating a bespoke business solution, but to take full advantage requires programming experience. As a result, this option is best suited for a business in the coding or IT development sector. In addition, documentation and support are limited.
Its advantage is that it allows your business to customise a business application to match your workflows and streamline operations with maximum efficiency for technically aware users. It also supports integration with popular third-party applications, although options for some business processes can be limited.
Mobile applications and a web-based interface enable collaborative working over a range of infrastructure options.
The basic version of Ninox is free, and access to the full version is via a reasonably priced paid subscription.
We've picked our top ten business management applications from the several hundred available on the market. We’ve based our picks on features and popularity, but the one that is best for you will depend on the specific business processes that you’re looking to manage, along with the nature of your business.
Preferences for cloud-based or on-premise tools, training burdens, pricing per user or application, and security options will influence your choice.
Trello is our top recommended option since it includes extensive features that most businesses will want, while also meeting the challenges of managing fast-moving projects like code development or client services. However, a company that revolves around financial services, for example, may prefer QuickBooks for their business management software tool.
About the Author: Stephen Mash is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Stephen is a UK-based freelance technology writer with a background in cybersecurity and risk