Enterprise Systems Engineering (ESE)

What is Enterprise Systems Engineering?

Enterprise Systems Engineering (ESE) is the application of systems engineering principles, concepts, and methods to the planning, design, improvement, and operation of an enterprise.

ESE is a multidisciplinary approach that combines systems engineering with strategic management to address methods and approaches for aligning system architectures with enterprise business rules and the underlying IT architecture; developing and implementing consistent with enterprise strategic objectives; and managing complex subsystems across an entire organization. It requires a systems perspective in order to deal with an organization as a whole rather than just individual functions connected by information systems or shared facilities. ESE also takes into account complexity theory as it applies to complex systems such as those observed in nature or human languages which can help inform decisions made regarding an enterprise’s overall goals or objectives.

Scope of Enterprise Systems Engineering

Computer and communications technologies make it easier to integrate activities across the enterprise, but this does not necessarily make the enterprise more effective and efficient. To enable this to happen, one needs to look at the whole enterprise as a system, rather than as a collection of functions connected solely by information systems and shared facilities.

Essential Challenges
Enterprises face strategic challenges that are essential to address in order to ensure that the enterprise will succeed (Rouse 2009):

  • Growth: Increasing impact, perhaps in saturated/declining “markets”,
  • Value: Enhancing relationships of processes to benefits and costs,
  • Focus: Pursuing opportunities and avoiding diversions,
  • Change: Competing creatively while maintaining continuity,
  • Future: Investing in inherently unpredictable outcomes,
  • Knowledge: Transforming information to insights into programs, and
  • Time: Carefully allocate the organization’s scarcest resource.

To address these challenges, one recognizes that the central source of value in the enterprise is in its people. “Understanding and supporting the interests of an enterprise’s diverse stakeholders — and finding the ‘sweet spot’ among the many competing interests — is a central aspect of discerning the work of the enterprise as a system and creating mechanisms to enhance this work” (Rouse 2009).

Enterprise Transformation
Enterprises are constantly transforming, whether at the individual level (wherein individuals alter their work practices) or at the enterprise level (large-scale planned strategic changes) (Srinivasan 2010). These changes are a response on the part of the enterprise to evolving opportunities and emerging threats. It is not merely a matter of doing work better, but doing different work, which is often a more important result. Value is created through the execution of business processes. However, not all processes necessarily contribute to overall value (Rouse 2005, 138-150). It is important to focus on processes and how they contribute to the overall value stream.

After gaining a good understanding of business processes, the next main concern is how best to deploy and manage the enterprise’s human, financial, and physical assets. The key challenge in transforming an enterprise is, in the midst of all this change, continuing to satisfice key stakeholders (see note 2).

Note 2. “Satisfice” means to decide on and pursue a course of action satisfying the minimum requirements to achieve a goal. For the enterprise as a whole, it is often impossible to completely satisfy all stakeholders given their competing and conflicting concerns and interests. Therefore, the concept of “satisficing” is a very important element in the execution of ESE practices. It has less stringent criteria than the concept of "satisfaction," which is commonly used in product/service systems engineering.

Systems engineers have to respond to increased recognition of the ‘connectedness’ of products and systems, brought about by a number of trends, for example, the capability of (mainly digital) technology, working across multiple systems, to transform businesses and operational systems; the need to create systems in families to increase product diversity and reuse technology, in order to reduce development and operating costs; and the need to build systems which can be brought together flexibly in operations, even if such co-operation was not foreseen at the time of development.

There has also been an increase in collaborative systems development activities, often spanning national boundaries. This has proceeded alongside a growth in the development of what might be called meta-systems, that is systems comprising parts that would previously have been considered as complex in their own right a generation ago, now conceived of and developed as a whole, and thus requiring fresh approaches, of the adaption of old ones.

Tackling these issues requires an approach that transcends the technical and process domain. ESE needs to address integration at the organizational and value chain level.

Transformation Context
Enterprise transformation occurs in the external context of the economy and markets as shown in the figure below (Rouse 2009). The “market” for the enterprise can be thought of as the context in which the enterprise operates. Of course, in the public sector, the enterprise’s “market” is commonly known as its “constituency.”

The term “intraprise” is used here to denote the many systems internal to the enterprise. This includes "information systems such as... ERP (enterprise resource planning) systems, as well as social and cultural systems. More specifically, work assignments are pursued via work processes and yield work products, incurring costs" (Rouse 2009). The social and cultural aspects of an enterprise are addressed further in the article called Enabling Businesses and Enterprises.

Context for Enterprise Transformation

Types of Enterprise Systems Engineering Applications

The two types of ESE applications are Information Enterprise Systems Engineering and Social Enterprise Systems Engineering.

  • Information Enterprise Systems Engineering (IESE): Information Enterprise Systems Engineering applies systems engineering principles, concepts, and methods to improve the planning, design, and operation of an enterprise's information systems. It focuses on aligning system architectures with enterprise business rules and the underlying IT architecture in order to meet strategic objectives. There are three different aspects of the framework of IESE:
    • Functional view
    • Topology view
    • Physical view
  • Also, there are different rules for the IESE model.
    • Interchangeable point of view
    • Detailed views and well displayed. Showing the specific method, solution, and techniques
    • Consistent views
    • Supported viewpoints
  • Social Enterprise System Engineering: Social Enterprise Systems Engineering applies these same principles but with an emphasis on social networks that allow for collaboration between employees or customers. It also involves developing complex subsystems that can handle diverse interactions between individuals or groups within an organization or community. This is a framework that involves planning, analyzing, mapping, and drawing a network of the process for enterprises and stakeholders. Moreover, it creates social value for entrepreneurship and explores and focuses on social and societal issues. It forms a connection between social enterprise and system engineering. There is a Social Enterprise Systems Engineering V-model, in which two or more social elements are established based on the system engineering framework—for example, more social interface analysis that reviews stakeholders' requirements, and more activities and interactions between stakeholders to exchange opinions.

How to Implement Enterprise Systems Engineering in the Organization?

  • Step 1: Define the scope of ESE: Enterprise systems engineering (ESE) is the application of systems engineering principles, concepts, and methods to the planning, design, improvement, and operation of an enterprise. It combines systems engineering with strategic management to address methods and approaches for aligning system architectures with enterprise business rules and the underlying IT architecture; developing and implementing systems consistent with enterprise strategic objectives; and providing total enterprise system capabilities with complex subsystems. ESE is important because it helps organizations optimize their operations by taking into account both technical and non-technical factors such as cost-effectiveness or customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it enables organizations to develop more efficient processes that are tailored toward achieving their goals while also considering potential risks or obstacles that may arise during implementation.
  • Step 2: Select the right tool for ESE: Identify the type of ESE application you need: Information Enterprise Systems Engineering (IESE) or Social Enterprise Systems Engineering (SESE).
    • Determine the elements needed for enterprise system engineering, including development through adaptation, strategic technical planning, enterprise governance, and ESE processes with stages.
    • Select the right tool based on your organization's needs and budget constraints. Consider factors such as cost, availability of resources, compatibility with existing systems, ease of use, and support from vendors.
    • Research different solutions to determine which one will work best for your organization’s specific needs. Evaluate their features such as scalability, security features, platform compatibility, etc. Make sure that it meets all your requirements before making a purchase decision.
  • Step 3: Get buy-in and start small: To get buy-in, start by identifying the innovative ideas that will help improve your organization’s efficiency and productivity.
    • Choose the right technologies: Next, decide which technologies are suitable for your organization and evaluate their potential impact on business operations.
    • Plan implementation steps: Once you have selected the right technology solutions, plan out step-by-step instructions on how you will implement them in your organization to ensure success at each stage of the implementation process.
    • Communicate progress regularly: Make sure everyone involved is updated regularly on progress made so far in order to build trust and confidence in the process of change management from all stakeholders involved in this initiative including employees, managers, etc..
    • Monitor results regularly: Track results from each phase of implementation to identify areas for improvement if needed so that you can course correct them if necessary before it becomes too late.
  • Step 4: Identify and prioritize the needs of your stakeholders: To identify and prioritize the needs of your stakeholders, you should first conduct a needs assessment to understand their goals, objectives, and expectations.
    • Consider technological capabilities: Next, examine the technological capabilities of your organization to determine which system solutions would be most suitable for meeting the identified needs of stakeholders.
    • Set goals and objectives: Create a goal statement that outlines what you want to achieve with enterprise systems engineering and Hardware & Software Requirements documents detailing what hardware/software is needed for each system solution implemented.
    • Create a budget plan: Lastly, develop a budget plan outlining how much money will be allocated to each project so that it can be tracked effectively over time (e .g., quarterly reports).
  • Step 5: Start building a baseline for success: Building a baseline for success can help implement enterprise systems engineering in your organization by providing a clear understanding of the current state, goals, and objectives of the system being analyzed. By establishing a baseline, stakeholders can identify areas for improvement and make informed decisions about how to implement changes that will lead to better outcomes. Additionally, building a baseline helps identify gaps in knowledge or areas that require further exploration through modeling and simulation (M&S) techniques. This enables decision-makers to understand the implications of their decisions before taking action.
  • Step 6: Develop a road map for success
    • Create a mission statement that defines the purpose of your enterprise systems engineering project.
    • Conduct a needs assessment to identify specific goals and objectives for the project.
    • Create a technology description and goal statement to outline how you will achieve your goals and objectives using technology solutions, such as hardware or software products.
    • Identify any hardware or software requirements needed for your project and budget accordingly (e.g., cost estimates).
    • Gather human resources (e . g . , developers) necessary to implement your enterprise systems engineering plan effectively.
  • Step 7: Monitor progress and adjust accordingly
    • Determine the qualities required for this step, such as awareness of technologies, understanding command and control (C2) issues, and using modeling and simulation (M&S) to explore the implications.
    • Identify activities and actions that need to be taken such as multi-scale analysis, early war fighter operational assessment, lightweight portable M&S-based C2 capability representations development software available for assessment minimal infrastructure flexible M&S operator-in-the-loop (OITL), hardware in the loop (HWIL) capabilities, etc.
    • Monitor progress regularly through in-line performance monitoring and selective forensics techniques so that adjustments can be made if necessary to ensure the successful completion of projects or tasks at hand.

What are the Career Prospects of an Enterprise Systems Engineer?

The career prospects for an Enterprise Systems Engineer (ESE) are promising, as the job market is expected to grow by 17.7% from 2016 to 2026. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2016 there were approximately 166,742 ESE jobs in the United States. Additionally, senior ESEs can advance their careers by taking on more responsibilities or becoming project managers or even information technology managers. Furthermore, according to BLS data from May 2017, systems engineers had an average annual salary of $145,936 while senior systems engineers earned an average annual salary of $166,742 during that same period.

See Also

Decision Engineering