You are here:-, Engineering, Enterprise Engineering, Strategy and Management, System Engineering, Technology-Difference Between System Engineering And Enterprise Engineering

Difference Between System Engineering And Enterprise Engineering

Executive Summary

System engineering helps organizations and enterprises in better understanding the structure of organizations. There may be multiple systems in an enterprise including subsystems. Enterprise engineering is a subdomain of system engineering that has more focus on identification and design of all the elements working within an enterprise. This report describes the basic functionality of both and major difference between them.


Organizations have complex engineering system that is hard to manage as they grow. Most of the organization are still striving to manage their all elements to make them work in an orderly manner to focus on the production of a product. The systems of organizations become complex as they grow. The growth of organization may be either by expansion in its own infrastructure or by synergies. In order to manage complex systems of organization, system engineering was designed back in the 1940s and has evolved during this long time with many advancements and application in different industries. System engineering is a system of its kind that is meant to manage complex organizational systems. It can be said that it is the main class of managing complex systems. There are certain rules and regulations defined for the implementation of system engineering, however, the same system applications cannot be implemented in every organization because the structure of every organization differs. When there is need to manage complex engineering system for an organization it can be modified to its structure. It can evolve with the changing requirements of the organizations, enterprises and its customer. Another subclass of system engineering is enterprise engineering with more focus on architecture. This paper will highlight system engineering, enterprise engineering and the main difference between them.

System Engineering

In order to define system engineering, it is better to have a clear understanding of the system. A system can be defined as the collection of different elements put together in order to achieve a single motive or multiple motives that could not have been achieved by the individual elements. The elements that the system is comprised of may include human, hardware, software, guidelines, policies, procedures and documentation. A system normally interacts with other users, systems, and natural environment.

It leads to the definition of system engineering that means the creation of a process that consists of interdependent elements to get the final product. The product must assure that the requirements of the customers and other stakeholders are achieved. In other words, it can be said that system engineering enables the identification of problems and requirements of the customers, identification of solutions to those problems and providing those solutions to the development team who could ameliorate those deficiencies in the system.

System engineering is an iterative process as the requirements of the customers and organizations keep on changing as the change in technology is rapid and never stopping. The system engineering is not only meant to focus on finding the appropriate solutions to the problem but it must also focus on the cost-saving and efficient solutions to problems. It is in parallel and iterative manner rather than being sequential that starts from the beginning and ends without any repetition.

The system engineer is the one who is responsible to ensure that all the customers and stakeholder requirements are met when the system is implemented in the organization or emperies. As mentioned earlier that system engineering is an iterative process, it means that the implementation of system engineering is quite a long process at it may require a year or more for completion; depending upon the size of the organization. It is probable that during the implementation process the requirements may change or vary depending on the liking of customers. Another aspect responsible for iterative nature of system engineering is change or advent in the technology being used.

The basic motive of system engineering remains same throughout the whole process that is to gain the objective of the whole process. System engineering is implemented so that all the subsystems running within the organization are working in the same direction to achieve the same objective set either by the requirements of customers of objectives of the organization.

System engineering can be defined in a short as an understanding of the problem, translation of those problems into measurable requirements, examination of feasible solutions, considering the whole system life cycle, testing of the whole system and finally documentation of the whole process (INCOSE, 2014). It describes the whole system engineering process that most of the organizations or enterprises implement. System engineering is deployed in organizations to streamline all the elements to obtain the final product.

Enterprise Engineering

Enterprise engineering is a subdomain of system engineering but it is more specified to an enterprise or development of an enterprise. It is considered to be the body of knowledge that is meant for the design of an enterprise. Enterprise engineering is a complex mechanism that takes all the systems running in the enterprise related to different aspect including, business systems, finance systems, other interdependent elements including hardware, software and most important the people. If the people in enterprise stop incorporating or interacting with systems, then the system will also not be able to produce the desired outputs.

People are most important elements in the enterprise engineering designated at different positions within. So it is important to communicate the basic output or required results that enterprise engineering is implemented for. Enterprise engineering provides a platform for all the subsystems of departments in emperies to share single objective and motive. The purpose of implementing enterprise engineering is to enable executives to measure improvements and progress that enterprise is making after putting its efforts and assets.

Every enterprise share some of the basic objectives of its reputation, profits and other aspects including its revenue. Enterprise engineering enables to achieve that objective in an efficient and cost-effective manner (Uy, 2015). If you cannot measure, you cannot control. If you cannot control then you cannot improve. It is the basic motive of implementing enterprise engineering that lets the engineers find out the deficiencies in systems and ameliorate them.

Enterprise engineering is also an iterative process so that it can keep on looking for a way to bring betterment in the final product. It is more focused on the structure and interdependent elements of the enterprise. It helps in identification of areas that need improvement so that final product could be up to the requirements of customers. It forms a structure that helps in the better study of all the components and their interdependency within the enterprise.

Enterprise engineering let the building of enterprise in a way that it look like a machine with all of its components and their functionality totally clear. There is a cyclic process that is used for enterprise engineering in order to measure the performance of enterprise and bring betterment in it. Enterprise engineering is more focused on the structure of enterprise and interdependency of all elements in it.

There are basically three steps involved in the cycle of enterprise engineering that is; strategic planning, process improvement and performance measurement. First, in strategic planning, all the information about the enterprise is analyzed along with its SWOT analysis. Later on, deducted from the gathered information different models are implemented to find out the best suitable for enterprise structure. Lastly, the performance of the newly implemented model is evaluated from the very beginning of its implementation.

Difference between system engineering and enterprise engineering

System engineering was the laying foundation for making all the elements of the enterprise to work in one direction to attain the single objective. It is a broader sense that can be applicable to all levels of systems or organizations. In other words, it can be said that system engineering is the system of systems that enable the organization to work in one direction and form a new system. In most of the organization there are many systems, and in order to combine all those systems to make them in one direction also needs a system. The formation of such a system is called system engineering. It started with the standard system engineering process that was not iterative and the processes involved in its implementation were to be executed only once. One the implementation was completed, there was no space for introduction of any changes in it. However in order to change anything in standard system engineering; the whole implementation process was to be complete again.

With the passage of time, the system engineering process evolved as well, that bring iteration in its implementation making it more adaptable to changes with the passage of time or with the changing requirements of customers. System engineering is a broader idea; a system may contain an enterprise or a system of more than one enterprises or organizations. It may include many enterprise systems and many other subsystems as well. On the other hand, the enterprise engineering is more concerned with the enterprise and other subsystems in it (MITRE, 2013). Enterprise engineering is implemented in order to measure the performance of enterprise or whenever there is need to enhance its performance or progression.

It is right to say that enterprise engineering in meant to focus on the basic design of enterprise, of how different department of enterprises works with others. It involves the integration of different processes within the enterprise including the business processes and functions. The processes in enterprise engineering are mainly focused on shaping the rules that would bring success to it. It lets the efforts of all the individuals and departments to be combined and produce a desired product. Enterprise engineering helps in the performance evaluation of different elements of enterprise and helps in improving that performance by enhancing the design and functionality of all elements in the enterprise.


Enterprise engineering is a domain of system engineering with more focus on the complexity of the design and functionality of different subsystems within the enterprise. It is implemented to measure the performance of all the departments in the enterprise including the business and computer department. On the other hand system engineering is about managing and designing complex system over their life cycles.


INCOSE. (2014). What is Systems Engineering? Retrieved from Incose:

MITRE. (2013, 9). Enterprise Engineering. Retrieved from MITRE:

Uy, K. (2015, 7 28). What Is Enterprise Engineering? Retrieved from WiseGeek:


About the Author:

Leave A Comment