Customer Center of Expertise: What Is It And How It Can Accelerate Digital Transformation

Ruth Zamudio

No one ever said that the life of a CIO would be easy, but it’s hard to refute that the last five years have made it incredibly complicated. On one hand, you’re viewed as the leading force in enterprise-wide digital transformation. On the other, you’re facing tactical challenges compounded by increasing digital awareness and comfort by employees of all levels and organizations.

Whether the company is assessing mobile solutions, in-memory databases, cloud pathways, or social business applications to enable digital transformation, everyone has an opinion on what technology to use and how to implement it. In fact, the IT landscape is becoming more and more heterogeneous, as all lines of business implement their own solutions and ways of working. And as if that’s not enough, IT is tasked with maintaining 24×7 network connectivity and high-level performance to support distributed access to these solutions.

There’s no question that the digital economy is here, and the impact of real-time business on IT is significant. So it’s not surprising that 88% of CIOs stated in the 2016 State of the CIO Survey that their roles are increasingly challenging, while 71% indicate difficulty with balancing innovation with operational efficiency and security.

Let’s face it: The nature of IT is changing for good. It’s time for end-to-end solution orchestration – it’s time for a Customer Center of Expertise (CCoE)!

CCoE: Enhancing IT’s value with increased partnership

A CCoE delivers a single source of truth and central point for functional collaboration between IT and the rest of the enterprise. By uniting both halves, business processes become more transparent – reducing downtime, boosting availability and performance, and shrinking total cost of ownership.

While these benefits are quite significant, the real advantages lie in the CCoE’s ability to stimulate innovation and position IT as the primary enabler of the digital enterprise. By bringing front and center IT’s strengths in implementation and operations methodologies, change management, quality testing, security, and integration, the company can learn how to improve and accelerate its response to change while guaranteeing optimal stability of technology, systems, and processes.

Take Shell Oil Company, for example. The oil and gas company is implementing and maturing its CCoE to set the stage for a level of flexibility and agility that its upstream division needs to succeed in the digital economy. Relying on the practices and expertise gained from its CCoE certification, the company is decommissioning over 8,000 unnecessary custom coding, automating monitoring of business processes and technical systems, shrinking product database size by 40%, and preventing 67% of production events from negatively impacting operations. As a result, Shell is saving ~200 man-days each year and driving US$200,000 in cost avoidance – giving its IT team the freedom to focus on delivering business value and building close partnerships with every line of business.

With a CCoE approach, not only are the fundamental requirements for survival addressed, but the business can also go beyond that point to optimize and innovate. What could your organization achieve with ingenuity, innovation, and pragmatic processes?

Learn about the services SAP has available worldwide for starting or improving your own CCoE. If you are interested in these services, please contact us at emea.cloud@sap.com (EMEA only) or  COE.Program@sap.com (Global).


Ruth Zamudio

About Ruth Zamudio

As an IT Consultant, Ruth Zamudio helps CCoE(s) identify improvement opportunities in their IT Operations and together develop a road map for improvement considering business needs and challenges ahead. Advises CCoE(s) on how to improve their IT operations for either on premise, in the cloud or mobile. She is an expert in IT Governance, IT Strategy, IT Processes, and Cloud Transformation. With her 19+ years of experience (since 2008 with SAP Germany), Ruth has delivered services in China, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Latin America and US. Ruth has been involved in SAP’s Advanced CCoE Program for almost five years now. Developing internal accelerators, assessing customers’ current IT operations and guiding customers on their quality management activities.