Jumpstart Your 2017 Digital Transformation With A Model Company-Driven Approach

Arend Weil

Digital transformation can be an exciting experience with the right mix of technology, commitment, and leadership. Someone on the executive team sets a company-wide initiative to improve a particular area of the business by using the latest technology. The entire leadership team is committed once they understand the possible outcomes. The workforce, in general, is inspired about the opportunity to simplify their daily work experiences, deliver customer experiences that make a difference, and add value to the bottom line.

Year after year, I see an exponentially growing number of companies putting digital transformation at the center of their corporate strategies. Some are committed to sweeping digital transformation initiatives, while others may take a more conservative “one organization at a time” approach. But no matter their comfort level, there is one common thread that connects these businesses: The fear of wasted time, effort, money, and potential.

And this fear is not made up out of thin air. Each year, enterprises spend US$400 billion on digital projects that do not deliver what they promise, according to a Genpact study. The culprit? Misjudged business transformation strategies.

Now suppose you had a road map that clearly showed the path to digital transformation and a reference solution that demonstrates the feasibility of the ultimate goal – all tailored for your industry or line of business. Could it change your digital transformation narrative for 2017?

Introducing model companies

A model company is a pre-packaged, ready-to-use, end-to-end reference solution, tailored to an industry or line of business. It comprises state-of-the-art applications and proven best practices and encapsulates the experience from successful, real-life digital transformation projects. Embedded in an overall transformation road map and delivered as part of a service, a model company-driven approach enables you to reduce cost, decrease risk, and accelerate adoption.

Here are four ingredients which are, based on my experience, essential to delivering on that promise:

  • A preconfigured solution that includes all required applications, customized settings, and sample data to get started immediately. These components are all prepackaged in a way that lets you decide whether you want to run your model company in the cloud or on premises. No matter which path you choose, you gain quick and easy access to these solutions without consuming limited resources.
  • Relevant business content covering end-to-end processes that encompass the experience and knowledge relevant to your industry, line of business, and business users. Every element is documented in an easy-to-access format to help you understand, adapt, and adopt best practices.
  • Proven accelerators that support configuration guides, test cases, how-to advice on scenarios, process variants, implementable steps, demo scripts, or questionnaires. With these tools, you can make the best use of the solution in an efficient and guided way.
  • Quick-start services that help you become familiar with the model company and unlock the full potential of all related tools, accelerators, and processes. These services are delivered in a manner that allows you to enjoy the hands-on experience very quickly.

The beauty of the model company approach is that you can jumpstart your transformation not just in theory, but hands-on. You can access lessons learned in real systems and move in an agile way – instead of spending your resources and time on commodities. Driven by a model company, your digital strategy can become a detailed map for true innovation.

Get on the path to digital transformation that delivers outcomes

Planning and resolving post-transformation challenges is the toughest battle in the digital transformation journey. Business leaders must choose the right roles and functions to hire or outsource. New operational processes must be created and established. And even the workplace culture should foster a safe environment for information sharing and unprecedented transparency.

All too often, these decisions are nothing more than guesswork. A model company-driven approach can help chart the finer details of your digital strategy with certainty. By injecting a level of standardization into your digital strategy, you can build a future of disruptive value for your business and customers with low-cost implementations of the latest technology, faster time to value, and constant innovation.

The choice is yours: disrupt or be disrupted. Learn more about The Disruptive Effects of Digital Business Models.


Arend Weil

About Arend Weil

Arend Weil manages the SAP global service portfolio for R&D, engineering, sustainability, and asset management. He is focused on creating service offerings and solutions that increase delivery speed through reuse and repeatability. Latest initiatives include for example cloud based model companies, which combine SAP software innovations with real best practices. Over the course of 20 years, his passion for IT has taken him from the days of C-64 to the Internet of Things.