New Series: Top 5 Best Practices Of Best-In-Class Digitalists

Alexander Greb

Part 1 of the “Top 5 Best Practices” series exploring the mindset and methods leading to a successful journey to the digital enterprise 

A common mistake of companies aspiring to the higher stages of digitalization is the misconception that something like introducing a digital core enterprise application is solely an IT project and the only activity needed to checkmark the issue. Conversion done; digitalization achieved. No?

Well, actually, it is not that simple. I like to compare it to getting sick: Just getting antibiotics will not cure your pneumonia if you continue running naked through the snow. The medicine is one thing, but the proper mindset and conduct are just as important in allowing the cure to reach its full potential.

This philosophy corresponds with my experience as a trusted adviser to countless companies on their journey to the digital enterprise. I see a definite pattern: Digitalization adopters that have a certain mindset and conduct at the outset will not only experience a smoother-running implementation project and program, but also achieve a process and system landscape that better harnesses the horsepower of digitalization.

I have never met a company that started with the wrong mindset and principles (either knowingly or unknowingly) and still became a digital champion. If you don’t have these from the start, the race is over, and all your effort will produce a subpar result that doesn’t achieve your goals. And even worse: This missed opportunity will become a constant “pulled handbrake” over the following years on your company’s development. Something that should be an enabler and asset around maximizing your possibilities could turn into a constant burden.

The digitalization startup and setup, often fueled by unconscious habits, is decisive. Before you begin, take a step back and consider the right way to approach the initiative. I remember the words of a CEO whose company had an excellent digitalization setup. As he told the audience in the closing words of his keynote during the kickoff: “We are glad about every competitor who messes up its digitalization initiative because of jumping into it with the wrong principles!”

Best practices in digitalization adoption

A new series of articles will introduce you to the top 5 best practices that set best-in-class digitalization adopters apart from their competition. Those adopters started with the right mindset and used methods and principles that led to an easy setup, efficient implementation, and a process and system architecture that provided an “unfair advantage” over their competition. This availed these companies with the best possible setup and readiness for the turmoil of the highly disruptive 21st century.

Stay tuned for the first best practice in the next article in this series.

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Alexander Greb

About Alexander Greb

Alexander Greb is customer advisory lead for ERP strategy in the Middle and Eastern European region at SAP and founder and host of the "SAP Experts Podcast," a leading global technology podcast. He has more than 15 years of processes and technology experience, serving as a consultant, program lead, and presales representative at various leading companies. Alexander is an expert in pitching and explaining the value of SAP S/4HANA and the concept of "Intelligent Enterprise" to SAP customers and partners in workshop and major events and conferences. As a passionate thought leader on sales strategies and methodologies, he not only shares his insights on his podcast, but also here on the Digitalist Magazine. Follow Alexander on LinkedIn.