Connected For Purpose: What Total Digital Transformation Looks Like

Jennifer Schulze

272824_low_jpg_srgb-300x263Every organization is, in essence, a single entity comprised of connected segments. Much like a caterpillar, each segment must move in accord with the rest of the body to advance. We can look at a company’s digital transformation similarly: When the move to digital is piecemeal and conversion to cloud is a series of disjointed decisions made across departments, the organization as a whole suffers. Total digital transformation requires careful planning and purpose; the result is a company metamorphosis enabling greater efficiency, transparency, and growth.

Planning for a total transformation

As each department within an organization considers its move to digital, questions arise around ownership, schedules, data risks, and legacy systems. Individual departments may not consider is how the cloud will affect interaction with internal and external customers. Therefore, a comprehensive strategy that addresses the transformation of each business area as part of a total company evolution is key to success.

But where does an organization start? As a first step, stakeholders from every department across the business should discuss digital transformation holistically.

  • What will a cloud solution do for your department?
  • How may the digital transformation improve the business as a whole?
  • Will an existing partner (or partners) suffice to provide these solutions, or are new partnerships needed?
  • Can one software solution cover all business area requirements? If not, how will the separate solutions integrate to provide company-wide data and value?

The need for end-to-end strategy yields deeper opportunity for distributors and resellers. As outside consultants with expert knowledge of both cloud solutions and their customers’ businesses, they’re in prime position to methodically lead the right types of discussions. Whether development is led internally or externally, the digital transformation strategy should specifically address:

  • Transformation owners and hierarchy
  • Map of the business chain
  • Scheduled deployments
  • Legacy system concerns and migration

Synchronized change delivers company-wide results

Tearing down silos and connecting the move to cloud across an organization results in many additional benefits. A scheduled migration can reduce latency periods during the transition to digital, as contingency plans manage workflow and cross-department interactions. Swift upgrades keep business moving at the speed of innovation. Digital transformation also improves user experience and increases employee empowerment, streamlining processes, simplifying the transfer of information, and offering more mobile functionality. Finally, an end-to-end cloud solution unleashes department data, enabling predictive and actionable analytics that encompass the entire business chain.

Digital transformation, when done right, connects every business department and employee, optimizes interactions and provides data to anticipate breakdowns or gaps in the company’s workflow. When done strategically, a digital transformation is much like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly; the DNA of the original organism is there, but it’s so vastly improved that an entirely new – and beautiful – creature emerges.

For more digital transformation strategies, see Leading The Shift To A Digital Business With Determination.


About Jennifer Schulze

Jennifer Schulze is Vice President of marketing for SAP. In her role, she manages customer marketing as part of the office of the COO. She has over 15 years of technology marketing and management experience and is a small business owner in the San Francisco Bay area.