How To Uncover The Mysterious Potential Of Digital Investments

Shelly Dutton

Part 1 of the “Uncovering the Potential of Digital Investments” series

Maybe the “gotcha” was crisp marketing brochures or inspirational sales presentations. Or perhaps it was the beautiful dashboard show during a demo. Whatever grabs their attention, people can be swayed to purchase and adopt a particular technology. Then, the inevitable happens – the business does not fully understand what impacts the digital investment brings to its overall operations as well as its customers and employees.

“Most technology decision-makers don’t know whether their organization is ready to enter a world of multi-device, 24×7, always-on consumption of IT,” according to Klaus Berghoffer, product marketing and communication lead for SAP Model Company at SAP. “All too often, they start down this tunnel of digital transformation without knowing where they want to go and what outcomes are waiting at the other end.”

I recently caught up with Klaus to discuss this wild world of digitalization. Klaus offers some useful insight on how businesses can better prepare themselves to choose and take advantage of the technologies that best match their needs and foster growth over the long run.

Shelly Dutton: Changes in technology and market dynamics can shift at a moment’s notice, making the traditional view of the static digital strategy obsolete. How can businesses remain flexible enough in their implementation plans without losing sight of what’s critical for them?

Klaus Berghoffer: The changes demonstrate an evolution, don’t they? We now have multiple versions of the same product and digital twins of the IT landscape that support a show-and-tell approach to digital readiness. Businesses have a variety of options to try new capabilities on a small scale in a secure environment. This is drastically different from what was available 10 years ago when technologies were installed and configured without any experimentation beforehand.

Businesses can also go a step further by taking advantage of a preconfigured package of best practices and processes for a specific industry or line of business. From retail to engineering and from HR to supply chain, companies can utilize these packages to uncover new ways to organize and run their businesses in ways that raise the potential value of their digital technology.

With prepackaged solutions, organizations can try the tool with either test data or transactional data. This experience provides a significant advantage, especially with technology that is not customized, in this faster-paced world with accelerated release cycles and continuing upgrades. Prepackaged solutions prove their value since they help stabilize upgrades, which cannot add complexity to the implementation process, underlying code, business operation, and user interface.

SD: How can preconfigured best practices and processes help businesses’ employees and customers adopt and use a steady stream of new digital capabilities as they stay compliant with established processes and channels?

KB: Businesses that accept that the world is changing too fast are the ones that understand the need to consume new capabilities in a matter of weeks, not months and years. These businesses realize that the speed of implementation, maintenance, and support are critical elements of every upgrade.

These critical elements indicate how the fit-to-standard aspects of preconfigured packages of best practices and processes can prove advantageous. The effort to tweak and maintain a new upgrade every quarter or so is much simpler, especially as growing in-house knowledge about the IT landscape is shared across the business. Capability changes may be incremental, but they are introduced in a way that enables users to include them in daily routines with ease.

SD: One of the most significant risks in using customized IT systems is limited integration. Does the use of preconfigured packages help businesses overcome this pitfall?

KB: All too often, customizations provide a short-term fix to a specific business problem. In the long run, however, they likely turn into a nuisance, if not a disadvantage. They can become a mostly forgotten burden until someone experiences a problem with them and needs to work around them to deliver relevant outcomes. But potentially more devastating is the inability to produce a cohesive, well-integrated digital environment.

Preconfigured packages do not feature reconfigured best practices, processes, and reference solutions. Instead, they are created to cover the entire business process – from the workshop to production to the webshop. And so, these offerings already set the stage for integration in the most fundamental way.

Get to know the preconfigured processes, capabilities, and delivery approach that can help your business flourish now and for years to come. Explore SAP Model Company services.