Digital Transformation: Software Alone Isn’t Enough

Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

Digital business models are incredibly disruptive. Since technology innovations are built on top of each other, new business models are beginning to blur traditional industry boundaries. Software and solutions that once ran on your desktop computer are now part of a ubiquitous mobile user experience, embedded in everything from cars and household goods to farming equipment.

Without question, the digital economy is growing at an exponential rate. For example, by 2018, analyst IDC expects that devices enabling the Internet of Things will produce more than 400 trillion GBs of data per year. Industry experts from Cisco also believe that every human on Earth will possess an average of 26 smart objects by 2020. And the pace of such change will only accelerate.

With software used in every aspect of their lives, customers have come to expect an intuitive, seamless experience at all times. Meanwhile, as the sharing economy grows, the overall consumption model is changing from ownership of goods to the engagement and use of services. Not only is this trend creating a new era of “everything as a service,” but it’s also profoundly transforming how we work and live.

Find your direction for the journey

None of this is surprising to business and IT leaders, of course. Most already know that their company requires digital transformation to succeed in the new digital economy. They want to reduce process complexity and simplify technology. They seek end-to-end outcomes that can be delivered through their business systems. And amidst rapid technology change, they require quick results that can be measured against their original investment in IT solutions.

Many companies, however, are challenged with developing a roadmap to navigate the digital transformation journey. For example, a beverage manufacturer in the Asia-Pacific region recently approached my team to replace existing desktops and servers with tablet devices for its entire workforce. The executive team wanted to mobilize the workforce, but there was concern about whether the company was properly prepared for the next wave of technology change.

Whenever we speak to customers and prospects about digital transformation, it’s not uncommon to hear questions such as these:

  • How can I remove technology as an obstacle to progress and ensure that my core business is not restricted by technical limitations?
  • How can I get my workforce excited and performing optimally in a hyperconnected world?
  • How can I make sure my end-to-end supply chain – from my partners’ partners to my customers’ customers – are connected, so we can transact faster and share data in real time?
  • How can we build digital front-end processes and channels that give existing customers a better experience and attract new customers?
  • How can we best connect all of our valuable assets of the business – from machinery and equipment to people and services – to the Internet of Everything?

That’s where digital business services can help. In addition to assisting them in achieving their digital enterprise vision, our experts can enable customers to migrate certain portions of their business to the cloud while creating a digital core that supports innovation.

Accelerate success with expert services and proactive support

The future of support in a digital world is fundamentally proactive. Unlike traditional enterprise support, our services deliver exciting new technologies such as cognitive computing for incident management, live user chats with support reps, and the ability to schedule online sessions with experts.

Different organizations require distinct types of engagement – anything from simple solution safeguarding to complex innovation and optimization support. For example, next-generation services help companies adopt software or innovate in a safe, secure, and rapid manner. Plus, continuous support services for digital enterprises help ensure that business technology remains live. To learn more about these approaches, watch the on-demand replay of the SAP Digital Business Services Webcast “The Future of Support in an Era of Cloud and IoT,” featuring IDC and my support colleagues from SAP.

Our customers have opportunities to work with us and provide direct feedback into software and solution development. They can also shape their transformation road map, incorporating both industry-specific processes and technology in the mix. In the end, our customers benefit from rapid change, which is increasingly important to a company’s competitive advantage.

Achieve business outcomes

The outcomes of a well-executed transformation initiative can provide a significant competitive advantage. Here are a few examples:

  • Memebox, a South Korean online beauty products company, experienced a 100% increase in profits and a 50% reduction in its closing period by implementing in-memory-computing software. Using digital business services, the company deployed the solution in just five months.
  • CATL, the world’s third-largest manufacturer of lithium-ion batteries, built a next-generation smart manufacturing platform. Now decisions are based on real-time production intelligence, and the company realized a 25 percent increase in its average production volume for each line.
  • A major retail company implemented more than 25 digital scenarios to support a growing assemble-to-order business. Thanks to digital transformation guidance from digital business services, the company expects to accelerate its expansion plans and grow total sales and market share.

Reach out for expertise on your journey

When combined with digital business services, technology and innovation can become the lifeblood of a company’s digital transformation – and the source of real competitive advantage. Simply buying software is not enough to guarantee meaningful change that will let you keep pace with the evolving digital economy. With decades of industry knowledge and a team of service professionals with deep expertise, SAP is ready to guide you through your digital transformation journey and deliver optimal outcomes.

To get started, read our white paper Making Digital Transformation Possible with SAP Digital Business Services. See how the digital economy is having a profound impact on SAP customers, discover what our customers expect from us, and learn more about our expertise in orchestrating digital transformation.


Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

About Dr. Tom Janoshalmi

Dr. Tom Janoshalmi is vice president of Digital Business Services Strategy at SAP. He focuses on developing strategic initiatives that support the mission of SAP Digital Business Services to lead servitization in the new digital economy by delighting our customers and running simple.