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Business Value of Usability on SAP

Recession or otherwise, there is an imperative need for the creation and deliverance of business value within companies. Businesses constantly look for ways of creating efficiencies, increasing productivity, streamlining processes, and reducing waste. They need to achieve more with less people. They need to identify and implement solutions bringing maximum value, while minimizing or eliminating resource expenditure and sunken costs.

SAP IT investments help companies take control of their entire business with the eco-system addressing multiple needs. However, measuring and leveraging on ROI on SAP investments continues to be a challenge for most.

Based on a CIO Insight Survey,

•     Only 60% companies measure the business value of IT
•     62% find it difficult to calculate the ROI
•     52% say executives are “skeptical” of ROI results
•     45% say metrics don’t adequately capture business value

Business Value Dials are financial measurements of business value that map to the bottom line of the company. For example: Expense avoidance, Revenue increase, Working capital, and Headcount management.

One crucial dimension (and business value dial) that companies often overlook is leveraging upon Usability of SAP systems in order to improve ROI. Usability, if employed at the right time and in the right manner – can yield one or more of the following “measurable” benefits, directly contributing to the company’s bottom line:

•     Better market position
•     Faster growth
•     Greater operational efficiency
•     Increased productivity
•     Improved asset utilization
•     Increased margins

Does your business value dial include usability?

Assuming you believe that Usability is a significant contributor towards reaping the benefits from your SAP investment, it is very important to strategize – understanding various aspects and your own priorities. 

Usability Strategy

Basically, everything you do should serve only one master – the User! Abandon “What you get you use” and embrace “What you use you get”!

Few aspects to focus on while strategizing on the role and impact of Usability in your SAP:

  • Indistinguishable from Business – Usability should enable 100% integration between business and technology
  • One Ecosystem – Usability should make your SAP inter-operable with the external world as seamlessly as possible
  • Actionable Intelligence – Usability should ride on user’s wisdom to work itself; it should present information, not just data
  • Agile – Usability should make your SAP react swiftly to business and user changes
  • Intuitive – Your SAP should have zero or minimal training for user adoption
  • Credible – Usability should enable legacy in your SAP; profiled users should feel at home while working with the system they’re supposed to use
  • Desirable – Rich visual appeal is always welcomed by all, if done properly without losing function
  • Valuable – Usability should ensure lower expenditures or higher revenues or both

Give your SAP a usable personality, a usability face-lift. Imagine a utopia where your developers are able to develop faster, your analysts are able to forecast and respond accurately, your machine operators are able to fix issues on time, and your data-entry is automated to serve your vendors, distributors, and customers better.

Remind yourself that you’re serving only one master – the User!

Usability Strategy
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