What Digital Transformation means for SIs and individuals being with SIs

Recently I have gone through “Digital Transformation (DiT)” sessions held under openSAP initiatives. And I was following Sven’s articles on digital transformation from last year. After following the articles and course I want to touch upon different dimension, which will outline some thoughts on how Service Integrators (SIs) operations will get influenced by this disruption and what is this for individuals being with SIs. Motivation for sharing these thoughts is already we are chased by the consequences of disruption happening at the business level. We all know that all SIs are already focused around SMAC strategy which is strong driving factor for all initiatives taken by SIs. So this is an attempt to focus how at SAP operations level we can/need to tune ourselves to this DiT strategy. And this discussion is not about known things like technologies involved and like PAAS, SAAS etc. it is more about impact at individuals’ level and impact on their roles and responsibilities caused by this paradigm shift which is required or already happening around us and putting SAP DiT Strategy as focal point.

To discuss this further we should take some data points referred as part of these sessions as base.

Millennials and Developing Markets: These factors will influence GTM strategies, Presales and delivery models

By 2016 80% of the IT decisions involve LoBs:  This will be most influencing factor for all support functions run at back office to support sales and presales teams and to some extend on the individuals at the level of roles they will be playing. This change in IT decision making forces SIs solutions should be focused around individual LoBs concerns and improvement of KPIs involved in their operations rather than traditional integrated solutions.

Finally the adoption of DiT and IT role: This is something which will more influence on individuals majorly when SIs execute the transformation projects because of factors like Importance of Architect roles, Short Project time lines, Lean project teams etc. One of such factors can be, all these days IT departments were selling their decisions to business and now business should be able to give the confidence to IT department that all their decisions are still aligned to overall all IT strategy of the organization at all levels like handling security and Network layer configurations. So here people at ground will make big difference helping business to this with their IT teams. Hence this will have more impact on SIs internal workforce readiness strategies (Competencies/CoE functioning, Trainings etc.).

As part of this first blog we will see how the Millennials and developing markets behavior (DiT Adoption) will influence GTM strategies, Presales and delivery models.

One of the reasons why Growth Markets should be focused, as per DiT Sessions input, is, less challenges in handling the transformations as compared to advanced markets for reasons like little legacy systems presence, More Mobile savvy population But at the same time when it comes to handling the transformation at organizational global operational level it carries some issues also like Networks, Manual operations etc. So let us see what this means to SIs back office strategies.

Their service offerings should be well thought and should be focused, from traditional “Bridging the Gaps” solutions to “Digitizing Gaps” leveraging all four major building blocks of Digital Transformation. This can be better explained with some example: Implementation of spend analytics E2E landscape.

This starts with setting up procurement system for their global spend track. This brings in some challenges like centralized IDM, Low network bandwidth between corporate landscape and regional offices etc. especially in developing markets. Previously service offerings for this kind of scenario was centered around SRM system and on premise portal and Middleware and Data Warehouse system for reporting.  As part of new offerings the solution should consider hybrid environment with on premise SRM and with cloud based procurement portal and Mobile application to handle low bandwidth scenarios. So this is in the same lines as mentioned earlier not just bridging the gaps, addressing it as DiT way.

To convey the message effectively and to win the customer confidence the journey for SIs, to showcase their DiT capabilities, starts while responding to RFI and RFPs along with other sales cycle efforts. And it is evident most of the customers expecting alternative solutions with cloud as option. And this can be can be strengthened by means of well-cooked service offerings like prepackaged solutions for hybrid scenarios like middleware tools positioning, well defined Cloud applications lifecycle management, Packaged  deployable solutions etc.

These offerings can be developed around the areas like integration of master data, transactional data and positioning the tools like HCI, PI, HCC, and BODS with proper case to case analysis around established hybrid environments like HCM with SSFS, CRM and ECC with Hybris and C4C and SRM with Arriba and known white spaces addressed by means of custom multichannel apps (Fiori/UI5). Offerings should clearly call out deployable packages on the ground, like integration mappings, Required configuration bundles as BC sets , which should be based on the customer scenarios and clearly articulating how it will help them moving the engagements at the required pace by means of these accelerators.

When it comes to change in delivery models we all know that long implementation lifecycles will shrink to short cycles going forward. This means your solutions should be simple, easily deployable and should be easily maintainable. So the above mentioned offerings should be covering most of these this factors. Hence it all boils down to well thought solutions developed at back office with a motto of less customizations with as many standard components, and at the same time simple too with right balance of standard VS customizations.

At organizational level this might have bigger meaning for SIs to handle. To reiterate again this effort is precise and focused at designated to “impact on the people and their roles, involved in relevant operations”.

In next blog we will discuss further consequences of LoBs influenced IT decisions.

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