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To reiterate from my first blog (part-1): http://scn.sap.com/community/career-center/blog/2015/04/27/understanding-digital-transformation-in-sis-way:

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.

Here we might deviate slightly from people perception to technology but this will still elevate the people perception finally.

What will be the focus for LoBs when it comes to decision making?

Improved KPIs of their business functions

Leveraging up to date systems and latest technology available in the market

More end user involvement

• Enough visibility of the process in case of cross functions

Let us look at some example scenarios which can explain this well:

Let us take financial aid systems that governments use to fund education, infrastructure projects etc. needs (Ex: Student Financial aid): Most of these applications are implemented on CRM (With BRF Plus, Web forms as main components) and ECC platform (Fi, PSCD as main component). For different departments targets will be different and may be involving conflict of interest also. Like front office guys KPI might be maximum applications screened/Validated for that academic year at the same time for responsible ministry of the government this might be minimum funds spent for one academic year.

Let us take financial aid systems that governments use to fund education, infrastructure projects etc. needs (Ex: Student Financial aid): Most of these applications are implemented on CRM (With BRF Plus, Web forms as main components) and ECC platform (Fi, PSCD as main component). For different departments targets will be different and may be involving conflict of interest also. Like front office guys KPI might be maximum applications screened/Validated for that academic year at the same time for responsible ministry of the government this might be minimum funds spent for one academic year.

For front office operations one of the critical pieces here is application form provided to the students. Because of technology limitations these forms might be of BSP, WDA, Adobe forms. Target audience being young generation these applications can’t meet the purpose or expectations of the end users. And for front office guys who validates the applications are constrained by the technology which helps in managing the other departments KPIs better (SAP ECC, CRM combination works better for back office/Finance teams to manage their KPIs).

As part of Digital Transformation (basically moving from transactions or system based operations to applications way of managing operations), if the student application is implemented on cloud or on mobile friendly way and integrating the same with BRM for rules management will help front office to manage their operation better at the same time back office can continue with on premise systems helping to manage their KPIs also better. So this hybrid platform can create win-win situation for both departments. Use of BPM (better if cloud based) on top of application processing gives better visibility to both departments by providing insights like what is happening to the processed applications to the front office staff and by providing projections on how many applications will be following for back office actions.

Invoicing at manufacturing industry can be another example here, Take the present scenario at a plat where 200-500 trucks need to move out every day and invoices need to be prepared for all these trucks when they arrive at dispatching point.  Most of the times this activity is performed by the staff sitting at dispatch counter, who are not well versed with SAP systems and technology but trained to perform these activities. Sometimes these terminals will have limited network connectivity. As part of our initial SAP projects implementations we have experienced such scenarios in practical where terminals having very limited connectivity or SAP systems having some problem causing huge blockage at main gate with hundreds of trucks waiting to move out.

Instead of transaction based operation if a cloud based custom UI5/Fiori app, with use of GPS based tracking and with a proper scheduling calculation, showing trucks information arriving at dispatch bays can provide much effective platform to perform these operations.

Hence if SIs can help customers to move from integrated platforms to componentized application platforms, their solutions can be more attractive to LoBs and help them winning the situation. May be BPM, BRM and Mobile platforms (on premise or preferably Cloud based) will help in creating such solutions. May be here we observer the significance of  MBOs (Mini Business object) structures which helps in creating applications in more modularized way.  In the previous examples may be use of Gateway which is representing backend objects with an abstract services is almost playing the same role without data storage capability at staging level. But the application architecture principles will going forward force us to have such staging areas with data storage capabilities. So this will be one of the areas SIs can use their expertise and come up with such solutions. I can foresee HCP database will be playing this role and to some extend it is already in practice also.

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This is something inline with what S/4Hana offering as  per the technical insight detailed in : http://diginomica.com/2015/02/15/sap-s4hana-deeper-analysis-technical-side/

This is where people on the ground(Directly) and SIs support structures alignment(indirectly) make a difference having knowledge of operational issues and should be able to read the situation and by applying digital transformation principles effectively. So to meet these needs of the customers SIs back office planning should be aligned and well-armed with architects pools with different streams  who can stand up to the situation  and provide ad-hoc solutions and at the same time help SIs to be equipped with all required solutions while approaching the customers.

In the next blog we will see more on back office support structure alignments like what kind of architect pools, SIs can build to meet these digital transformation needs of customers. This might touch upon required changes from conventional Solution Architects understanding (Functional SMEs as Solution architects) of SIs to modern Social Solution Architects (Technology oriented people as SSAs) , as this Digital transformation has to address the technology driven disruption and handle the issues that are social in nature.

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