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Why IT Simplification Is the Secret to Innovation, Speed, and Agility

Slow reaction to changing market needs. Demotivated employees. Profit loss. Do you know what’s causing it? No, it’s not solely your leadership’s fault. Nor are your employees to blame. It’s complexity. According to the SAP white paper “Leading Your Organisation Out of the Complexity Wilderness,” Siegel + Gale’s Global Simplicity Index revealed that 200 of the largest companies in the world, on average, wasted 10% of their annual profits through excess complexity in 2011.

When I take a look at the many companies I meet every year, I can see why. IT landscapes are becoming increasingly highly customized to meet very specific business requirements – housing an elaborate collection of extensions and modifications. Chances are, your organization’s technology infrastructure is no different. You probably have a mix of on-premise software from a variety of providers. You may even use cloud applications for processes such as customer relationship management, HR, and procurement.

Is this unbridled complexity a part of doing business in the digital world? Not at all. In fact, it hinders your organization’s ability to drive innovation, achieve simplicity, and react quickly to the changing needs of your business. And if it hasn’t already, it soon will.

Five ways the right technology delivers innovation, simplicity, and speed

According to Siegel + Gale’s 2014 Simplicity Index, the world’s simplest brands have beaten the average global stock index by 170% since 2009. Why? Once you remove the entanglements of data silos, redundant applications, slow run times, and legacy software that have outlasted its usefulness, you gain the flexibility of choosing the best solutions for your business – no matter where they are deployed.

Luckily, technology providers have caught on to this need for greater simplicity. Whether we’re talking about moving everything to the cloud or creating a mix of on-premise and cloud-based solutions, every executive wants to know whether their investments will accelerate the pace of its business and simplify access to information and insight.

How can you ensure your next deployment yields faster realization of better business outcomes? Here are five aspects you should consider when the next technology vendor visits your office:

  1. Immediate access to innovative business processes when and where they are needed. As quickly as technology and markets change, you cannot afford to wait for the capabilities you need to stay competitive at the moment. Look for the availability of a simplified core of essential scenarios including finance, accounting, procurement, and manufacturing. Plus, if the application is available in the cloud, check how often innovations are available in your environment. Some providers offer them quarterly; however, others may take longer.
  2. Shared governance that accelerates innovation. As mentioned earlier, customization and extensions make it very difficult to make use of any form of standardization. When customization occurs outside of the core, your organization can avoid being locked into old versions of any applications.
  3. Opportunity to move to a private managed cloud environment – at your pace. When existing on-premise applications are customized, you can either return to standard functionality when they are no longer needed or further develop and deployed these changes outside of the core application. However, when making modifications in a privately managed cloud environment, you can maximize flexibility, reduce costs, and quickly realize the benefits of new innovation.
  4. Support for application management services. Double-check that the provider guarantees nonstop performance monitoring, resolutions, service request fulfillment, change management, and continuous innovation of the solution investment within the monthly subscription.
  5. Partnership with the best resources for your business without giving up flexibility and agility. With a mixed governance model, the provider takes over the responsibility of managing the entire stack up to the basis layer. Meanwhile, you still retain governance of the application and full flexibility that empowers you to decide when it’s time to upgrade.

Find out how SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud service can help you bring the speed, simplicity, and flexibility to succeed in our increasingly digital world. Visit

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