Key Insights and Best Practices for the Digital Transformation Journey
By Fred Isbell, Senior Director and Head of Thought Leadership – SAP Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP
There’s an old saying in our business when it comes to things like Digital Transformation: “It’s a journey, not a destination.” The journey metaphor has served me well for over 30 years as a high technology marketer. In the spirit of IDC’s Third Platform, I’ve seen multiple waves of change sweep across our industry – the transition from monolithic mainframes to client/server, to networked business solutions and the Internet, and now to digital technologies that are fundamentally transforming everything around us.
There’s one common red thread across this evolution – the journey is comprised of a series of steps from our starting point to the final destination point. Along the lines of Lao Tsu, Confucius, and Mao Tse-tung, we must remind ourselves that “a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.”
As a long-time services marketer, the concept of the journey is central to communicating the value of services in customer engagements and projects, especially in an environment of constant change. In the solution paradigm of “plan/build/run,” we need a road map for our journey to avoid false starts, engage as efficiently as possible, and achieve maximum business impact and value with minimum project costs and the lowest-possible total cost of ownership.
To help companies of all sizes, industries, and regions grasp what it means to digital transform their business, we engaged leaders from the SAP Digital Business Services organization to share their thoughts on a variety of related topics. Recognizing that the journey needs a plan and a road map, we first looked at the elements of the strategy with insights from Michael Kleinemeier, a member of the SAP Executive Board and head of Digital Business Services, and Dr. Tom Janoshalmi, vice president of Digital Business Services Strategy. Next, we looked at the components of a successful digital transformation journey with SAP chief digital officer Jonathan Becher. We then focused on the concept of achieving tangible business value with Meinolf Kaimann, vice president and global head of Value Assurance, Premium Engagements, and Product Management at SAP, as he addressed outcomes-based solutions and services that are quickly becoming the new normal in this arena. Finally, but perhaps most important, Andreas Heckmann, head of SAP Product Support for SAP Digital Business Services, addressed the paradigm shift from reactive to proactive support. Together, these discussions covered the critical steps of implementing an overall digital business framework.
The result is a series of blogs that shared essential insights, guidance, and best practices. Highlights include:
By Michael Kleinemeier
Michael kicked off the series in by discussing how customers need digital business services to help achieve maximum value, as quickly as possible, with minimum risk. He explored the emergence of industrialized services, the way to drive innovation, and achieve business outcomes.
By Dr. Tom Janoshalmi
Tom reveals why a solid strategy is essential and how a services-led and outcome-based approach can provide direction on the journey.
By Jonathan Becher
As the head of SAP Digital and the former CMO of SAP, Jonathan Becher offers insights to help sort through the ubiquitous hype and gain a realistic understanding of the digital transformation journey.
By Meinolf Kaimann
In the spirit of outcomes-based solutions and industrialized services, Meinolf discusses how to realize value faster and support digital transformation with industrialized and outcome-driven business services.
By Andreas Heckmann
Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. When it comes to digital transformation, the most dynamic players will win. Andreas discusses the future of support and the shift to a proactive paradigm.
I encourage everyone to take this important first step to explore these insights and best practices that can help every organization succeed in its quest for digital transformation.
Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services Marketing at SAP.