How IBM and SAP can kick-start your digital transformation

By Andrew Worsley-Tonks

It seems everywhere we look we’re told to embrace “digital transformation” (including on this website). But what exactly does this mean? Well, a significant element is about modernising established, often complex processes supported by legacy applications. Almost everyone agrees that legacy applications and the standard “systems of record” can prove to be an obstacle to new ways of working. Consequently, many CIOs now see the transformation of their current IT landscape to support redefined business models as an extremely high priority.

At the same time, employees and customers continue to expect a first-class experience. They have constant access to information through their smartphones and tablets, and enjoy seamless experiences as they hop from device to device. The reality is that catering for this type of user experience is no longer optional.

Organisations need to modernise their core applications to drive business performance and growth. One way of doing this is using SAP S/4HANA which creates a digital core and brings transactions and analytics together in a role-based user experience. SAP S/4HANA is the next generation Business Suite. It is designed to provide access to real-time data and run simplified business processes within a connected enterprise. It enables you to simplify complex legacy systems while maintaining a 360-degree view of your data – and of your customers. Simply put, it means your business can provide the differentiated experiences that customers expect and demand.

SAP S/4HANA becomes the “digital nerve centre” of your organisation, so you can drive greater business processes efficiency, gain deeper insights from data through embedded analytics and free up time to focus on creating more value for your customers. By linking your core processes and systems, you get more opportunities to automate mundane yet crucial tasks (e.g. data entry and reconciliation), access information in real time, increase your user experience through mobile capabilities (such as FIORI), and bring products and services to your customers, vendors and employees, faster.

No doubt this all sounds like music to the ears of the modern CIO. But knowing how and where to start your SAP digital transformation journey can be a challenge. First and foremost, defining a strategic roadmap that includes a clear vision of your future mode of operations is key. This should not only focus on your ERP transformation but also include technologies such as Cloud, Robotic Process Automation, Blockchain and machine learning. This will provide you with greater flexibility and help you get the most out of your digital core. Furthermore, providing a strong business case that identifies areas of opportunity and improvement will help you justify the transformation investment, and create greater business engagement to support the transition.

To jump start your move to SAP S/4HANA, IBM has created the IBM HANA Impact Assessment. Whether you want to start the move to SAP S/4HANA now or in three years, running the IBM HANA Impact Assessment will provide you with a point of view on how, when and why you should move to SAP S/4HANA. By working closely with IBM subject matter experts, you can create a custom SAP S/4HANA adoption roadmap. It will help you navigate the challenges, build your business case, and understand how your current pain points can be addressed with SAP S/4HANA and through the transition.

Get in touch today to request an assessment and see how IBM and SAP can simplify your complex legacy applications into a cutting-edge, connected enterprise that drives your business efficiency and growth.