Digital Architecture and Road Map Design: The Basis of Sustainable Digital Businesses

The hallmarks of innovation—radical industry and line-of-business change and process digitalization—are enabled by three fundamental digital capabilities:

  • Pervasive connectivity: Billions of devices are connecting people, processes, and assets in a unified network of data-driven insight.
  • Intelligent everything: Speech and image recognition is rising with a level of accuracy that rivals the human brain.
  • Flexible automation: Technologies can automate a growing majority of tasks across all business areas.

But here’s the problem: only 15 percent of assets are connected in processes, less than one percent of data is used for decision-making, and the adoption of automation tools and industrial robots is still relatively low.

Unfortunately, many businesses are unable to navigate the noise of innovation to identify the new capabilities and determine the adoption readiness needed to deliver the greatest impact. Instead, they rush to invest in digital technologies with little focus on a holistic digital strategy of killer use cases.

However, by designing the right digital architecture and road map, they can build a foundation that supports current and future intelligent innovation of major platforms, products, and services; sustainable customer experiences; and ground-breaking operational practices.

SAP Advisory Services: Navigating the Noise to Deliver the Greatest Impact

For decades SAP has worked with thousands of customers across a variety of industries and lines of business all over the world. And the one challenge that has concerned executives is the design of their digital architecture and road map.

As a collective community, SAP experts and peer customers collaborate to share and apply the advice, planning, and guidance acquired through lessons learned, transformation successes, and innovative practices. This consortium of knowledge and insight – delivered through SAP Advisory Services – is helping existing and new customers to support their end-to-end innovation lifecycle with a well-defined digital architecture and road map design.

With the digital architecture and road map design service, our customers can access a unique combination of standardized and proven tools, services, accelerators, and methodologies to:

  • Outline the incremental value of digital business scenarios
  • Target the business and IT architecture with the benefits of digital technologies
  • Chart an integrated, clear-cut road map for the digital architecture and IT landscape
  • Go beyond total cost of ownership to estimate the cost and effort of adoption
  • Determine critical success factors for risk mitigation, program management, and change impact

Japan Tobacco International (JTI), for example, found that assessing and designing its digital architecture and road map helps simplify and accelerate digital business transformation. By setting the foundation for a single platform of intelligence enabled by SAP S/4HANA, the tobacco manufacturer is increasing the speed and accuracy of data-driven insights to bring innovative strategies to market at record speed. And as more entrants flood the market, JTI can now focus on retaining market leadership.

A Foundation for Embracing New Technologies Instead of Acting as a Follower

There’s no debate that today’s digital breakthroughs are creating a future of new ideas and tremendous potential. Yet, we cannot ignore that a paradox of skill and creativity is emerging, impeding the sustainable innovation necessary to ensure continuous growth and influence.

For companies that are quickly moving away from traditional business models to compete in an uncertain, ever-evolving marketplace, digital architecture and road map design services can become a critical enabler of sustainable stability and growth.


Throughout this series, we will examine how this portfolio blends established applications with emerging technologies, industry and functional expertise, and an ecosystem of innovators to further optimize operations and inspire history-shaping change. Bookmark the series landing page and check it each week. In the meantime, read our infographic, “Accelerate Business Optimization and Innovation with SAP Advisory Services,” or visit our website for an overview of SAP Advisory Services.


Marc-Alexander Winter is service offering manager in SAP Digital Business Services.