Curving pathway

How to Break Down the Greatest Barrier to Outcome-Driven Innovation

The world may be getting digitally smarter, but it’s certainly not getting simpler. Even something as simple as buying a pen can become extraordinarily complicated when integrating the latest technology into core functions. But perhaps most damaging is the struggle to transition from digital pilots to large-scale deployments of outcome-driven innovation while running the core processes in an effective and efficient way.

While businesses are inspired by leading-edge technology, there is still a great deal of uncertainty on how to embed it into complex system landscapes. This reality is emphasized by the presence of processes that do not deliver a competitive edge and still run in a highly customized way at unjustifiable cost levels. As a result, already scarce time and resources are misallocated and the business misses opportunities to innovate and differentiate itself in more promising areas.

Unfortunately, this reality is the greatest barrier to innovation, wasting a tremendous amount of much-needed human and financial capital. In fact, the world’s top 200 companies lose, on average, 10.2 percent of profits (roughly US$225 billion) every year.

How can companies break down the barriers of uncertainty and complexity to unlock digital innovation?

SAP Advisory Services: Bringing Simplicity and Certainty to Innovation

This very question is the reason why SAP offers the value design and assessment service as part of the SAP Advisory Services portfolio. Managed around business process transformation initiatives and innovation cycles, the service empowers our customers to envision a pragmatic digital value journey supported by a well-defined, viable operating model and driven to deliver significant outcomes.

With the value design and assessment service, our customers can guide business process transformation and innovation initiatives with the freedom and transparency to:

  • Communicate a clear process and value vision for their enterprise-wide digital mission
  • Evaluate business and value scenarios, following an outline of the business impact
  • Navigate a business transformation value journey in phases using a defined road map
  • Align value maps and process scorecards with business scenarios
  • Increase transparency into the effects of the IT landscape and operating model
  • Address value realization with a business case for digital transformation
  • Determine critical success factors for risk mitigation and value management
  • Establish a governance structure for value management and business transformation

Our customers are using this approach to foster their ideal concepts to help determine, benchmark, and improve the outcome of their innovations.

One prime example is Erich NETZSCH. The growing, family-owned business engages in the worldwide manufacture, sale, and implementation of pumps and systems machinery and instrumentation with a focus on continuous use of asset insight and improvement of customer service. It collaborated closely with the SAP development team to meet the expectations for managing an integrated digital landscape comprised of the Internet of Things (IoT), remote applications, and an enterprise resource planning (ERP) back end.

NETZSCH’s efforts, with the support of SAP, led to the global digitalization of physical assets and documentation, increasing visibility into asset and component details and collaboration among employees and partners. But more importantly, the company is securing its legacy of superior customer service while keeping its machinery and devices at the heart of innovation for a long time to come.

Clearing the Way for Unique, Meaningful Value at Scale

A far-reaching vision may be a compelling catalyst for innovation, but complexity can rob every drop of potential value. The choice of technology is endless and the pressure to evolve is relentless – and these realities are creating a business environment of unproductive decision-making, misaligned processes, and lackluster development efforts.

Let’s face it: aspirational ideals are not enough to guide how organizations explore technology and experiment in the constant search for value-driven outcomes. But with the value design and assessment service, businesses can commit to a vision defined by a strategic, expertise-led framework for defining value, rethinking existing processes, establishing best-practice governance, testing use cases, and monitoring critical success factors.


Over the past few weeks, we have examined how a blend of established applications with emerging technologies, industry and functional expertise, and an ecosystem of innovators can help further optimize operations and inspire history-shaping change across your business, industry, and marketplace. Visit our series landing page, 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 for SAP Digital Business Services.