As companies grapple with different dimensions of business change and disruption, it is clear that digital transformation is no longer an alternative. Instead, it must be the heart of their strategies, capabilities, organization, and culture.

Every day, I meet executives who are facing this new reality through a variety of perspectives. New digital entrants are interested in moving to adjacent markets. Legacy brands seek to increase efficiency in operations, especially in their supply chain and finance processes. Even digital incumbents are self-aware enough to adopt the next-generation means necessary to further wow customers, engage employees, and improve business performance.

No matter the stage of digital maturity, I often find that companies ultimately want the same thing: change in a specific area of the business within six months, not a year or longer. Yet at the same time, no one has the budget, time, and resources to make any missteps along the way – from digital investments and integrations to process setups.

The Answer: Union of Innovative Ideas, Proven Models

Fulfilling such demands may seem impossible. But this is not the case with a model company approach. In fact, leveraging preconfigured practices, tools, and content across end-to-end processes across a line of business or industry scenario is helping thousands of our customers to help ensure project success as quickly as possible.

Take a growing pharmaceutical company that embraced the model company concept to transform its financial and treasury processes. The reasoning behind this choice goes beyond saving money and accelerating outcomes; it is instead the opportunity to adapt at the same pace the marketplace is evolving.

The first step in the company’s evolution was establishing the latest fundamentals of digital finance. It knew that having this foundation ignites the internal changes necessary to deliver lasting external outcomes. No matter how unique and complex the business requirements, understanding organizational pain points and aligning them to validated new processes and IT systems led to the accelerated delivery of solutions. More importantly, the business gained the freedom and confidence to explore new problem areas and consider solutions that can further the success of the impending transformation — without additional cost.

After the exploratory phase of the model company approach, the pharmaceutical company actualized its digital road map to steer the transformation toward value generation. This design step helped define line-of-business and industry-specific best practices and an actionable plan for value extraction supported by an established value governance plan.

By being faithful to the model company approach, the company was able to implement the right solution to meet the needs of its finance and treasury operations quickly and thoroughly. The impact of that change then cascaded across the business as users openly embraced process changes and new applications in their daily work. Also importantly, the finance and treasury director happily attended board meetings, in which he shared financial figures with top executives in real time on an iPad.

Change That Makes a Lasting Mark on the Business

While delivering preconfigured content in a box may not be a new idea, it is a concept that is tremendously important in order to provide quick results that deliver lasting impact on the business. This is undoubtedly true with the underlying framework of the model company approach.

By leveraging these benefits in SAP S/4HANA, companies can get ahead of disruption, instead of waiting two or more years to catch up with the rest of the world.

This is part one of the three-part series: A Digital Revolution of Model Companies.Discover how businesses are driving their digital evolution with the insight, guidance, and best practices of SAP Model Company services. Stay in the conversation by following SAP Digital Business Services on social media on YouTube, TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook.

Fabrizio Pandico is a solution architect at SAP.