How Business Process Intelligence Is Changing the Approach to Digital Modernization


When it comes to digital transformation, success is absolutely imperative. The stats prove it. Digital “leaders,” as defined in a recent BCG survey, achieve earnings growth 1.8 times higher than digital “laggards” and experience more than double the growth in total enterprise value.

Other research has found a strong correlation between increased tech spending and enterprise cost reduction — as much as 29% overall. This is all while equipping “leaders” with modern platforms, those necessary for future growth, business model reinvention, and continuous innovation.

The methods and technology are sound — and proven — and yet transformation remains complex and difficult to execute for many companies. Why the challenges? Let’s examine today’s business landscape a bit more closely.

Reinventing the Transformation Process

It is true that many companies are currently running on decades-old software, and that many of them are under-prepared to manage new developments — whether sophisticated supply chain gain share applications, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, or sustainability accounting. But we should consider that a solution-focused approach is not necessarily the only solution.

“Customers don’t care about how you slice and dice your software or how you build your technology,” said Signavio CEO Gero Decker in an interview last month. “Customers care about how they can operate well, how they can serve their customers well, and how they can be agile enough to switch to the operating model they need.”

This mindset shift can be radical for companies looking to digitally transform. Rather than focusing on technology alone, this approach equips them to analyze their current operating model as it is and look toward their target state instead, opening the door for a more modern and intelligent enterprise that works for both them and their customers.

“Signavio technology can essentially provide customers with an MRI of the entire business — whether it’s running on SAP ECC, SAP S/4HANA, or a different vendor’s systems entirely — and help them mine data and produce process models that show business users how things are really running, identifying potential improvement areas, and ensuring customers can maximize returns on their digital investment,” Decker said.

Myth of Modernization

SAP acquired Signavio in order to help drive an evolution in the transformation paradigm, and to put a renewed focus on the customer in the process. “Implement and forget” cannot be the mindset for digital leaders. In fact, digital transformation should never be viewed as a one-time achievement nor a one-system project; it’s a continuous journey focused on identifying, creating, and realizing value for your company.

Signavio’s approach is disrupting the entire business process intelligence and process management space. By focusing on operating models and processes, the solutions spotlight the most useful application capabilities for what companies want to achieve. When you can see the opportunities, finding support to change company behavior or processes becomes a much easier discussion.

Look at some of the outcomes customers have already achieved through working with Signavio and our business process intelligence portfolio:

  • 80% reduction in process improvement cycle times
  • 20% decrease in the overall number of business processes
  • 99% fewer manual errors
  • Five times the efficiency for complex global projects
  • $6.5 million reduction in total operational costs

One specific success story we have seen in this space is that of American end-to-end manufacturing solutions provider Jabil. The company turned to Signavio in 2018 to help standardize core processes across approximately 100 sites. By putting its current practices into Signavio’s “MRI tube,” Jabil was able to leverage the breadth of knowledge and experience in its workforce and harness innovation at sites all around the world — enabling rapid change and adoption in the process.

Looking Inward, Looking Ahead

Many enterprises today lack the visibility needed across their business operations. Agile organizations of the future will be ones where everyone knows their place in the enterprise — how upstream processes affect them and how their execution affects everyone downstream.

The business benefit potential is enormous:

  • Making better and more transparent process decisions based on data
  • Ensuring standard processes are executed as intended — and quickly identifying exceptions
  • Understanding what is happening from end to end in your organization
  • Monitoring and improving accurate as-is processes to extract knowledge for root-cause analysis

This is only the beginning. Business process intelligence is real and having an impact, accelerating the value and mitigating the risks associated with transformation today. Get your company prepared; chart your path forward. Because, as discussed above, success is not an option — it’s an imperative.

John Tully is senior vice president and managing director of the South Region for SAP North America.