Whenever an executive or organizational manager brings up the need to invest in technology, an air of skepticism often clouds the discussion. But that’s not to say that companies aren’t making considerable technology investments. In fact, despite declining revenues, Gartner projected that 2021 would yield the highest IT spend on record – US$4.2 trillion, an 8.6% increase over 2020 spending.

When considering a new IT investment, the real issue is quantifying and verifying measurable outcomes to better understand the technology’s value. And this gap is only growing wider as data loads continue to increase and the need for fast, agile, and business-improving analysis tools becomes a critical part of long-term growth.

Investments in cloud solutions are prime examples of this reality. In most cases, businesses have adopted the technology for the first time or expanded their cloud architecture over the past year or more. As a result, this move to infrastructure-as-a-service technology has led to a rise in IT services spending, with an intent to remove the cost of supporting mission-critical workloads and on-premise landscapes.

The adoption of cloud solutions unquestionably offers an opportunity to select specific functions that meet unique business requirements. But companies – no matter the size or budget – still require guidance to move to the cloud successfully and scale the technology’s functionality continuously as their business models and market conditions change.

It’s All about Relentless, Expertise-Based Attention

At SAP, we have worked persistently to adapt and enhance our software, tools, capabilities, and services to help our customers move from a purely on-premise environment to one that is hybrid and ultimately cloud-focused. This vision allows companies to operate as a single, standalone ecosystem, smoothly connected to exchange-required data across different systems, functions, and devices to serve a broad set of business needs and detailed cross-analyses.

But this move to the cloud is much more than another technology initiative. With the right guidance, the cloud can help companies adapt and evolve their business models to rise to their customers’ expectations while remaining profitable.

Through SAP Advisory Services, our customers can receive the support necessary to help solve their challenges quickly and with less cost and risk by fostering innovation, nurturing new ideas, and building strong offerings. The portfolio blends established applications with emerging technologies and draws on the latest innovations, industry expertise, and a partner ecosystem – from requirements and process analysis to implementation and go-live to rollout, value realization, and enhancement.

After purchasing a cloud solution, our customers can gain the care and professionalism they have come to expect from SAP, as well as our experience in the former on-premise world. Most importantly, their requirement to adapt to a cloud business model is our central focus throughout the cloud solution life cycle.

The guidance and close collaboration enabled through SAP Advisory Services help ensure that the requested functionalities are analyzed by SAP to grasp customer needs fully. Our teams of experts work shoulder to shoulder, facilitating a smooth handover whether the customer runs a project on its own, with SAP, or through a partner.

Furthermore, the portfolio helps build a rapport between the customer, partner, and SAP to the point where honest feedback, as well as concerns, expectations, and needs, is exchanged. Our customers can even access the right experts to address questions about architecture, planning, operations, business process improvement, or capability expansion.

SAP Advisory Services experts analyze customer expectations and requirements in detail to help sufficiently resolve them and integrate the respective new solution or capability into the IT landscape. SAP customers are not left alone during any phase of their transition to the cloud. Instead, they are guided by experts with years of experience who recognize and fulfill customer needs to help ensure the best possible business outcomes.

For example, when facing foundational issues during the implementation and go-live phase, our customers can receive the professional support and the attention they expect before their project timelines and costs are impacted. Of course, the best support is always the avoidance of critical incidents during the implementation phase with strategic and well-planned measures. To help avert risk, SAP offers fundamental and operational support as well as strategic and foresighted assessments.

A Professional and Future-Oriented Experience

When migrating or implementing a cloud landscape, organizations require a broad understanding of the new architecture and its impact on business conditions. And the assistance of experts with industry and business-process knowledge and technology know-how is the answer to fulfilling that need.

SAP Advisory Services can deliver on that promise with a level of professionalism and future-oriented thinking that our customers demand. By orchestrating and communicating openly with various partners and internal resources, the portfolio provides an environment of trust across operational and strategic areas.

Jutta Grosse Wichtrup is principal business enterprise consultant at SAP.