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Your Journey to a Digital Core

October 8, 2015 by Markus Schwarz

It is now well understood that an excess of complexity in business operations and IT systems results in a significant limitation for the business to drive better performance. But overcoming complexity in a business is not a quick to-do item assigned to IT and department managers.

Rather, it needs to be a company-wide, well-crafted journey with a singular approach: drive digital transformation with new technologies by putting simplicity at the core of your business.

As I mentioned previously, companies can overcome complexity and unite their mission-critical business processes by starting with a digital core.

The digital core is essential on the journey to digital transformation.

Bob Parker, Group Vice President at IDC Research, writes in his blog, “Digital Transformation is a Strategic Priority,” that digital transformation is not a one-off project: “This effort is truly transformational, requiring organizational commitment and a robust digital foundation to enable the scale and repeatability necessary to be successful.”

With a digital core, businesses understand the myriad bits of information that flow in and out of the company. Companies can take their mission-critical business processes digital, based on a single source of information that interconnects all aspects of the value chain in real-time. This includes workforce engagement, assets and the Internet of Things, supplier collaboration and business networks, and customer engagement and the omni-channel experience. The digital core empowers your decision-making and gives you a significant advantage in today’s digital economy.

 

SAP offers that digital core with SAP S/4HANA, the next-generation business suite. But not only is SAP providing customers with a digital core to reimagine their business, IT, and user experience, we have made the journey to SAP S/4HANA simpler. Here are four simple steps that you can make use of today to start your journey to digital transformation.

1. Benchmark Your Digital Maturity

Companies are seeing tremendous potential in leveraging digital technologies to create new business models and are looking to define a strategy.

Start to build your own digital transformation strategy, take time to determine your digital maturity starting with the IDC Digital Transformation Maturity Scape Snapshot. This tool allows you to assess the maturity of your digital transformation across strategic dimensions by placing your business along a continuum of different maturity stages — from “digital resistors” to “digital disruptors.”

After answering a few short questions, you will receive a complimentary customized IDC benchmark report with quantitative research based on input from 300 of your industry peers. By determining your digital maturity level, you will have the knowledge to move to the next level in digital transformation.

2. Experience Digital Business Operations

To sharpen your digital transformation strategy, experience reimagined business processes and user experience with a digital core at your own pace. Sign up for the SAP S/4HANA trial, available as a cloud edition 14-day trial or on-premise edition 30-day trial. Anyone can experience the value of instant insight across end-to-end business processes with our free trial. In the trial, you get access to a pre-configured system that already includes live sample data. Pick roles and try various predefined scenarios. Our guided tours walk you through the apps, step-by-step.

After you experience the SAP S/4HANA trial with sample data, get ready for the next stage of your journey. Use your own SAP information, and get deeper analysis on how SAP S/4HANA can transform your business.

3. See What a Digital Core Can Do For Your Business

If you are an existing SAP ERP customer, you can go one step further and explore customized benefits from SAP S/4HANA. If you take just five minutes to register and share your company information, SAP will gather your personalized Business Scenario Recommendations report within five business days.

This report is not fiction—it is based on your own current SAP usage information, and it will help you identify which scenarios would benefit most from instant insight. To see what type of information the report produces, download the sample report. You can easily discern from the sample how SAP S/4HANA delivers value across different lines of business, such as finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and procurement.

Now that you understand the business value of a digital core, you can move to a key phase of your journey: deployment.

4. Deploy a Digital Core with Ease

We have reimagined IT for our customers and made the process to implement a digital core simpler with SAP Activate. SAP Activate offers ready-to-run digitized business processes optimized for SAP S/4HANA. This new experience allows customers to flexibly choose the right approach for their business needs, be it a new implementation, integration, or migration scenario. This implementation methodology is a unique combination of SAP best practices, methodology, and guided configuration to help customers and partners get quick time-to-value with SAP S/4HANA, on-premise and cloud editions.

In addition to customers, SAP Activate enables partners to easily extend the ready-to-run business processes shipped by SAP and (in parallel) efficiently design and continually update their own custom best practices and co-innovate. Using SAP Activate methodology, SAP customers and partners have the ability to innovate across deployment modes, strengthening the SAP S/4HANA digital core offering and digital business processes.

The path to a digital core is an incremental journey. As your guide, use the wealth of information on the SAP S/4HANA Journey Map, which outlines how to establish a digital core and how to drive quick time-to-value. This digital summary tool includes key resources like the SAP S/4HANA Product Roadmap and Cookbookthat covers the most important aspects of implementation, including abstracts for specific topics and links to deep-dive information. These resources show you how to reimagine your business with SAP S/4HANA and build your digital core. So start transforming your core for the digital economy and put complexity behind you.

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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