Your Path to the Intelligent Enterprise: Intelligent Technologies in SAP S/4HANA
Your path to the Intelligent Enterprise: Deftly deploy smart technologies like IoT, machine learning, and bots in SAP S/4HANA.
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In an everchanging world, you need to find ways to cope with new challenges fast. You need to adapt, react, and act quickly. It’s no surprise that there is no single solution that can solve every problem. But there is one concept that is worth striving for – becoming an intelligent enterprise.
This is the concept of a new mindset and the acquisition of skills and abilities that enable adjusting quickly in a changing environment to ensure sustainable growth for your business. The intelligent enterprise is no trend or buzzword, it’s a concrete concept. And although the intelligent enterprise is not about one specific technology or system, it requires a matching technology stack as an enabler.
There is no set path for how your company can become an intelligent business. This journey is very individual because it depends on your specific requirements, systems, and processes. But this individuality does not mean that the journey to an intelligent enterprise is expensive or complex. Like the features of an intelligent business – adaptiveness, flexibility, and agility – your journey will be just the same: an iterative and step-by-step approach.
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Today’s environment and society presents new challenges: fast changing market conditions, new competitors, innovative start-ups, and increased customer expectations. Not to mention new work, new mindsets, and external shocks to highly integrated networks.
Take for example the increased focus on how people (customers, employees, etc.) experience a certain situation, product, or service. The spotlight is now on the individuality of each person and their rising expectations. That’s why today’s economy is often seen as an experience-driven economy.
The commonly used term to describe this environment is VUCA world: Volatile – Uncertain – Complex – Ambiguous
As the world, society, and technology are constantly evolving – and the frequency and impact of changes increases – the economy and businesses need to change the way they think and act, too.
You need to speed up your capacity to react, move forward, and stay ahead of competitors – otherwise you’ll get left behind. Long lasting business models that worked for centuries are now put to the test.
Is your business model able to cope with these challenges? Is it flexible and adaptive enough?
Is your business able to leverage these opportunities?
It’s a good idea to open the focus of your business and search for ways to gain new skills and abilities. All with the goal of coping with challenges and leveraging these opportunities. One key element of an intelligent enterprise is opening up perspectives – especially across the silos of your company.
Think about how to enrich your products by additional services or how changing to an “as a service” business model could be more adaptive for your customer requirements. Because it is definitively about changing perspectives: Maybe thinking from the perspective of a start-up might reveal where your long-term business model could become vulnerable, e.g. by a new platform provider. To do so, you evolve projects from a small scale up to large scale while constantly measuring, challenging, and adjusting the success – just like start-ups do.
Asking the right questions to get to the right answers is the core concept of the intelligent enterprise and that’s what sets it apart from other enterprises.
First step towards an intelligent enterprise is the acceptance of upcoming changes, whether they are challenges or opportunities. Not everything can be foreseen and planned, especially in a VUCA world. But intelligent enterprises are planning for flexibility and proactiveness, e.g. thinking of scenarios that might happen will position you better to adapt to those changes in a professional and relaxed manner when they actually appear.
In order to empower your business to do so and be an intelligent enterprise, there are useful or even necessary skills as well as technologies that can help to enhance your daily operations and performance.
First, let’s think of a useful mindset and then focus on supporting technologies, starting with the digital core at the center and then moving on to intelligent technologies, and continuing to experience management.
Being an intelligent enterprise means initiating change proactively and becoming the first one to move instead of only being a follower – designing the future instead of only reacting to it.
Here is an example, where prediction in combination with sensor technology leads to a greater flexibility. Being flexibe both in mind and in company structure, is not enough however, because you still need some reference points for your decisions. But they could change from time to time.
Agility gives you the opportunity to adjust your strategy to changing requirements and environments. But an agile mindset is imperative in running your daily business. Here is an example of how to incorporate agility to business.
Ideally, having these abilities will enable you not only to react to changes but also to be part of that change.
Our Kia Mia case presents a good example of how a challenge such as not having staff available could be turned into an advantage. Providing innovative technology enriches the customer and product experience.
As you might have already recognized, major improvements and newly gained abilities can be empowered by technology. Let’s take a look at different ways you can fine tune your business and how each action might meet your specific requirements.
The center of your business (model) is made up of daily operations, processes, and interactions. Sometimes, the move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP C/4HANA is a first step towards an intelligent enterprise, as you can collect and process huge amounts of data (also called operational data or O-Data), generate real time data insights, as well as analyze this data to increase transparency and efficiency (more benefits of SAP S/4HANA).
The digital core ensures smooth operations of your daily business and beyond. But the implementation just for its own sake makes no sense. You should think about your business and processes first in order to identify your individual optimization potential.
Incorporating the digital core at the center of your business forms the basis to add intelligent cloud-based technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), robotics process automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT), or analytics – to name just a few.
These technologies usher in a new level of digital transformation. Talking about digitalization is not revolutionary anymore, it’s more of a natural evolution nowadays. For example, think of your smartphone assistants: Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, or etc. They have speech recognition and conversational AI integrated to answer your questions and give you a weather forecast. You can control the room temperature, windows, doors, and parts of your kitchen via an app. We already live in smart homes where a robot vacuums and cleans the floor while you are taking a bath.
Transfer those technologies into a business context and imagine the potential and opportunities in the not too distant future.
Empowered by these intelligent technologies you can add a further aspect: the experience. Think of the experience you provide your customers (CX), employees (EX), and stakeholders. Also consider how this experience impacts their behavior and with that your business’ performance and revenue. With every experience your business provides, you gather data, also called experience data or X-Data.
An intelligent enterprise combines a new mindset and skills, as well as the perfect set of relevant and useful technologies to fit requirements and guarantee sustainable growth. Today’s and tomorrow’s business is about managing data and the ability to draw valuable conclusions out of it. Therefore, the interdependence of O- and X-Data will become more and more important and even vital for business success.
Let’s move forward to investigate your specific starting point on your way to become an intelligent enterprise. Because intelligent also means individualized.
There are certainly various reasons why your business is successful. The process to become an intelligent enterprise and the implementation of new technologies won’t disrupt your business, they will support and enhance it.
There is no ready-made solution to become an intelligent business. Together, we reconsider your business, figure out which departments and processes are working well, and decide which might need to be optimized. And we are able to enhance any IT infrastructure and system landscape you already have in place.
Let’s start a conversation about your current challenges, pain points, or about your plans and dreams for the future. Do you need creative inspiration, operational, or technical support to integrate processes? Is the accompanying change management even needed?
Based on our experience, there are usually some very good ideas already “in the air” of your company. Let’s uncover them and set off together on your path to become an intelligent business.
Focus on the Immediate Added Value of Change
Being an intelligent enterprise means being agile. In essence, taking advantage of the moment because the perfect time may never come. And embracing change because it could actually be fun to rethink and rearrange your business model.
That first step also means keeping in mind, most innovations are derived from ideas and inspirations “stolen” from other industries or lines of business then rearranged in a new model.
Our intention is to help you to improve your business, not to implement a technology at random, just for its own sake – together we’ll choose the right set of tools that fit your requirements to create immediate and sustainable value for your company.
Your business is our focus. In order to ensure a successful journey to the intelligent enterprise and to guarantee achievement at each step along the path, we work with an iterative approach.
Together, we examine your company’s strengths, its technological capabilities and digital maturity level to find the perfect starting point.
Our iterative approach gives us the flexibility to adapt to your specific requirements as well as ensure we reach our common goal: future-proofing your business.
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Are you searching for answers or would like to receive more information about the intelligent enterprise? Do you want more detailed advice from our expert or wish to book one of our workshops?
Just contact us – we will be glad to help you.
Director Innovation Technologies
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