Sustainable corporate success is inextricably linked to digital transformation: the creation of new business models and increased efficiencies through technology.

Digitalization does not mean IT requirements are becoming simpler. On the contrary, in addition to traditional tasks such as highly accessible, fail-safe and cost effective maintenance of systems and processes, a company’s IT infrastructure needs to enable business future-proofing. The business must be run swiftly, safely and innovatively in the digital era. A formidable challenge for IT.

Transformation is the Magic Word

In order to connect tradition and modernity, IT must anticipate a company’s development and the related requirements and, if necessary, intervene. The CIO and IT division must understand the business strategy and use their knowledge of technology to lead the organization safely to disruption and the modern age.

To be this strategic leader, and allow informed decisions, requires information. Any analysis must be performed on current and not historical data so IT needs to provide systems that enable the analysis of large amounts of data in real time. A proven platform for this approach to digitalization is SAP HANA®.

SAP HANA® as an innovative digitalization platform

HANA® plays a central role in the digitalization process for several reasons:

  • As the leading in-memory platform, SAP HANA® provides all the tools needed to convert, in real time, the constantly growing amounts of data – caused by digitalization solutions such as M2M or social media – into a competitive advantage.
  • HANA® is also a powerful integration platform for innovative cloud products.
  • SAP HANA® is now also being offered as a service from the cloud. This enables companies to quickly use the benefits of real time analysis without first having to invest in expensive infrastructure. As a result organizations become more agile and flexible.

5 Steps to Digitalization with Real-time Information

The pioneering IT department with a view to digitalization can take these steps towards real-time decision-making:

1. Take a Careful Look at Your Environment

It is critical to understand your system and data assets and their development potential. Taking into account your current IT landscape (and its potential to improve), ask yourself:

  • Do I know everything that is happening in my business right now?
  • Could I access, immediately and in real time, all operational data that affects my line of business?
  • Can my current infrastructure cope with the exploding data volumes?
  • Do I offer my employees, particularly the digital natives entering my organization, sufficiently user-friendly and responsive applications?
  • Should an operational crisis arise, am I able to make the best decision to move forward, every time?

T-Systems provides a limited time offer of a free environment analysis and roadmap. Our Cloudifier simplifies the complex IT transformation journey to the cloud – enabling complex application landscapes to be agile and sustainable IT systems.

2. Anticipate Future Challenges

The key is to work out what future challenges your organisation will face and on what basis future business decisions should be made. When thinking in terms of your current visibility, the following questions should arise:

  • Where are my informational blind spots?
  • Do I have enough information, not only to make decisions on the fly, but to test different possible outcomes of these decisions?
  • Do I have enough aggregated knowledge of global mega trends, emerging markets, disruptive technologies AND my customer to anticipate impending change?

3. Calculate the Business Case

Budgets are tight and it is no surprise that CIO’s and their IT departments should scrutinize potential projects to ascertain real business value. The business case should examine the following:

  • Project cost or investment (e.g. software, hardware, implementation and training)
  • Return on investment from:
    • Total cost of ownership (TCO) savings
    • Productivity increases
    • And, most importantly, improved business processes

Customers often feel that hardware costs for HANA® are prohibitive. This is disputed, but often true depending on architecture. T-Systems have experience in this arena, both with platform, as well as application transformation. It is this experience that can guarantee two phenomenal advantages: a 20% reduction TCO and a fixed price cost. When doing your feasibility study, be sure to take these factors into account.   

4. Optimize Your System Landscape

The demands of the market, your technical landscape and the findings of the feasibility study give you the necessary parameters to evaluate SAP HANA’s® potential and to develop a plan for the introduction of real-time, innovative solutions.

Based on the factors obtained from previous steps, a plan emerges helping you decide:

  • What systems need to be integrated,
  • What applications should be transformed,
  • What can be gainfully migrated to HANA,
  • And which could be more cost-effectively managed in the cloud.

Once you have completed the plan as above, it is imperative to choose the right partner. T-Systems, the world’s biggest provider of SAP in the cloud gives you migration their HANA® platform at no charge. In addition, this is “run on satisfaction” meaning you have the option to quit on incident – essentially a risk free migration.

5. Enable the Business

No more technology for technology sake! This is truly where the pioneering CIO and IT department can show their value. The key here is differentiation. Your role is to uncover it by partnering with business to provide the following:

  • Advanced analytics, such as predictive and geospatial
  • User- and device friendly interfaces, with self service BI
  • Improved business processes that translate into hard savings

Will You be Strategic or Just a Support Function?

The truth is, in most organizations, the type of IT services and where they come from is not crucial to business. If you work for a construction conglomerate, chances are buildings would still go up if you outsourced your desktop support. In retail? Shirts would be sold if all infrastructure was moved to the cloud. For a hospital? Patients would still be treated if they chose an alternative provider. If you want to remain strategic to your organization, digitalization is key. Understanding your business, as well as the power of technology, puts you in the unique position to make it happen.