Successors are currently dominating events: On the executive floor, Generation X is following the baby boomers. Among employees, millennials are taking over. And in corporate IT, SAP S/4 Hana is replacing Business Suite or even R/3. What’s remarkable is that while everyone keeps talking about how we need to be innovative and constantly reinvent ourselves, we have a hard time dealing with the natural generational shift.
It could be so simple – a new generation of people shapes a new generation of software. Instead, the current market situation shows that historically evolved structures persist and are highly complex, making transformation a rather challenging task. So, how can this complexity be mitigated and thus the change actively shaped, instead of just reactively managing SAP’s product cycle?
RISE with SAP
SAP offers several approaches: “RISE with SAP” is the latest initiative out of Walldorf. It combines several intelligent enterprise modules into a single subscription model. SAP and partners manage the technical complexity, while customers concentrate on their business challenges. Rise is a single-contract offering that provides a path to the intelligent enterprise for every customer, regardless of starting point or complexity. Subscription-based offerings have a single responsible contractor for service level agreement (SLA), operations, and support. The holistic approach goes beyond a technical migration to the cloud to enable a continuous transformation towards the intelligent enterprise.
The intelligent enterprise is not a finished product, but rather a holistic approach to establishing a system architecture that makes business insights transparent to all. Meeting the end-to-end needs of business users, even though data reside in silos – that’s the challenge. Making the information available in a visually concise way on all channels at the push of a button is a clear expectation of users.
In this regard, a new generation of IT leaders and a new generation of SAP users can shape different ways of approaching and working with innovative technologies. And it is precisely this combination that is driving change. Instagram-style work requires a smartphone, Google-like response times require in-memory technology, end-to-end thinking no longer accepts hurdles posed by system boundaries.
No longer mere administrators
Also new are the possibilities of the intelligent enterprise in terms of understanding the value that a new generation brings. After all, success is no longer defined exclusively by sales and profit, as COVID-19 has shown. Rather, the focus is on employees, including values such as sustainability and social commitment (corporate social responsibility). Because – and this is what concerns us all – what use is all the technology if it does not add value to people’s lives? When IT leaders with a millennial’s understanding of values focus on people and sustainability, the vision of the intelligent enterprise can become reality. A new generation of employees wants more, and the new generation of software can do more!
So, the crux of the matter is: There is no blueprint for the intelligent enterprise. Rather, it is a composition of innovation, creativity, and value. An answer to: What do I want to be? How can I achieve it? At this point, IT leaders move from being an administrator to a shaper. What they need to manage this shift is courage, people, togetherness – and if new technologies support this cause, then all the better.