Special: Enabling Digital - Sustainability Once Again
Blog Editor-in-Chief

Special: Enabling Digital – Sustainability Once Again

"Sustainability“ is one of the most-often misunderstood terms. In short, sustainability means resource-protecting action to increase, rather than deplete, resources. Added value may be expected. Digital transformation should follow this principle.

Digital transformation has often been invoked, defined and desired. This is why Fujitsu decided to issue a special publication on enablement of digital transformation – the next step in terms of quality.

Digital transformation is similar to cybernetics. Everything is connected to everything else. In the end, the whole is supposed to be more than the sum of its parts. That isn‘t an easy task for management. The central function of digital transformation, however, is sustainability.

Something New

The transformation process is not an end in itself or merely a technical release change. The temporary end of the process is not to be a digital solution that doesn‘t functionally differ from its predecessor version, but something truly new!

Digital processes are to protect resources and deliver added value – that is more than improving or optimizing existing processes. The first process step is to result in a second one, a third one, and so on. Each step is to be more resource-protecting, streamlined and efficient than the one before it – and in the end, with a view to the SAP-Community, all of it is to take place in real time based on the SAP-Hana database.

Optmizing vs. Re-Organizing

Is digital transformation unachievable because it is supposed to be perfect at everything? SAP technical director Bernd Leukert likes to quote one example: The Italian state railway generously equipped its locomotives with sensors to monitor the engines and gears.

This comprehensive IoT-project supplies a real-time representation of the operating conditions. These hundreds of thousands of sensor data points are used to calculate a maintenance model via a Hana database and the SAP-Framework PAL (Predictive Analysis Library).

The statistic failure probability is calculated anticipatively and a flexible maintenance plan is derived from this.

Why is foresighted maintenance an example of digital transformation? It is not about optimizing an existing process, but about completely re-organizing the maintenance of machines and vehicles.

In the past, one might have tried to centralize the spare parts storage, introduced multiple-shift operation or place spare locomotives in strategic locations. Successful digital transformation starts at the source and challenges the business processes as a whole.

A Gentle Revolution

IoT and Hana are a gentle revolution, rather than a continuum of small optimizations. Digital transformation does not improve existing business processes, but changes the processes as such.

The process change of digital transformation should and will not come to a standstill – that is also part of sustainability.

It is not about improving a badly programmed algorithm once, but about continuous – sometimes even revolutionary – further development. The successful results are to be the basis for something new.

One good idea is to provide fuel to the next one. That is what transformation means. Sustainable process changes are a continuum.

The digital offers by SAP and Fujitsu help drive this transformation in a way that protects resources and runs almost entirely self-sustained.

Our Special is available as a PDF download at the bottom of the page on each of the Special’s articles. 


E-3 Magazine (German) - November 2016

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, B4Bmedia.net AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at pmf@b4bmedia.net

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