There are many reasons a business migrates to cloud ERP software. But according to DXC Oxygen’s Managing Partner for Digital Strategy and Transformation, Rocio Rutter, not all reasons are created equal.
Rutter says it’s important for organisations moving to SAP’s next generation ERP technology, SAP S/4HANA, to consider not just the short-term objectives, but to also have an aligned discussion about strategy, and to understand exactly where the most value from a digital transformation will be delivered.
“It is relatively easy for the IT function within a business to identify the short to mid-term reasons for undertaking a technology migration – accessing new functionality or upgrading the platform to safeguard ongoing maintenance are common ones. But for an organisation to truly reap the benefits of a digital transformation there must be a fundamental change of culture. It means moving focus from being a products or services provider to becoming a more human-centric organisation that places the user and customer experience at the heart of its operations.”
Cooperation and leadership
Rutter, who has recently joined DXC Oxygen, says that during her time involved in digital transformation projects, she has witnessed a number that failed to deliver the anticipated results.
“Research says organisations fail at digital for two reasons. Firstly, they undertake too many disjointed initiatives. If there is no collaboration between departments and no defined end goals, you end up with disconnections rather than synchronicity. Secondly, poor leadership fails to drive home the transformation process. This type of change is cultural, and leaders must share the vision. They need to engage with every business area to manage change and make it real to each individual throughout the process.”
Part of what Rutter is charged with doing is providing customers with a strategic advisory role as they cross the digital divide to S/4HANA.
“Customers are understandably excited about new technologies, such as AI and IoT, that SAP’s new digital core offers a gateway to. They want to inject those innovations into their operations in order to gain operational savings and efficiencies. But before they do that, we advise them to have a higher level conversation to ensure they understand that digital transformation is as much about people as it is technology.”
She says improving the experience given to end customers and to internal employees are essential success factors in a move to digital technology.
“That is where real value will be unlocked in the long-term. We are having those conversations with our customers, asking them to consider the value they place on improving human experiences and using that as the guide to designing and implementing the new technology components and capabilities.”
Going above and beyond
Rutter says it is not enough for a system integrator to simply be a safe pair of hands, attending to all the technical aspects of a platform migration.
“Historically, DXC Oxygen has proven exceptional at providing that service. When it comes to implementing SAP solutions, customers know we carry low risk and get the job done on time and on scope. In today’s new market we need to offer more. We need to engage even more proactively, helping our customers to frame the entire digital transformation exercise and really get to the heart of what they are trying to achieve.”
DXC Technology’s global reach is a real advantage in this regard, says Rutter.
“We are leveraging our network of Digital Transformation Centres and tapping into the company’s wider consulting capabilities, experiences and partner ecosystem to ensure our customers have the necessary expertise to manage, not just the implementation of new technology, but change leadership and business strategy execution.”
Forging a clear path forward
Rutter says offering rapid time to value is key to DXC’s Oxygen’s approach to digitally enabling customers. But before jumping into technology, she encourages clients to undertake some fast-track strategy sessions.
“It is in these stakeholder workshops that we uncover exactly how an organisation wants to transform itself and deliver greater customer-centricity. These discussions are very valuable because they flush out any misunderstandings between different operational areas and provide a framework on which to bring the transformation exercise to life.”
She says it is often a learning exercise for both parties.
“Before talking about implementing a new e-commerce solution, for example, it is essential the organisation actually knows who their most valuable customers are and what their purchasing journey looks like? Answering these types of questions is fundamental to delivering technology that offers real value.”
Once the digital transformation vision and accompanying strategy are crystal clear, Rutter says that strategy needs to be worked down into the operational arms of each affected business area.
“In this experience economy, everyone needs to understand who the customer is and what the customer journey looks like. We then produce a transformation roadmap that outlines the technology components and capabilities they need in their business to deliver that promise.”
Time to deliver value
It is at this point, says Rutter, that DXC Oxygen’s deep industry expertise comes to the fore. The aim is to dramatically reduce executional complexity of any S/4 migration.
“We have a number of accelerators that we can deploy to ensure we fast track the time to value for each customer. We leverage that expertise, our technical knowledge of the SAP solution set and our strategic partnerships to accelerate the transformation for our customers. Our aim is to reduce the effort, minimise the cost and avoid the disruption of any S/4 transformation projects and get a pilot or MVP up and running as soon as possible. This lets our customers test drive the service and start collecting real world feedback from their customers to further inform and improve the transformation exercise.”
Rutter says the benefits that can accrue from moving to S/4 are considerable – lower operational costs, reductions in maintenance costs and significant productivity improvements are what every organisation wants – but sometimes struggle to see how they can get there.
“All the talk around digital transformation can be overwhelming and it is hard for organisations to know where to start. That is why we always start with a business conversation, rather than a technology one. Once there is a clear understanding of the what the vision is and what it means for both employees and end customers, we can provide them with a roadmap that gradually introduces innovation to improve operational efficiency and ultimately deliver improved customer experiences.”
Discover where DXC Oxygen & S/4HANA can take your business at Time4DigitalCore
This article is sponsored by DXC Oxygen