Customer Question of the Month: How can I ensure success in complex enterprise transformations?
Complex transformations can have large project teams and extensive technological requirements that can be a challenge for your organization. Here’s how to make sure your enterprise digital transformation is a success.
Enterprise Digital Transformation: The Good News
On a basic level, there’s less to worry about than you probably think. The enterprise digital transformation process is mature and scalable, enabling a good team to tackle whatever unique challenges your landscape faces.
Generally, ERP providers have well-designed methodologies to ensure enterprise transformations are successful. SAP users are in a particularly strong position with SAP Activate, a meticulously designed methodology to build, migrate or upgrade your SAP landscape. It provides a detailed breakdown of the steps involved, along with resources to cover nearly any conceivable SAP use case. The same tools and processes you use to upgrade your QA or Dev landscape can upgrade, test and debug an entire enterprise transformation.
But Enterprise Project Management Can Be a Challenge
The methodology may be sound, but digital transformation methodologies like SAP Activate still depend on people, and people can make mistakes. This is one of the reasons these methodologies use recursive methods and quality controls — if you miss a problem in one stage of the project, you’ll likely find it with testing and iron it out at a later point.
But with an extremely complex enterprise transformation with many moving parts, mistakes can sometimes slip undetected through the early stages of the project, requiring complex, time consuming and expensive remediation later on. This can cause unacceptable delays, hurt ROI, and potentially even sink a project.
Limits in the tools you use can cause problems as well. Changes in one system can cause unanticipated effects in other systems — a risk that compounds rapidly as complexity grows. While your team may have a good methodology for detecting and mitigating these effects on paper, they may not have effective digital tools to catch them in practice. Your team is forced to laboriously find and correct bugs in testing that could have been corrected much earlier with better technology to model the way landscape components interact.
You Need an Enterprise Transformation Platform
Many enterprise software providers have standardized the digital transformation methodology, but not the tech and processes that realize it. Companies like SAP leave a lot of room for third-party vendors to build their own tools and customize their approaches to upgrades and migrations, to complement vendor tools. This incentivizes vendors to develop more effective tools, and give users a greater range of options.
However, the flip side is that users often don’t know what to look for. Just choosing an upgrade and migration strategy can often be a major challenge for companies. Having to potentially evaluate the tech stacks of half a dozen different vendors, and how the components work together in enterprise digital transformation is downright unrealistic for most companies — any time or cost you might save based on it would be more than offset by the research costs and deliberation.
Fortunately, you don’t need to shop for discrete tools, so much as a system. Look or a vendor with a single platform dedicated for realizing the methodology, integrating whatever tools that takes to maximize productivity. That tool should automate anything that can be automated (including tracking and reporting) and make the process as easy and intuitive as possible, from high level project management tasks like distributing workloads to the individual component tasks that go into realizing a digital transformation.
For the SAP ecosystem, that platform is Protera FlexBridge. FlexBridge combines SAP and third-party apps with our own tools, to make the most complete, effective SAP upgrade, migration and transformation platform yet. It unifies technical, functional, management and other stakeholders in a single interface, and acts as a repository for work throughout the project, with tracking that makes it easy to eliminate the missed steps and undetected errors that can slow down a complex enterprise digital transformation.
It also automates a few things that no one else has managed to yet. For example, SAP upgrades used to require a manual code audit at the start of the project to detect what upgrades and changes the landscape requires. FlexBridge automates that entire task, potentially saving a week or more of costly and tedious work — for free. Whether you decide to work with Protera or not, you’ll have a complete guide to upgrading your landscape before your project begins.
You Need the Right Enterprise Digital Transformation Team
A strong platform can make a good team better, but it can’t make a mediocre team good. Even if you automate away a lot of the “grunt work,” you still need skilled and intelligent professionals at each stage of the process. Among other things, your choice of vendor can affect:
- Goal-setting: Any enterprise migration or transformation needs to address the needs of multiple stakeholders. Long-term benefits like greater agility need to be balanced with short-term gains, such as quick ROI or increased productivity. Functional goals need to be backed by strong technical goals, so that the system provides the necessary level of performance.Finally, the digital enterprise transformation needs to meet the needs of stakeholders at every level of the company, providing tools that aren’t just impressive to the C Suite, but are also useful for the ground floor workers who will be using them. Your partner’s industry knowledge and product management skill is an irreplaceable component in setting the right goals.
- Tech stack: Whatever your use case, there’s a good chance that there are at least a dozen ways to meet it. Planning enterprise digital transformation means confronting a tremendous range of choices, from your cloud hosting platforms, to database solutions, development tools and third-party apps.The right choice often hinges on company-specific factors, such as your internal tech competencies (e.g. does your team already have experience with Azure or AWS?), culture and existing tech stack. At the same time, you need to be able to weigh the strengths, weaknesses and costs of the components available. An experienced enterprise transformation partner can provide invaluable insight to help you build out the ideal solution for your company.
- Disruption: Your business depends on your landscape for daily operations. There’s always going to be some downtime when you rollover to your new landscape, but you want to minimize disruption as much as possible.At the same time, you need to consider other factors. You The better your team is, the more they’ll be able to reduce downtime and disruption, and ensure a smooth rollout and quick ROI. Your team can also help you make the complex decisions
- Future projects: One of the most important goals to consider in any digital transformation is future transformations. As technology continues to advance and your company continues to grow, you’ll need to plan and execute other upgrades or even radical changes in technology strategy.The right partner can position you to succeed in future projects by helping you plan out a long-term tech strategy, and change in internal processes to make digital change easier. Just as importantly, your partner can serve as a trustworthy extension of your team, ready to help you continue to grow and thrive, whatever the future brings.
Protera brings the right combination of cutting edge platform and extensive digital experience to plan and execute an optimal enterprise digital transformation. To get started, contact us for a self-service assessment report.