IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
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Mon, 22nd Aug 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The ongoing crises the world faces make one thing increasingly clear: to remain future-proof, companies need to act now and tackle the transformation projects they have postponed due to concerns about expenses and risks. New technologies play a key role here. But what type of innovation makes sense, and what needs to be considered in order to unlock its full potential?

In view of the current challenges, decision-makers are faced with daunting tasks: amid crises, their main focus is on solving the most pressing problems. But digital progress must not be overlooked. These past pandemic years, the climate crisis, and further crises have all shown that the more digital companies are, the more flexibly they can respond to massive changes within markets. Now is the time for management to seize the opportunities that come with new technologies.

Choosing the right technology

When choosing a technology, companies should base their decision on the end goal, and the added value that is created for the company must be clear. For example, logistics experts could explore the benefits of big data when looking to predict disruptive factors in their supply chain more quickly and precisely, as well as collaborate more transparently with other entities in the supply chain. Retailers who want to provide a personalised shopping experience for their customers and analyse purchasing habits to adapt their business and marketing strategies might consider the use of artificial intelligence (AI). And those in the production sector looking to perform predictive maintenance on their equipment to cut costs and increase productivity could examine a solution based on the internet of things (IoT).

Innovations only pay off if they are integrated into a company's day-to-day business in an effective way. Starting from their current state, companies need to define the target state they want to achieve in the future. Decision-makers are well advised to already involve experts in the analysis phase: to create a clearly defined roadmap, they must be able to gain deep insights from the complex IT landscapes and correctly classify the information obtained. Here, conventional methods are too prone to errors. In contrast, software-based processes enable companies to perform comprehensive analyses that allow them to plan their digitalisation strategy, the switch to SAP S/4HANA, and the move to the cloud perfectly before implementing them rapidly and with minimal risk.

To make the most of new technologies and quickly tap their full potential, companies must first lay the groundwork. The move to the cloud, for example, is highly relevant here. By outsourcing their own applications and IT services to the internet, companies can establish permanent, location-independent data traffic between people, machines, and vehicles, helping them to collect and analyse big data in a professional manner.

If IT landscapes still lack the necessary technology, it is vital to check exactly what groundwork is required for the update. This ensures that the transformation project can be implemented within the desired timeframe. In addition, project managers can maintain a complete overview of the costs, technical complexity, and time required.

Decision-makers should see digital technologies as an important tool for achieving corporate goals and staying as up-to-date as possible on new developments, not to mention doing so faster than the competition. Innovations must always be examined to assess their benefit to the company or the industry. Fortunately, management is not alone in this endeavour. Specialised service providers can help to form an idea of what business processes could look like when enhanced by digital solutions.

The cloud as a driver of innovation

Migrating SAP systems to the cloud is a challenge that companies can overcome well if they adopt the right methods and get experienced partners on board. There are plenty of good reasons for companies to promote cloud usage. However, to do so, their cloud strategy and the end goals they want to achieve with the cloud should be clear. To meet the challenges and avoid pitfalls along the way, companies should therefore start their journey to the cloud with systematic planning and clearly defined goals. These goals must be in line with the overall corporate strategy and must be recorded in a cloud roadmap, just like the requirements and general framework. Since the success of cloud transformations greatly depends on the technical implementation, companies also need to clarify at an early stage which partner will migrate the data, applications, and systems. Moving existing SAP systems with a long operating history is a particularly challenging task for IT experts. However, with a flexible, software-based solution, even complex migration projects can be implemented with minimal risk and near-zero downtime. This also avoids long and complex preliminary projects and quickly creates the necessary transparency regarding the best cloud strategy and the associated time frame and costs.