This is Article 3 in a three-part blog series by M. Nadia Vincent (see bio below) on “How to Optimize Your SAP S/4HANA Cloud Investment ROI With Executive Data Management & Governance.”
This article, written in August 2022, is in the context of an announced recession, with many businesses considering cost reduction and further investment. Is cloud computing an investment decision that can be delayed?
In the previous article, we discussed data management as a value chain and the backbone of an intelligent organization. We are in the second machine age of the digital age, a time when data is at the core of every business. Data, more specifically a cloud ecosystem, is not a cost center but a business revenue center – if not the heart of the company. A recession is a challenging time for businesses and consumers, but business continues the march onward, and people make the necessary adjustments to live. With the speed of digital transformation and technology innovation, delaying cloud investment could be a suicidal business decision.
Cloud investment is a sustainable investment. A business may, in a worst-case scenario, delay the implementation of other advanced innovation technologies that build up on the cloud but choose not to delay the cloud ecosystem itself. The SAP S/4HANA cloud is an essential digital business technology now and in the future.
Looking into the future of your business through digital possibilities and SAP S/4HANA Cloud
An organization’s future primarily depends on the vision of its executive team. Let me inspire you to see what you could achieve with the outstanding opportunities we can create today using digital technology. Technology is accessible and powerful, unlike 30 years ago when even weak tech was still a competitive edge. Your most competitive assets are your leadership team and digital strategy. Every organization needs visionary leaders to reinvent them; they do not have to work alone. With the help of digital transformation advisors like myself, you can be inspired to see beyond the fog of today’s problems and create a new reality for your organization and business future.
The Digital Wheel of Wealth (graphic below)
The Digital Wheel of Wealth is a tool I have created to help inspire leaders to see opportunities of the digital age beyond technology – achievable through new and continuously improved digital intelligence. It works optimally in conjunction with my guidance and in consultation with your business leaders. Still, here, I’ll give you general guidelines that you can use to see opportunities for your business better.
Your investment in SAP S/4HANA cloud is an investment for creating the future of your business; let’s inspire you to achieve more with your cloud ecosystem.
With digital intelligence, some key opportunities are as follows:
1. Broken Barriers – Many of the old, existing barriers in business are broken, propelling the world to best function as one responsible entity instead of different countries and entities. That led to what we call globalization. Every business has the opportunity to take advantage of these broken barriers. As a result, our old business models are obsolete today. Companies that adopt digital-age business models will meet digital success, while the ones that have not adjusted will experience digital death.
To succeed in the digital age, every business should be precise in taking advantage of the broken barriers of distance, time, physical reality, space, and volume/quantity.
2. New Efficiency – Productivity, as we currently know it, is entirely different. Even the progress of the early digital age, where computers were used to achieve productivity but were driven by human intelligence, is primarily obsolete. With the advent of robust cloud storage and processing, exceptional machine power, and the age of advanced artificial intelligence, you should reinvent your business strategy for how business is done, from the processes to the roles and skills needed.
Most processes from industrial-age businesses are outdated or simply irrelevant today. They need to be reviewed, and in most cases, the business needs to adopt new processes along with new methods and roles for their successful execution. One crucial aspect is knowing the functions to delegate to humans as opposed to machines – and when (and how) to have them collaborate
3. Limitless Possibilities – It’s usually commonplace to say “the sky is the limit,” but in today’s environment, it’s more apt to say that “your imagination is the limit.” However, all of the inspiration doesn’t have to originate from you! Getting inspiration and insights from around you is a natural part of the fabric of leadership. In these articles, my goal is to fire up your imagination for you to properly consider what is possible to create, improve, progress, or implement.
Once you’re aware of the opportunities digital intelligence brings and the multiple powerful and affordable digital technologies available, you’ll understand that we are in a historical time to create digital wealth – now and into the future.
4. Leadership – Our educational systems are traditionally geared towards management roles, which were most needed in the industrial age. In today’s digital world, we need to be focused more on leadership, as many managerial tasks can be pre-programmed and delegated to artificial intelligence or intelligent machines. More than ever, we need visionaries, rainmakers, innovators, protectors, and inspiring leaders.
Many may fear a world where human jobs are lost to automation. However, inspiring leaders who can self-transform to tap into the tremendous human pool of intelligence are necessary. They can become the necessary champions of artificial intelligence, realizing it is there to help us achieve more and untap our potential. Tools cannot achieve that alone, but as humans, we can inspire each other to go further and embrace digital intelligence to support us.
5. Growth and Expansion – The digital age is one with massive growth and expansion opportunities for every entity that desires it. Because of the broken barriers powered by advanced digital technology, a business can achieve growth that could not even be fathomed in the industrial age. All it takes is the right leadership strategy and the correct resources.
6. New Relationships – The digital age is an era of new relationships between man, machines, the fauna, the flora, and the cosmos. With globalization, we can see, feel and experience the impact of everyone’s actions on humans and our interactions with the precited entities. We are to be more responsible for our actions because we are in an ecosystem with finite resources and where we can witness the other entities’ reactions to our actions.
Considering the six opportunities above and your investment in SAP S/4HANA cloud, consider these questions about your business to get you thinking about maximizing your business potential with digital opportunities.
- Have you reviewed your business model for the digital age?
Your business’ sustainability and growth may be found in creating new business models. Perhaps several business models would make sense for your sector – not just one!
- What opportunities can you foresee for your organization when considering the broken barriers?
- What digital efficiencies could your organization benefit from? (productivity, accessibility, measurability, visualization, understandability, assistance)
- What are some primary possibilities or visions you can imagine for your organization’s future? Please define them to the best of your specificity.
- Who are the leaders that will inspire your organization at various levels?
- What are possible future growth and expansion opportunities for your people and your organization?
- Have you thought through the relationship between your organic, human associates and how they can work effectively with data and AI? What relationship may you create or improve?
May you continuously reap abundant opportunities for your organization in the digital age.
For further reading and more information, check out:
M. Nadia Vincent, MBA
Digital Transformation, AI & Innovation Executive Advisor
Marie Nadia Vincent, MBA, is a Digital Transformation Executive Advisor, Author and Senior Technology Management Consultant specialized in digital transformation leadership, artificial intelligence adoption, and strategic business innovation. She is ranked in the Top 10 Global Thought Leaders in Digital Transformation, AI, Innovation, Business Continuity and, Leadership, by Thinkers 360.
She has over two decades of international experience leading and implementing digital transformation for Fortune and large organizations; and also coaching smaller business executives internationally and principally in Europe and North America. She is the author of Leveraging Digital Transformation, a digital transformation leadership book.
Nadia has led and implemented many businesses and IT transformation initiatives in industries such as international banking, trading & settlement, financial services, energy distribution, electronic payments, insurance, European airline traffic control, retail market, petrol distribution, and the European Commission Government, and more.
Nadia holds two executive certificates from MIT SLOAN School of Management in Management & Leadership, and Strategy & Innovation, as well an MBA in Global Technology Management, a Business Management Bachelor and an Associate of Applied Science in Informatics. She speaks English, French, and Spanish, and consults worldwide.