Posted: 20 Aug. 2020 4 min.

Wow! What an amazing return after summer…

Topic: SAP

It has been a delight returning to work after the summer holiday period to engage with many companies who are already transitioning from corona quick-fixes into long-term digital solutions.

As I am writing this blog, I am well aware that many companies are struggling to make ends meet as uncertainty prevails and market conditions continue to change dramatically. Nothing is more difficult than future-proofing a business in the midst of economic turmoil and I truly sympathise with your predicament. 

However, there is also reason for optimism – and the most obvious reason for that optimism is the fact that so many companies are now taking the somewhat desperate quick-fixes from the darkest months of the COVID-19 crisis and using them as a basis for creating innovative, long-term solutions.

So, what has that got to do with SAP? Well, quite a lot. 

Firstly, I think it is now clear to everyone that the current market conditions are accelerating the digital journeys that had already begun before the crisis. As market demands shifted so profoundly and suddenly, companies have been under a huge pressure to have digital solutions complement pre-crisis products and services. Some have coped by putting together web-based solutions at the very last minute simply to keep in touch with customers and retain revenue streams as the whole world was closing down. Although this might work in the short run – and luckily it has for many – it is rarely a long-term solution when digital products and channels become mainstream rather than peripheral.

Secondly, as companies are now setting up their core business solutions and processes for long-term success rather than immediate survival, it has become evident that the notion of a clean, robust core with cloud-native satellites around it is now THE way to develop intelligent solutions in response to changing market conditions. This correlates with the philosophy of the SAP S/4HANA suite, which opens up for brand new functionality with the specific aim to build flexibility for customers and suppliers alike. This includes leading solutions for product servitisation, demand-driven MRP, production to individual customer specifications and intelligent cloud-based solutions, all of which I would say are essential weapons in the fight to boost competitiveness and re-start market penetration.

Interestingly for the market as a whole, it appears that what was a quick-fix during the worst hours of the crisis can actually become a stepping-stone for creating the digital landscape that will future-proof the business. This trend is exactly what we are starting to see in the market, and needless to say it sparks optimism for all of us who are happy to observe our clients thrive.

To support these important journeys, we in Deloitte are also ramping up on competences throughout the entire global organisation. In the UK and across Europe, we have just acquired 400+ SAP specialists from Keytree, an award-winning international consultancy, which is now part of the Deloitte family. During the coming months, on top of our Acomi acquisition in March and our onboarding of Marianne Mia Jensen as our local Danish Lead for SAP, we will also be onboarding additional significant profiles in our Nordic organisation, which I will tell you about as it happens. They will be 100 percent dedicated to the many clients who are accelerating their digital journeys right now whether the journeys focus on state-of-the-art digital customer interaction or building responsive, digital supply chains to improve resilience – or doing both at the same time.

What is clear to me as I am picking up client conversations after the holidays, is that all of those digital interactions that were previously thought of as appendices to the business are now becoming the cornerstone of business processes as companies are transforming and reinventing to thrive.

 

This, in itself, is a positive development – and the very reason for my optimism. 

Yes, the crisis is far from over, and many companies are still facing ruthless market conditions, but there is a sense of not wanting to give up and a drive, not just for survival, but to set themselves up for a next normal that nobody can fully foresee.  Many digital tools including those part of the SAP S/4HANA and C/4HANA suites have taken massive leaps over the last 4-5 years meaning what could not be done just a few years ago, in terms of flexible, scalable digital solutions enabling business transformation, can actually be realised today. 

Everything is up for grabs for the most visionary business leaders who are ready to turn their bold digitally-enabled strategies into reality and steal a march on their competitors and emblazon their company’s success in the post-COVID future.

More about the author

David Colgan

David Colgan

Partner

Spørg mig om: SAP, S/4 HANA, Digital transformation, IT-strategi, Programledelse, Digital Økonomifunktion, Cloud David er partner i Deloitte og nordisk leder af vores SAP-forretning. David har arbejdet med SAP siden 1997 og har således mere end 20 års erfaring med transformationsprogrammer, hvor det underliggende tema er SAP og økonomioptimering. David hjælper og rådgiver danske såvel som nordiske virksomheder med digitale transformationer og implementering af SAP.