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Digital Transformation – The SAP User Community Perspective

Wrapping it all up – part six of a six-part weekly collaborative series between Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) and the German SAP Users’ Group, Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe (DSAG)

Through the past five parts of this blog series, we have taken you through our perspective on what Digital Transformation means to the SAP ecosystem. We wrap it all up here with this timely post. Timely because a week from now we will continue this conversation live and in person at SAPPHIRE® NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orland, Florida May 16–19, 2016. If you are not planning to attend, there is still time to change your mind. Regardless, however, we will continue to share our thoughts and perspectives on this important topic.

No matter where your company is on the Digital Transformation adoption journey, there’s a very good chance there are hundreds of other companies grappling with the same difficult questions. This is why you invest your time to be part of our user groups—to be educated, to network and learn from each other, and to influence SAP as it continues to refine and mature its solutions—solutions that ultimately become your solutions and your own disruption engine.

Rest assured, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t get you off the hook, either.

There are some pivotal next steps that you should consider sooner rather than later:


  • Think of yourself as the next disruptor, versus reacting to those who get there first. Take some time to imagine how you can disrupt your competitors using Digital Transformation, rather than waiting until you have to resort to defensive moves.

  • Get started as soon as possible, work in an agile manner, take calculated risks and accept that not every digital initiative spawns a unicorn. If you think you can wait and see what others are doing before making your own moves, you are likely to find yourself behind the pack and trying to play catch up. Assemble some strategic approaches, and then build buy-in with your peers.

  • Start identifying the people who can transform with you, and help them get the right training and knowledge to succeed. For those that can’t take this step, figure out if they can still contribute in different roles and, if not, work with them to transition to something else.
  • Begin to differentiate between strategic and non-strategic processes and assets. What can you do to move non-value added processes to standard software solutions versus custom? Note that we are not suggesting you outsource technology. Rather, rely on partners to provide the innovation and speed you need. Customize where you need to for competitive advantage, but make those choices carefully. Recognize out-of-the-box software will help you move faster than highly customized software. If you have outsourced the creative assets you need in your journey, consider bringing them back under your control.

  • Cultural change management and transformation are key enablers of success. Change is scary and the fear of the unknown is real. And while we all talk about the importance of creating a culture that encourages risk-taking, we know that in most member organizations, the learned behavior is vastly different.

To learn more, visit the ASUG Digital Transformation Home Page. From there you can download webcasts and other important information. You can also watch our seminal webcast, Ready or Not, Digital Is Your Business – What SAP Customers Need to Know, which was recorded on April 20, 2016.

Geoff Scott is the CEO of Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG).