I would like to see every customer of SAP gain a level of user experience with SAP that sustains user satisfaction and realises real business value. This is an ambitious goal and all my experience points to one fact: realising this is a journey and not a destination. The reasons are simple – user expectations are increasing and what success looks like is evolving.
External to SAP there are a number of mega trends that affects people, organisations and society's expectations, for example the consumerisation of IT.
Internal to SAP there are a number of forces as a result of SAP responding to the external environment and our stated goals:
(1) The SAP Software Portfolio has increased at a pace since the mid 1990's, fuelled by technology evolution of the web and major acquisitions by SAP.
(2) Innovation by SAP led to the development of the global standard in business applications, powered by in-memory computing, cloud, analytics and mobility.
(3) SAP is fundamentally transforming its User Experience across this vast SAP portfolio and the pace of this change is accelerating.
For our customers there is one particularly important implication. The future of SAP is simplified business applications in the cloud, on an in-memory based platform, consumed anywhere by all stakeholders. The key question is when are you planning to switch over?
This decision is integral to your IT and resulting SAP Strategy. Are you an early adopter or part of the early majority? At the time of writing we are probably nearing the end of the early adopter stage. That means if you are not yet planning for such a transition you probably already fall within the late majority segment of customers.
The reason for including this in the first blog is to make it clear that there is a transition journey for SAP customers and the underlying architecture separates those customers on the high road from those on the low road. Both are valid, as long as you have defined this strategy. If you have not yet then I strongly recommend that this is a top priority for 2015.