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MilanSchulze
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
In today's rapidly evolving business landscape, SAP's strategy revolves around empowering organizations to navigate the dynamic challenges they face. As businesses strive to stay competitive and relevant, SAP focuses on three core customer imperatives that drive its approach to innovation and solutions:

Business Agility: Achieving business agility is paramount in an era where change is the only constant. Organizations must become more agile, reliable, and continually innovate to thrive. This journey demands a delicate balance of people, technology, and processes. SAP understands that adapting to the ever-shifting marketplace requires the right tools and strategies. Business agility isn't just a goal; it's a necessity for survival and growth.

Supply Chain Resilience: The modern business landscape is interconnected on a global scale, and supply chains are the lifeblood of organizations. They must be resilient, adaptable, and capable of responding to the unpredictability of market conditions and customer demands. SAP recognizes the importance of building supply chains that can weather disruptions and swiftly adapt to changing circumstances. This imperative is not just about streamlining operations; it's about ensuring a company's ability to meet customer expectations and maintain its competitive edge.

Sustainability Outcomes: In an age of increasing environmental awareness and responsibility, sustainability is no longer optional - it's an imperative. Every organization shares a responsibility for the planet's future. Customers are demanding sustainable practices, and businesses are eager to meet these expectations while ensuring long-term success. SAP's commitment to sustainability extends beyond green initiatives; it encompasses sustainable business practices that lead to lasting outcomes, aligning with the global goal of creating a better future for all.

Considering these main customer imperatives, it's evident that business transformation is a pressing need for organizations worldwide. Embracing change, fostering agility, securing supply chains, and championing sustainability are not mere buzzwords; they are the cornerstones of success in today's competitive landscape. Business transformation goes beyond a singular solution; it encompasses a suite of methodologies, expertise and tools that help organizations adapt and thrive.

This brings us to the synergy - the growing capabilities of SAP Signavio and the acquisition of LeanIX. Both tool capabilities seamlessly align with SAP's vision for business transformation. By combining SAP's robust suite of solutions with Signavio’s Business Process Management (BPM) capabilities and LeanIX's expertise in Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM), organizations can unlock new levels of agility, resilient global supply chains, and accelerate their journey toward sustainability. The synergies are a testament to SAP's commitment to addressing the core challenges faced by businesses today - And in this first blogpost I want to explain why:

 

Business Transformation

Business transformation is the process of fundamentally changing an organization's strategies, processes, technologies, and culture to achieve a desired outcome. It's a response to the evolving demands of the business landscape, whether driven by market shifts, technological advancements, or changing customer expectations. While the end goal of transformation is often increased efficiency, competitiveness, and sustainability, the path to achieving these objectives can be exceptionally complex.

The complexity of business transformation is amplified by the VUCA world - Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. These VUCA elements make business transformation a formidable undertaking, where traditional approaches often fall short. To succeed in this environment, organizations must consider multiple dimensions.

 

The Main Dimensions of Business Transformation

The journey towards business transformation is complex and multifaceted, touching upon various critical dimensions. To navigate this intricate terrain successfully, it's imperative to always consider these dimensions holistically:

Processes: Business processes are the backbone of any organization. Transforming them involves reevaluating existing workflows, identifying bottlenecks, and optimizing for efficiency and agility. Process transformation ensures that organizations can adapt quickly to changes in the market.

Systems: Technology plays a pivotal role in transformation. This dimension involves evaluating and upgrading existing IT infrastructure, implementing new software and platforms, and ensuring they align with the organization's strategic goals. Modern systems enable organizations to streamline operations and enhance customer experiences.

Data: In the age of data-driven decision-making, data transformation is crucial. It involves collecting, analyzing, and leveraging data to gain insights, improve processes, and make informed strategic decisions. Data transformation enables organizations to stay ahead of market trends and customer preferences.

People: Perhaps the most critical dimension of business transformation is the human element. Employees must be equipped with the skills, knowledge, and mindset to embrace change and drive the transformation forward. Leadership, communication, and a culture of innovation are essential components of people transformation.

In this regard SAP and Sebastian Steinhaeuser (Chief Strategy Officer at SAP) recognized a orchestration demand: “Some of our customers have complex and highly interconnected IT landscapes that make it difficult to know how business processes are being executed. At the same time, it's nearly impossible to make process changes without visibility into and understanding of their IT landscape. Put simply: Systems and processes are two sides of the same coin.

In conclusion, business transformation is a complex endeavor that is essential for organizations to thrive in today's world. To succeed, it's crucial to address multiple dimensions, including processes, systems, data, and most importantly, people. Signavio’s and LeanIX's integration into SAP's business transformation suite aligns with this holistic approach, offering organizations a comprehensive toolkit to navigate the complexities of transformation and even more brings more dimensions like strategy into the mix.

 

The Key Pillars of Business Transformation

As we delve deeper into the intricate world of business transformation and key dimensions like processes, it becomes evident that success in this endeavor requires a robust framework and the right resources. Just like constructing and maintaining a house, building a transformed and future-prove organization (with for example the implementation of a new ERP system) demands careful planning, the right materials, and sophisticated tools. SAP Signavio plays a pivotal role in shaping these key pillars that underpin a successful business transformation:

  1. Methodology: The Blueprint of a House


Imagine embarking on a construction project without a clear blueprint - it would be chaos. Similarly, in business transformation, a well-defined methodology serves as the blueprint for success. SAP Signavio provides an exemplary methodology known as the SAP Signavio Process Transformation Methodology. This comprehensive approach guides organizations through the entire transformation journey, from initial analysis and process design to execution and continuous improvement; having the aforementioned dimensions of a business transformation in its core.


SAP Signavio Process Transformation Methodology


SAP Signavio's approach effectively bridges the gap between business process management (BPM) and application lifecycle management (ALM), aligning these critical aspects of organizational operations between IT and the business. Just like a blueprint ensures a house is built to spec, this methodology ensures that every step of the transformation aligns with the organization's goals.

  1. Knowledge: The Material for a House


In building a house, you need quality materials to ensure its strength and longevity. In the realm of business transformation, knowledge serves as the fundamental material for success. SAP offers a wealth of knowledge resources, including for example content on the SAP Business Accelerator Hub and Value Accelerators from SAP Signavio. These resources provide organizations with the necessary information, templates, best practices, and benchmarks to make informed decisions and shape the transformation journey effectively. Knowledge is the bedrock upon which transformation is built, much like the materials in constructing a house.

  1. Tools: The Equipment to Build a House


Finally, we come to the tools, the focus of this blog post, which are essential for constructing and maintaining a house. In the context of business transformation, tools play a crucial role in translating plans and knowledge into tangible results. SAP Signavio's integration into SAP's suite of solutions enhances the toolkit available to organizations. These tools empower businesses to manage, design, model, optimize, and execute their processes seamlessly.


SAP Signavio Process Transformation Suite


But something was still missing...

 

Navigating the Complexity of Business Transformations

In the realm of complex business transformations, organizations encounter multifaceted challenges – without a chance of having a one-size-fits-all offering. There will be always a diverse set of methodologies and tools available to serve the variety of business transformations (- In this blog post we just touch a small, but strategically very important part of SAP’s whole offering). And now think of it as if you’re tasked with not just building one single house but maintaining and optimizing an entire city. Within this intricate landscape, LeanIX plays the role of a master city planner, offering a unified approach to navigate the transformation journey efficiently. This urban analogy underscores the crucial role of Enterprise Architecture in overseeing technology alignment and adaptability, bridging the gap between an organization’s current state and its desired future.

Visualizing Architectural Landscapes: LeanIX equips organizations to visualize their technology landscape, much like an architect creating blueprints of different apartments for a whole complex. It offers a panoramic view that encompasses everything from applications and data flows to infrastructure components. This visual clarity empowers decision-makers by providing a deeper understanding of the organization's technological assets, akin to architects having a clear plan before laying the foundation.

Facilitating Data-Driven Decision-Making: In today's data-driven world, LeanIX empowers organizations to make decisions based on data and insights. It facilitates informed decisions regarding technology investments and rationalization by offering valuable metrics and analytics. This data-driven approach ensures that technology initiatives are closely aligned with the overarching business strategy.

Enhancing Collaboration: LeanIX fosters collaboration among various stakeholders within an organization, like city planners working with architects, builders, and local authorities. It helps to bridge the gaps between IT teams, business units, and leadership, encouraging a unified approach to technology management. Collaboration is vital for ensuring that technology seamlessly aligns with the organization's business goals and objectives.

Aligning with Business Strategy: Beyond the technical aspects of transformation, LeanIX ensures that technology and architecture align seamlessly with the broader strategic objectives of the company. This alignment is critical for sustaining competitiveness, fostering innovation, and ensuring long-term success.


Overview of the LeanIX Meta Model with examples


LeanIX’s EAM potential aligns with SAP’s principles and SAP Signavio’s capabilities. It empowers organizations to visualize their architectural landscapes, make data-driven decisions, enhance collaboration, and ensure technology alignment with strategic goals. Just as a skilled city planner brings harmony to the different “dimensions” of a city (like terrain, public transport, power grid, sewerage system etc.), LeanIX enables organizations to harmonize their complex transformation efforts. When there is the need to build a new apartment complex (or implement a new ERP system), stakeholders need to take all the other dimensions into account. LeanIX unifies processes, systems, data, and people and adds even more dimensions into a cohesive vision, providing the clarity and direction needed to navigate the path of transformation.


Simple Equation: Business Transformation = EAM + BPM × ALM


The acquisition of LeanIX adds another component to SAP reconfiguring itself as a holistic software and business transformation provider. As Steinhaeuser said in the media briefing: “To capture that opportunity with LeanIX, we are planning to create a unique and comprehensive Business Transformation Suite.” Furthermore Christian Klein (CEO and Member of the Executive Board of SAP) mentioned: “Systems and processes go hand in hand. […] Together with LeanIX, we want to offer a first-of-its-kind transformation suite to provide holistic support to our customers on their business transformation journeys. Building on our decades of expertise, we’ll embed generative AI to offer self-optimizing applications and processes that can help businesses achieve key goals such as maximizing cash flow while minimizing their environmental impact.

 

In the End, it’s all about People: The Architects of Transformation

It is crucial to emphasize that in the end, it's all about the people - the architects, builders, and inhabitants of the city. Among the various dimensions, pillars, and tools that exist, people remain the most vital component of success. They are the ones who conceive, design, and execute the transformation journey. They are the ones who conceive, design, and execute the transformation journey - Who build houses (BPM + ALM with SAP Signavio and other SAP solutions) and maintain whole cities (EAM with LeanIX).

SAP's solutions not just unify the dimensions of transformation, they also unify the people involved. They foster collaboration among different stakeholders and align their efforts with the overarching transformation goals. SAP's suite, including transformation-focused tools like SAP Signavio and (in future) LeanIX, serve as enablers, but it's the people who bring the vision to life.

 

Conclusion

SAP’s and SAP Signavio's integration with the soon acquired LeanIX portfolio marks an exciting milestone in the evolution of SAP's business transformation suite. These strategic moves signify a commitment to providing comprehensive solutions for organizations aiming to optimize their insights, streamline processes, and drive business transformation. In future we'll dive deeper into the combined Management of Enterprise Architectures, Business Processes and Application Lifecycles. Stay tuned for more insights, as we unravel the synergy between SAP and its overarching toolchain, SAP Signavio, LeanIX, and their role in shaping the future of business transformation.
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