Talking about business transformation is almost as common as talking about the weather. Unfortunately, actually transforming business is much harder. The questions are huge, hard, and complex:
- Where to start?
- What to change?
- Why is change needed?
- How could/should we change?
- What does success look like?
These are just a few of the many questions about business transformation. They begin to convey why organizations may dwell in talk, and not actual transformative action.
Speaking of talk, ASUG recently tackled some of these questions with SAP experts in a conversation that may help our members and customers become more comfortable with transformative action. Specifically, I had a candid conversation about Business Process Transformation with Rouven Morato, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SAP Signavio, and Wassilios Lolas, Global Vice President, Center of Excellence, SAP Signavio. Morato and Lolas are uniquely positioned to provide relevant insights into how customers are transforming their businesses and how SAP can help support these transformation efforts. We covered substantial ground; here is some of what I heard and learned.
Where Can We Transform?
One of the challenges that I hear from customers is not whether they want to transform, but rather where to start. Morato and Lolas contend process transformation always should start with analysis. If you don’t understand where existing processes are weak or strong, or how processes compare to other companies’ similar processes—inside or outside your competitive set or industry—then finding the best practices solution can be a shot in the dark.
Additionally, how can you identify differentiating processes–ones that deliver unique business value—from processes that are merely different, ones that may represent improvement opportunities? Morato and Lolas shared several examples where customers used Signavio process intelligence tools to gain a deeper understanding not only of what their processes are, but where improvement opportunities exist.
Processes Are Not Application-Specific
Even in the least complicated technology landscapes, it is unlikely that core business processes are executed in a single system or application. To understand a business process, you must look at the process end-to-end, and not just at the applications that support the steps. During our discussion, Morato and Lolas both reinforced this idea. They pointed out that the Signavio process intelligence tools are designed from the ground up to focus on process intelligence, not just on application intelligence. In fact, prior to the SAP full acquisition of Signavio, most of its customer were not SAP users. This means Signavio can evaluate a process end-to-end, and span both SAP and non-SAP solutions.
When Can We Transform?
Although I did not realize it, I went into this Morato-Lolas conversation with a narrow view of where a process intelligence solution could help a business transform. My focus primarily had been on process transformation as an event or a project; an effort with a defined end-state or goal. Because of this, my “when” question was more around how to incorporate process transformation into a larger application upgrade.
Yet I came to realize through the discussion that customers can use the solution as a continuous improvement enabler. Using Signavio as a framework for delivering operational excellence and continuous improvement, even tying in customer experience and innovation, can provide a business-focused solution that supports an ongoing transformation agenda.
Continuing Conversation Connections
The conversation with Morato and Lolas was valuable, important, and not a unique experience. ASUG Editorial has interviewed and featured content from these experts in 2022 and will continue to tap into them. What’s more, this recent conversation is part of the ASUG Executive Exchange Fireside Chat series that includes audio/video interviews of SAP and SAP partner executive leaders. ASUG Executive Exchange members have on-demand access to the entire chat to learn more about Signavio and how customers use the toolset to identify and deliver meaningful process transformation to their businesses.