Delivering an Intelligent Enterprise

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Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” While the definition and discussions around Intelligent Enterprises evolve, are you really making your organization intelligent or simply adding components of technology platforms, operations and experience management (XM) linked to a suite of business applications to feel clever?

As the Global Head of the Intelligent Enterprise Offering at Capgemini, I travel extensively around the world (lately virtually), evaluating the exciting opportunities an intelligent enterprise presents itself with to clients, partners, and colleagues while building and demonstrating innovation, MVPs, APIs using SaaS components from SAP and other vendors, reinventing business models, etc.

I’ve often observed on projects, sales campaigns, and roadmaps the Intelligent Enterprise message gets diluted and isn’t a touted priority once work gets underway. Anyone in a role similar to mine will notice on SAP S/4HANA roadmap bids, tenders start with a focus on things we term “all-things-intelligent-enterprise,” but a few months into “build,” the idea sometimes doesn’t necessarily translate accordingly or ends up as a business case on the deployment costs of cloud platforms.

There’re several reasons why this happens, and a move to a new mindset of operating stands tall. Intelligent Enterprises aren’t about being an “ABAP-asaur” anymore and doing complex point-to point integrations. If there is a reason the tenders don’t translate as originally planned, it’s a tendency to drift back to “this is how we’ve done it” attitude.

An Intelligent Enterprise requires some big decisions to be made on architecture, methodology, tools, and even inter-organization play. In some cases, I’ve seen incentives for sales teams not tied between departments. I am amazed sometimes at the degree of co-operation in the organization structure. Is your organization one where the point of contact for cloud hosting licenses has no idea of the SaaS play and partnerships with other solution providers?

A driving principle with Intelligent Enterprises is the possibility of the final solution having the involvement of several companies and solutions. The skills to deliver and sell are different from those of the team buying/selling. Without the firm business outcome linked to the right deliverable model, for a solution that could require multiple components and new delivery methods, contracting and procuring needs more thought.

I believe many people (clients, consultants, and sales) still love the ideas of physical servers, and although they can rationalize that a cloud platform is mutualized hosting, they don’t grasp the SaaS components play, and drift back to a hosting mentality.

Capgemini’s own Renewable Enterprise vision, has subtly different messages but aligns well with the sentiment of the SAP Intelligent Enterprise. There is no compelling reason not to deliver an intelligent enterprise, despite it being different and new. In summary, laptops of IT professional’s world over are full of “one I did earlier«“ documents, and if push comes to shove, they revert to a state of inertia of the system. Contact me directly if you want to know the why, what and how an intelligent enterprise works, transforms on an S/4HANA core and provides really great future-proof solutions with a valid business case.


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