April 4, 2018

Will SAP Leonardo transform digital innovation?

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Jouko Juuti

SAP architect, Tieto

SAP Leonardo, business driven application development, and an integrated service architecture create marvellous opportunities for advancing digital services.

Together, SAP Leonardo and Design Thinking methods create an effective combination that companies can utilise for digital innovations and business driven application development. Companies using SAP ERP can make the most of SAP Leonardo’s integrated IoT, analytics, big data, blockchain and machine learning technologies from the SAP cloud platform. There is a great deal of talk about new technologies such as IoT, but the search for solutions and applications has been far too technology driven. I believe that SAP Leonardo will make new technology utilisation easier, and advance the development of efficiency boosting services.

Companies can build for instance new analytics or machine learning functions and services on top of their SAP system. With Design Thinking, new applications can be developed in a controlled, agile way with business users also taking part in the process.

Application development will accelerate

Companies aspiring to succeed need user-driven application development, new technologies and integrated Bimodal IT architecture. 

Even Gartner has brought up how significant a challenge companies find complicated IT environments. Many companies are operating with ERP software that is 10-15 years old, which doesn’t serve current business requirements. This leads to costs soaring and discontent spreading in the business, and application development that is far too time consuming.  

It is great that companies wish to invest in digitalization and have started hiring Chief Digital Officers, CDOs, in alongside CIOs. Instead of building siloed environments, the time has come to invest in services and micro services that can be integrated into processes. Someone needs to take responsibility for creating the new architecture. The change calls for even more close-knit collaboration between the CIO and CDO.  

User-driven and agile application development is still rather new, and requires learning. Valuable information that helps develop user-friendly and productive services is obtained directly from the users. Many new, innovation enabling technologies are available, but it is still difficult to investigate and understand their potential as a part of a company’s business and the IT system that serves it.

Ample opportunities in manufacturing

According to a global survey* the greatest benefits of digitalization will be seen in manufacturing. A manufacturer can drive sales efficiency and maintenance by opening its processes up also to subcontractors in its supply chain.

Maintenance companies can be given device access through APIs, which enables providing customers with improved maintenance service. Subcontractors should also ensure their ability to digitally work with the client and thus for instance accelerate orders. 

The siloed environments of manufacturing companies have fractured  information flow, and relevant data does not digitally and transparently move through processes. This weakens their ability to react to market changes, and services required by business cannot be produced fast enough. With SAP Leonardo, new services can be developed on top of the basic systems through productised interfaces in a controlled manner. 

Agile application development is essential

SAP Leonardo is already utilised by many companies in the Nordics. SAP Leonardo offers significant benefits to companies still using traditional SAP ERP and companies moving to SAP S/4HANA.

SAP invests into transparency and SAP Leonardo is based on open source code. SAP solutions are positioned well in Gartner’s API Magic Quadrant, which says a lot about their integratability.

I recommend immediately starting agile application development and building a culture that supports it, and fostering digitalisation in a controlled manner, step by step. It is a good idea to start where the best profit is. I also recommend getting rid of tailored solutions to the extent that this is possible, for example alongside moving to SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management.

How to get started? 5 recommendations 

First of all, you should reflect on what you wish to offer to users and clients. The next step after this is identifying which services are required to create user-driven, simple applications.

1) Start learning how to use agile Design Thinking methods.

2) Utilise services that enable rapid application prototype development.

3) Use the continually developing SAP cloud offering, such as SAP Leonardo’s new solutions. 

4) Invest into integrated Bimodal IT architecture and get rid of tailored solutions alongside moving to SAP S/4HANA.    

5) Choose your partners with care. 

Tieto has extensive expertise on digital services that SAP Leonardo offers

Tieto’s partnership with SAP has lasted already over 20 years. We continually invest in our SAP capability and have reached many significant milestones.

As a Nordic company we work closely with our Nordic clients and always adjust our resources and teams according to our clients’ needs. Our operations are agile and we put together well-functioning services. Efficient environments are the quintessential element. This requires significant experience and the highest level of expertise.

I have closely followed the IT revolution for over 30 years. The way products and services are created will be transformed in an unprecedented manner by digitalization. Tieto has extensive expertise regarding all digital services that can now be combined into a working entity also with SAP Leonardo. 

Tieto’s SAP operations in a nutshell:  

  • We are one of the leading SAP service providers in the Nordic region
  • We have a gold level certificate in SAP Application Lifecycle Management
  • We managed the first SAP S/4HANA implementation in the Nordics
  • We have conducted our own product development to enable value add ERP transformation – Tieto Core for SAP S/4HANA offers the best practises and standard processes to achieve digital change with SAP technology.
  • Over 700 SAP consultants
  • Over 200 SAP clients
  • Tieto was included in Gartner’s SAP application services Magic Quadrant in EMEA (2017)

 
*The 2015 Digital Business Global Executive Study and Research Project, MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte

 

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