Last updated: Process change: How to transform enterprises without fear

Process change: How to transform enterprises without fear


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Figuratively speaking, ERP systems remain the backbone of the modern enterprise. Like your physical spine, which supports your body and the nerve connections needed to walk, twist, and move, ERP is what enables your business to function. It does this by linking the people, processes, and data in your organization for optimal productivity, keeping all projects flowing, providing insights, and more.

As with any backbone – physical or digital – excessive rigidity and brittleness isn’t a good thing. It’s dangerous for any organism, be it a person or an enterprise. Backbones need to bend and flex in an instant, handle changing workloads, and adapt to support new positions required by sports and everyday activities.

When they’re brittle, they can’t adapt or flex. They’re prone to injury and harder to heal once damaged. They can even break, putting all or part of your body or organization out of commission.

Business leaders with brittle ERP systems are keenly aware of this fact. It’s why they live in fear of process change. The typical mindset is: “Why risk breaking something that’s technically still working?”

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The fear of process change

For example, in our work with thousands of banks and insurance firms around the world, we see lots of large institutions that still operate as big, brittle “black boxes” of legacy ERP systems, automation, people and paper, manual handoffs, and outdated infrastructure.

Few processes are documented, and the people who built the customizations left the company years ago, so no one really understands how work gets done today.

This makes process transformation incredibly risky. Department heads are afraid that even a small process change in another line of business could have catastrophic effects on their downstream processes.

All of this results in a kind of process “brittleness” that can foster active resistance to innovation – at a time when financial institutions and insurance firms must embrace it.

Modern business requires rapid change

Today, we live in a world of continuous change. Businesses are being charged with restoring the environment, harnessing the latest technologies, meeting ever-increasing customer demands, responding to continuing geopolitical and supply chain issues, and more.

In response, companies are having to transform and innovate business models, products, and services to create new revenue streams, operate more sustainably and profitably, and deliver differentiating customer, supplier, and employee experiences.

This requires a flexible, adaptable ERP backbone based on best practices and full transparency into how your processes currently operate.

Business process change transformation solutions help by enabling you to:

  1. Understand what your processes look like today – the good, the bad, and the ugly – including where steps are manual and where interdependencies between functional areas are
  2. Identify what you can do better – for example, by digging into performing KPIs (such as days sales outstanding, credit rating, cash on hand, and time to pay invoice) and performance levels in key areas
  3. Make change recommendations using automated insights and process intelligence – from quick fixes that will have a material impact on process performance to end-to-end process overhauls
  4. Collaborate cross-functionally to map out how to improve or transform processes so you can optimize operations, innovate, and differentiate your business
  5. Provide recommendations on how to best utilize and deploy prebuilt workflows that come with an enterprise software solution to support non-differentiating processes

SAP Signavio: Transform with confidence

By providing real-time process transparency based on facts, intelligent insights, and best practice–based recommendations, business process transformation solutions help you de-risk process change.

Put simply, you can go from no to yes – from fear-based inaction to confident, low-risk action.

At SAP, we’re using business process transformation software – specifically, the SAP Signavio portfolio – to de-risk entire ERP migrations.

Customers on digital transformation journeys can go from rigid, legacy ERPs to a flexible, agile cloud solution with confidence because SAP Signavio helps them:

  • Prepare for migration (with detailed process discovery)
  • Visually map out processes from end to end – both standardized and customized – so departmental silos can easily collaborate on them
  • Develop transparent process models to drill down into process operations, so they can identify and resolve bottlenecks and other issues with the company’s process framework

By modernizing ERP, companies are putting the fear factor behind them. They’re agile, flexible, and ready for whatever’s next.

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