It’s the Age of Insight, a new dawn of a digital economy powered by enhanced data capabilities that allow organisations to explore new working styles and disruptive business models. Applications, analytics, data management, cloud and connectivity have become the proverbial lifeblood of the successful enterprise, providing the tools and information needed to reimagine work, business and operations. However, for many companies, there are limitations in infrastructure and investment that are preventing them from fully realising this potential as they juggle legacy infrastructure, complexity and visibility.
“Considering that it’s very likely that the hybrid or multicloud environment will become the foundational technology model for modern digital infrastructure, and that there will be a significant push towards cloud applications over the next 12-18 months, it’s become imperative that enterprises focus on how they can embark on sustainable digital transformation journeys. Journeys that take them beyond rapid digitisation and into an infrastructure architecture that allow them to fully realise the potential of game-changing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robot process automation (RPA),” says Dr Setumo Mohapi, Chief Go-to-Market Officer from Dimension Data.
One of the key tenets of a successful digital transformation roadmap is being able to get to the data, and being able to integrate entire platforms and applications across the enterprise portfolio. This connectivity across applications and the management of data behind the scenes is crucial for any company that wants to operate efficiently. All information and resource planning needs to be visible through a single pane of glass and this is what’s driving the current trend of moving custom applications to the cloud via hyperscale providers such as Microsoft Azure.
These hyperscale platforms can help reduce complexities that impact customer service delivery, performance and process optimisation. Correctly integrated and managed, the move can help minimise numerous challenges that currently impact the enterprise such as latency and bandwidth, multiple cloud touch points that introduce management complexity, and no consistent view over siloed tools and teams. This situation is further complicated by the looming SAP end-of-support deadline of 2027. This deadline is set to have a significant impact on the enterprise that hasn’t migrated across to the SAP S/4HANA by end of 2027, and on those that haven’t embarked on initiatives to manage this process need to start looking at the evolution today.
SAP adds layers of complexity to the enterprise. Some of the most common challenges facing companies using the SAP platform include: constantly changing guidelines, business-critical applications that now need to be carefully migrated, complex deployment and optimisation, data governance management and costly technical inefficiencies.
These can be mitigated by the combination of moving to the cloud and migrating to S/4HANA, especially if managed strategically, but most IT teams are looking at the complexity of the process that this migration entails and are feeling the pressure.
“This is where a blended move to SAP S/4 HANA while leveraging the Microsoft Azure environment can make a significant difference. The enterprise has to undertake a comprehensive analysis of systems and infrastructure to ensure that integration is done intelligently.
And by this, it means that the organisation gains a richer understanding of its data requirements, the resources it uses to support the data, the compliance requirements that have to be met around managing the data, and the key mandates that have to be fulfilled to ensure data is categorised correctly. While the process may be complex, it is an opportunity for the enterprise to gain a far richer insight into data and data management, and to implement tools and strategies that refine that to ensure innovation and sustainability moving forward,” concludes Mohapi.
With a strategic third-party service provider like Dimension Data, the enterprise can embark on the SAP S/4 HANA journey with expertise that manages the layers of data complexity and the need for application connectivity. This will ensure that long-term scale and agility are embedded within the foundations of the enterprise, thanks to the intelligent blend of hyperscale capability from Microsoft Azure, and the improved business management capabilities of SAP S/4HANA. Data not only remains a priority but must become an accessible commodity that drives ongoing enterprise growth and capability.