By Rob Jerome
The prospect of an economic recovery may feel unpredictable in our current environment, but one thing is abundantly clear: the term “pain point” carries considerably different weight these days.
How the IT industry previously characterized and applied those two words certainly pales in comparison to the unprecedented reality and uncertainty most enterprises now face. The pain is disproportionate yet pervasive in most industries.
Not many companies are built to withstand the types of economic recovery pressures here and to come, which suggests another term that perhaps opens the door for new opportunity: transformation. Organizations must rethink and adapt their digital strategy (quickly) to compete in the “new normal” of business.
Sometimes a crisis can serve as a catalyst for change, but many times the need for change existed well before the current crisis. By creating fully integrated and flexible supply chains, a digitized customer experience, process automation through artificial intelligence, and other enhancements, organizations — big and small — have an opportunity to transform their businesses.
In our partnership with SAP, ”transformation” translates into a rather ubiquitous theme centered on what we refer to as becoming an “intelligent enterprise.” Such aspirations preceded the unfolding new normal, but what were once conceptual boardroom topics have become essential initiatives, sponsored not by IT but by line of business leaders. In fact, the heart of the economic recovery not only comes down to doing more with less, but also thinking differently about people, process and technology — the three essential components of any intelligent enterprise initiative.
Yes, in a word, transformation makes utmost sense.
The future of our economic recovery remains subject to vast interpretation and, undoubtedly, plenty of misconception. When leaders look beyond the reality of macro market conditions into a more micro analysis of opportunity for transformation, the most daunting aspects of current market conditions tend to be somewhat less overwhelming.
Most pundits agree, though: It will be a highly uneven recovery for economies, professions and industries on local, regional and global levels. Consider the following questions when addressing your recovery strategy…the answers may surprise you and present new opportunity for growth:
- Are you easy to do business with?
Creating an exceptional customer experience (CX) has never been merely a good thing. It’s essential, meaning recovery leaders must simplify and enrich the methods through which they interact with customers, vendors and even their employees. Shifting beyond the ERP “digital core” through digital commerce, analytics, automation and other intelligent enterprise solutions is essential to responding nimbly to the new normal. Dickinson + Associates recognized the opportunity CX solutions offer our customers and recently launched a new CX practice to help them achieve competitive advantage in an evolving digital economy.
- Can you shift the odds to your favor?
Dickinson + Associates chose to focus exclusively on SAP platforms and solutions for many reasons. Despite fierce market competition, both relatively new and longer-term, we never wavered from what brought us to this position. Our partnership with SAP has resulted in a history of continuous innovation over a 22-year period. Economic recovery leaders have a prime opportunity to shift the odds in their favor by taking advantage of the constant innovation of SAP cloud solutions. Our methodical approach to partnership, from roadmap advisory services to post-implementation support, helps our customers capitalize on innovation opportunities offered by SAP cloud solutions.
- Are you fiscally fit?
Recovery leaders are heavily focused on operational efficiency — as much or even more than top-line growth — as part of their ongoing recovery plans. Customer and product profitability, supply chain costs and efficiency, and future outcome predictability have all become topics of increasing focus. Expectations are magnified, stress levels are heightened, and budgets are tightened. The steps you take now will dictate your position in the new normal.
- Do you have an IT vendor or a partner in transformation?
Specialization and track record will take on renewed importance. What differentiated enterprises and their service providers in the past may not matter amidst emerging requirements and expectations. Flexibility will be of more importance than ever. Partners and partnerships can make or break your business. Economic recovery leaders need partners who can serve as trusted advisors — essentially as an extension of their core team. There’s too much at stake.
Clarity in conviction goes a long way
No one can say for sure how the future of the economic recovery will unfold. A simple statement still comes to mind as every enterprise and industry faces this unprecedented new reality: Whatever your core competency, do it best or better than the rest. That’s among our aspirations, and we hold to it with great conviction in how we engage and ultimately strive to help our customers. Our approach to partnership as “Business People Who Know SAP” is based on an unwavering commitment to relationships built on trust in an industry that has sadly become more transactional.
SAP’s recent announcement that Dickinson + Associates is a finalist for the 2020 SAP® Pinnacle Award is an indication that we’re on the right track. But there’s a long way to go. Let’s prove it to you next, as we work to build our new reality and drive the economic recovery.
About Rob Jerome
Rob Jerome is Vice President of Innovation and Technology for Dickinson + Associates, a top 25 North American SAP partner. Jerome leads the company’s go-to market strategy, which involves a wide range of Intelligent Enterprise solutions, including the SAP Cloud Platform, SAP Analytics Cloud, SAP Intelligent RPA, and SAP Conversational AI.