This blog features commentary from Jan Devereux, Head of Customer Value for Zag part of Accenture, on Accenture’s 2021 Technology Vision for SAP Solutions Driving Change Leading with the SAP Ecosystem.

A new era of industry competition is dawning – one where companies compete on their IT systems architecture.

Whenever we think about the future of an industry, we think about technology.

New technology has always advanced industries, but what’s interesting about this today, is that businesses have more technology options available to them than ever before.

From the distribution of cloud deployments to types of AI models to the design of hardware devices, there are more technology choices that organisations can make at every layer of the stack.

This means that companies and their competitors are starting to make different technology choices, and are starting to build different, competing visions for what the future of their industry will be.

In every industry, businesses have the opportunity to custom-tailor each layer of their technology architecture and capture the market in truly unique ways.

But to do so successfully, you need to start making technology choices like you do business choices, and you need to be able to tap into the full spectrum of technology options available today or in the future.

In other words, you need a technology foundation that’s built for change.

Summary of what’s happening:
·       The proliferation of technology options and customisations across the technology stack.

·       Businesses are making choices today that determine what they can and cannot do tomorrow.

·       The technology stack is now a key opportunity for competitive advantage.

89% globally, and 91% of ANZ executives agree

“My organisation’s ability to generate business value will increasingly be based on the limitations and opportunities of our technology architecture.”

*Source: Accenture Technology Vision 2021 Business and IT Executive Survey. Global N=6,241. ANZ N=360

We’re all familiar with the phrase “technical debt”:

  • Maybe it’s a niche system that powers a small but critical element of your infrastructure, so you can’t replace it and need to keep highly specialised staff to maintain it, or
  • Maybe you’ve got a system that powers a large part of your organisation but it’s so old that there’s almost no one left who knows how it works.

Either way, there’s a debt to be paid.

So there needs to be a shift in mindset, away from just avoiding technical debt to building technical wealth.

You need technology architectures that are dynamic, sustainable, and flexible.

And only by developing a more adaptive and reusable approach to technology, will you be ready to compete, underpinned by your technology stack.

There are three things technology leaders can do today to stack strategically with SAP:

  1. Create API-driven architecture to increase business flexibility and future-ready the organisation
  • Recognize the days of tying the business to a single monolithic platform are over.
  • Decide when and where to use SAP, a hyperscaler, or open-source solutions across a multi-cloud stack.
  • Use interoperable, platform-independent containers, microservices, and APIs to create a flexible “plug and play” architecture.
  1. Accelerate speed to market with an approach that is more responsive to constantly evolving customer and business needs.
  • Switch from a waterfall to an agile/iterative approach for SAP system release cycles.
  • Adopt DevOps across both SAP and non-SAP environments.
  • Support this with an agile stack comprising APIs and microservices enabled by SAP BTP.
  • Utilise SAP BTP’s Intelligent Suite qualities and services like SAP Intelligent Process Automation to automate repetitive manual processes, optimize process models and achieve speed to market with maximum efficiency.
  1. Fast-track insight to action with organization-wide unified data governance and analytics at the core.
  • Get real-time insights from SAP S/4HANA embedded analytics, SAP BW/4HANA data warehousing, and SAP Analytics Cloud.
  • Complement this with a unified data governance solution taking advantage of data lake and metadata management approaches to enable an enterprise-wide version of the truth.

Where to start?

Respond to the new competitive landscape and evaluate current and future platform independence across the stack.

Prioritise options for accelerating speed to market and insight to action with SAP solutions and technologies.

Get in touch at info@zag.team or with your Zag Account Manager if you would like support.