Starting my blog…

As a first blog post, with no-one reading just yet, I will introduce myself and lay out a little what I would like to achieve with this site. My name is Gavin…

First a little background; I have been working for one of the worlds top enterprise software companies, SAP, for the last 16 years. In my current role of Support Architect I am privy to a number of the top 500 companies in the world. While they are very different in many ways, there is one thing they all have in common. They are trying to get their heads around their Digital Transformation, they are trying to out innovate their competition, some are trying to re-invent their business model, and some are trying to keep up.

Digital transformation is the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritized way, with present and future shifts in mind.

In the last 5+ years there has been an accelerating advance in technology and expectation of innovation in nearly all disciplines that we work with these customers on. As I work in the spaces of Design Thinking, Digital Marketing, Value Management, and Digital Transformation, that will be the main focus of my content. But being involved with a large number of the worlds Fortune 500 and their ever changing objectives as they try to maintain relevance, I come across alot of very interesting situations and this is where I draw most of my experience.

Now, we all know that there is a dramatic shift happening throughout the world. One area of turbulent change is Digital Transformation. While Digital Transformation is the goal for so many, the drive for this transformation is coming from customers. However for both the supplier and consumer (customer implies product, consumer is connected to services) they hope for minimal disruption to achieve their targets. They want better experiences, intuitive UIs, integrated systems, and mobile freedom. We also see that the drivers for our solutions are not the technology teams, but the business and owners of the business processes. They are responsible for customer satisfaction and will be working with their technology teams to realize the potential of this shift or take advantage of it. They are also the ones who are responsible to reinvent their business model while listening to what the consumers want. A real effort is needed to get involved as early as you can in the consumers buying journey while adding value. Here we can learn alot from the Digital Marketing discipline and how leverage the knowledge in all aspects of customer interaction.

From a technology stand point we are making some amazing breakthroughs in the fields of AI and machine learning. Huge increases in automation are opening up brand new value streams. This has some people scared for higher unemployment. In certain positions this will be true but the goal is to enable more opportunity, higher productivity and impact by connecting the smartest people with the best solutions. We all want to help the world run better and improve people’s lives – but where would you start?

Arriving at my current position I have reviewed numerous articles, white papers, websites, twitter accounts all discussing the commoditization of IT, and how the new drivers are the “business side of the house”. The result of this is we now need to ensure that our technological advantages and future solutions have a direct connection to Business Value all the while being mapped to the Technology. We are moving into the age of services, Everything as as Service. We want to do things right, do the right things and have an increase in speed and agility but the key to all of this is empathy for the users. That’s a good starting point, right?

So with the opportunities around Digital Transformation, I would like to focus on some related topics, or some very useful tools and methodology that can help us as we try to navigate the choppy waters. This make me think about the triangle of People, Process & Platform and whether or not all dimensions have what they need to be successful. Some of the below are processes, with integrated platforms, but we need the right people to be proficient.

For me, Design thinking is an extremely useful discipline to get to the crux of the problem statement and start to find the right questions. Possibly even some solutions. Digital Marketing, which is an umbrella term for the marketing of products or services using digital technologies, mainly on the Internet, but also including mobile phones, display advertising, and any other digital medium can also play a big role in how we positions the new solutions or offers. And also Value Management. The term value is thrown around and seems to lose it meaning and even has a different definition to different people. For example….What does Value mean to you? But as you focus on technology innovations to help navigate an increasingly complex business environment, staying focused on delivering value and business outcomes which are aligned with your organization’s strategy is key to unlocking measurable ‘value’. While working with SAP, I have learned that successful companies see significantly better performance when they keep their eye on achieving the expected value from project definition to delivery and throughout operation. Successful companies apply the value management discipline consistently across the project portfolio through the value management life cycle.

On the Books page, you can see the latest books I have read (or listened to) to prepare for starting this blog. This may also give you an indication about where my attention is. With all that being said, I will be posting about content related to the above, hoping to make connections with fellow “digital transformers“, and learning along the way. I will start my first few posts around the definition and summaries of some of the key focus areas. I would like this content to serve as a guide in some places, with the ultimate goal of getting you to ask a questions of yourself and your team that you have not asked before.

Join me online @GavinOLearySAP or follow my SoBiz project at @SoBizCo.

Passionate about Design Thinking, Digital Marketing, Value Management, and Digital Transformation. Leveraging Co-Innovation, Product and Project Management, for collaborative impact. Digital Dreamer employed by SAP.

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