Lloyd Adams, VP SAP North America Kicks Off SAPinsider 2023

Lloyd Adams Keynote: The Human Side of Digital Transformation

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Key Takeaways

⇨ GROW with SAP enables medium-sized enterprises to scale and innovate with a low code/no code, ready-to-run cloud ERP.

⇨ SAP Signavio and process mining are at the core of Qorvo’s transformation journey.

⇨ Chobani and Verizon executives discuss the criticality of effective organizational change management (OCM) in enterprise transformation initiatives.

The Human Side of Digital Transformation

SAP North America President Lloyd Adams kicked off SAPinsider 2023 with a keynote message on the human side of digital transformation. Stating that change is inevitable and requires a strong data foundation, Adams began the keynote discussing GROW with SAP, which was announced earlier in the day. GROW with SAP, which pairs S/4HANA cloud, public edition, with adoption and acceleration services and a collaborative learning community, is targeted to medium-sized enterprises. “Eighty percent of SAP customers are midmarket” and driven by “small but mighty IT teams”, Adams stated, adding that these organizations need the ability to scale while managing costs.

Multiple customers and transformation journeys were featured during the keynote, beginning with Qorvo, who embraced SAP Signavio to redefine processes. With the focus remaining on change an evolution, Adams described how Signavio assists customers in defining “how to get from where you are today to where you need to go”. Qorvo, a global radio frequency solution research, development, and manufacturing firm, leveraged Signavio to simplify process management, enable data mining, and discover value in the company’s process models. Pivoting to a National Hockey League (NHL) initiative to reduce its carbon footprint and mitigate global climate change, Adams then discussed the NHL Value Metrics, powered by SAP platform.

Chobani and Verizon Embrace Organizational Change Management in Enterprise Transformation Journeys

In an on-stage discussion with Verizon and Chobani executives, the keynote message shifted back to the central role of effective change management in enterprise transformation. Adams cited a Boston Consulting Group study finding that 73% of organizations fail to meet transformation objectives by attempting to do too much too quickly and not effectively embracing and processing change.

Jane Connell, Verizon SVP and CIO, described Verizon’s recent transformational journey where, with an initial go-live less than a week before the Super Bowl, flawless execution with no business impact was essential. To achieve this, Connell and Verizon incorporated organizational change management (OCM) into every step of its project. Discussing the role of employee feedback in transformation initiatives, Connell stated that she and other leaders were “not getting love letters” and were concerned about transformation fatigue, especially as competing organizational initiatives were under way. This project overlapped with Verizon’s largest 5G build year, and Connell stressed the importance of communicating to employees, especially those in the field, that this “wasn’t happening to them, it was happening with them”. With these human elements of transformation in mind, a control center model was deployed to enable employees in the field. Additionally, Connell shared Verizon’s focus on operational accountability and operational readiness as part of their OCM strategy, with senior line of business and other leaders expected to manage training, training compliance, and develop business continuity plans related to user adoption and proactive planning aspects of transformation.

Like Verizon, Chobani has also embraced change leadership and OCM strategies in its enterprise transformation initiatives. Chobani, founded in 2005, is a fairly young company and in continuous hyper-growth mode. This in mind, Parag Agrawal, Chobani CIO, said that there was no optimal time to address broken systems and processes, but that ensuring the right processes and systems were in place was critical in supporting growth. “Tech works”, said Agrawal, but OCM remained their biggest challenge in transformative initiatives. Chobani transformed all organizational process – with SAP Signavio – and layered in cloud solutions SuccessFactors, Qualtrics, Ariba, and IBP to enable continued growth. There were OCM misses, Agrawal said, which became learning experiences to shape future initiatives. Chobani’s transformation team included internal, full-time project resources in addition to implementation partner resources to reduce competing priorities. To minimize customization, when defining to-be processes, stakeholders were asked why best practices would not work. “OCM is key to success”, stated Agrawal, who also emphasized that OCM does not stop when you go live; rather, OCM should continue until full transformational adoption is reached.

Tying the human elements of transformation together, Adams stated that OCM establishes buy-in and is often missing in initiatives that fail. Pulling on insight from SAP Chief Customer Officer Kevin Hester, Adams concluded the discussion with three key recommendations for organizations embarking on transformational journeys:

  1. Take a hard look at your team, and deploy solutions that meet the needs of your team. This is particularly applicable to age- and experience-related expectations of solutions and employers, Adams said, as younger employees expect best-in-class solutions and business processes. Enabling these expectations, in turn, contributes to talent retention.
  2. Allocate full-time internal resources to projects. McKinsey found that, while 84% of CEOs were deeply involved in transformational change, at a field level, only 45% of front-line employees were engaged. “Investment cannot just be at the top”, Adams stated, adding that all lines of business and all stakeholders need to be involved.
  3. Don’t forget that there is a story to tell. Transformational initiatives become the heartbeat of how an organization runs, and along the journey, it is important to communicate positive impacts, business cases, and engage the entire community.




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