Digitisation Special Interest Group

What is Digitisation?

Digitisation has become a portmanteau term to describe the intersection and convergence of many different facets of science and technology. Each of these, on their own often exhibit exponential progress; combined they are creating a maelstrom of disruption.
Fundamentally though, it is all about data. We are increasingly able to mirror and track the world around us and to anticipate and even shape what will happen next. So, Digitisation is about being able to deliver new, valuable outcomes by exploiting that data. For any organisation this creates new challenges and complexities, to give a few examples;

  • Business Master data and ever growing transaction data is created in and by the likes of ERP, CRM, HCM and office productivity systems.
  • IoT enables any physical thing that can be fitted with a sensor to create data (hence the term cyber-physical systems). This tells us where that thing is, what it is doing, who is using it and what is nearby (and we can close the loop when that same physical thing is fitted with an actuator). This data can vary widely from a simple signal that tells us a hatch has been opened to high definition video from a surveillance camera.
  • Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter create huge amounts of data that can give us insights into customer sentiment and intentions.

These are just three examples of the sources and types of data any SAP customer must deal with.
Value is only created when all this data drives business outcomes, and that only happens when you can get the insights from the data and turn them into strategic and tactical decisions that deliver outcomes of value to the business and its customers.

Why a Digitisation SIG

When you think about the enormity of this task you begin to realise that it need a holistic approach that marries:

  • Acquiring data – from many different sources and in different volumes, velocities, structures and veracities…
  • Storing data – cost effectively, reducing redundancy and conscious of data lifecycles…
  • Preparing data for use – cleaning and harmonising the data, using NLP to codify text…
  • Analysing the data – increasing using AI and Machine Learning in addition to traditional BI…
  • Acting on the data – implies tight integration between operational and business systems…
  • Securing the data – encrypting data in flight and at rest, authenticating data…
  • Governing the data – are the right people consuming the data, what are they using it for…
  • Consuming and using the data – with new user interfaces and experiences…
  • Marrying Gartner’s Mode 1 and Mode 2 patterns and capabilities to achieve value and impact as efficiently and effectively as possible and leveraging the same data across both modes…

This requires a platform that enables the business to integrate the entire process from Things → Insight → Action → Outcomes. In SAP terms this is accomplished with the SAP Digital Business Framework which customers can adopt per their own imperatives.
Based on the above the Digitisation SIG focuses on helping its members to understand digitisation use cases, the necessary and appropriate technologies and how to go about driving transformation.