George Anderson


Winning in #DigitalTransformation

Our friends at Rimini Street recently conducted a study on the challenges CIOs face when it comes to innovation. The study surveyed 900 IT executives evenly distributed between EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. All in all, the study provides a comprehensive view of the difficult balancing act between innovation and “keeping the lights on” in IT.

That struggle is a daily reality at many B2B manufacturers running SAP. In the case of launching SAP-integrated ecommerce, the struggle is especially pointed. Ecommerce is a high priority for CIOs at B2B manufacturers because it has a direct impact on increasing revenue and decreasing operating expenses.

When it comes to ecommerce, how can CIOs tackle the challenge of modernizing order-to-cash through ecommerce while balancing the budget and keeping the lights on?

Here are 4 takeaways.

1. CIOs should align their innovation projects to the concerns of their Board

As reported in the Rimini Street study, CIOs often encounter resistance to innovation from the Board of Directors. Two stats are particularly interesting:

  • 64% of CIOs surveyed say that while the board supports innovation, the board is wary of complex IT transformation projects.
  • 63% of CIOs surveyed say that the board prioritizes cost-cutting over new investments.

Both of these trends are understandable. Complex IT transformation is costly, not to mention risky and time-consuming.

That’s why CIOs should weigh the financial benefit of innovation carefully and prioritize initiatives which have the most potential to increase revenue and decrease cost. Corevist Commerce aligns well with these values. Our ecommerce solution requires no complex IT transformation and no additional IT resources. Since it allows self-service order placement (and instant order posting to SAP), Corevist also reduces or eliminates the burden on your CSRs, allowing you to cut costs in that department.

2. CIOs should prioritize digitally competitive projects (i.e. B2B ecommerce)

When it comes to drivers of innovation, Rimini’s study found two top factors influencing the decisions of CIOs:

  • The #1 reported threat was competition from online and digitally savvy companies (47%).
  • The #2 reported threat was competition from emerging, low-cost markets (46%).

There’s only one way to mitigate each of these threats. It’s B2B ecommerce integrated to SAP.

Now, an SAP ecommerce initiative can take different forms in different markets. For some companies, it might be a simple B2B ordering portal that posts orders to SAP in real time. For others, it might be a full B2B ecommerce site with a catalog and rich content that offers a B2C-style user experience. Companies experiencing stiff competition on Amazon can add an Amazon integration to the mix.  

Bottom line: If the growth of digital is driving the need for innovation, CIOs should prioritize ecommerce because it positions their companies against the competition.

3. CIOs should prioritize digital transformation that doesn’t re-architect the entire IT environment

The study found that a need for digital transformation was the top positive driver of innovation. 52% of respondents are striving for digital transformation, which the study defined as “a fundamental shift in their business, enabled by technology.”

Now ram that up against the first stat in #1 above: 64% of respondents said the Board was wary of complex IT transformation.

The life of a CIO is full of catch-22s, isn’t it?

The key, though, is to prioritize innovation that enables the shift to digital without disrupting the existing IT landscape.

Believe it or not, this is totally possible. By integrating to SAP in real time, Corevist Commerce enables B2B manufacturers to launch a digital transformation in the order-to-cash process without significant changes to SAP. If SAP data reflects current business processes, Corevist Commerce simply carries that data to the web through real-time ecommerce. This allows CIOs to leverage their existing investment in SAP to run ecommerce, which is the key driver of digital transformation.

4. CIOs should evaluate SAP’s cloud pressure carefully

It’s no secret that the SAP ERP market feels pressure to migrate to S/4HANA. More troubling is the fact that many CIOs aren’t seeing the business case for doing so, other than the fact that SAP will stop supporting ECC in 2025.

While the Rimini Street study was not strictly about the SAP ERP landscape, one stat is particularly telling when it comes to cloud pressure:

  • 54% of respondents feel pressure to adopt their IT vendor’s cloud strategy.

For CIOs running SAP, that sounds all too familiar. It’s concerning because the move to S/4HANA has vast implications, particularly for organizations that have custom functionality in their on-premises ECC implementation. All that custom architecture is out the window when you migrate to S/4HANA.

For companies that don’t want to move to S/4HANA, Rimini Street offers an intelligent alternative. The company will stabilize your existing on-premises ECC system with more cost-effective maintenance than what you’re getting from SAP. For CIOs looking to innovate, this frees up resources to reinvest in ecommerce. (By the way, Corevist Commerce integrates to ECC, All-In-One, R/3, and S/4HANA).

If you can make the business case to move to HANA, then by all means, do so. But if you’re not seeing the business case and you need to innovate with ecommerce to stay competitive, then Rimini Street + Corevist Commerce offers a great alternative to SAP’s cloud suite with ongoing SAP maintenance.

Moving forward: FREE Case study

Curious about innovation that increases revenue and decreases expenses? Download this case study on PARI Respiratory. You’ll learn how the company launched ecommerce integrated to ECC 6.0, reduced CSR order entry costs, and did it all without disrupting their existing SAP landscape.

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