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How SAP S4/HANA Enables Digital Transformation For Public Sectors

After many global private sectors started digitising paper-based processes, many governments and most public sectors have now recognised the need for a whole-organisation approach to digital.

Many things need to change to achieve digital transformation. City leadership needs access to city data so they can improve public services and gain a better understanding of what citizens find important.

Citizens expect the same convenience, availability, service, and connectivity from their governments and services as they are accustomed to in their personal lives.

The practice of digital transformation in government must also consider the public purpose and involves additional factors of public data ownership, data security and privacy, digital service accessibility for everyone, and public digital literacy.

These factors would undoubtedly lead to a successful digital transformation in the public sector. And thus, it would be easier with the right tools, such as utilising cloud services. In this article, we will explain how SAP S/4HANA can be the answer to public sectors’ digital transformation.

However, as convenient as the tools can be, a digital transformation does not come without challenges.

What Are The Challenges of Public Sectors’ Digital Transformation?

The challenges regarding the public sector’s digital transformation involve the ability to hire new types of talent and integrate digital-related tools, methods, strategies and culture. This applies not only to strategy and plans but also to daily habits. This ability is challenged by the scarcity of talent in specific fields, which are often recruited by private companies with more attractive wage offers.

Beyond the talent issues, organisations may also face significant technical challenges in migrating from legacy systems, many of which involve critical data or perform essential functions.

The longer a specific process has been running, the more difficult it will be to migrate it into a digitised process.

Here are some of the vital issues that might be a challenge for governmental and public sector organisations:

  • Governmental organisations have a limited budget for investment. Without reassuring data on these technologies’ benefits, making a case for investment is challenging.
  • Strict governmental regulations and laws might limit the ability to apply new technologies in the processes and methods with impacts on the handling of user data.
  • Interconnectivity in the public sector dictates that each organisation is connected in some way. This means that if one organisation decides to digitise its business processes, the other needs to do so to sustain its level of collaboration and information exchange.

How Public Sector Can Compete in Transforming Digitally

Competing with private sectors in terms of digitalisation might seem farfetched. However, it is not impossible. To succeed, the public sector must pay close attention to these three key points:

  1. Technology: The public sector needs to adopt long-term solutions that can securely share data insights while flexible to the demands of the ever-changing conditions of the industry. This effort would need the assistance of a cloud experience tool that can provide agility and flexibility, no matter where data is generated, while also ensuring data protection.
  2. Culture: Digital culture needs to be embraced with a strategic approach. Technology is not everything—public sector organisations must also build the culture from the ground up to utilise the new platforms optimally. In addition, leaders must also be involved from the get-go.
  3. Skills: Finally, hiring and developing talents are vital in digital transformation. New ways must be strategised to recruit, train, and manage the workforce.

Now let’s take a look at how Singapore manage itself in its public sector and its efforts to cater to citizens’ needs.

The Public Sector Situation in Singapore

When Singapore attained self-governance in 1959 and independence in 1965, the Public Service had to localise and reorient itself toward nation-building.

Each past phase of transformation has been focusing on the pursuit of sustainable growth and social development. The government always seeks to understand Singaporeans’ concerns and aspirations.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Singaporeans have been most concerned about social support, jobs and economy, education and training, digitalisation and technology.

Before we know it, COVID-19 has accelerated digitalisation in many sectors, including the public sector, from conducting meetings virtually to providing services online.

In 2021, the Singapore government planned to spend up to S$3.8 billion on information and communications technology (ICT) procurement. The spending will be targeted at “transforming government digital services used by citizens and businesses, and reengineering government’s digital infrastructure to support modern application development”.

The ICT budgeting sends a strong signal to the tech sector that Singapore will continue to invest and accelerate its efforts in digital transformation. Technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, and quantum computing shall be the key enablers in Singapore’s digital transformation.

Specifically, in cloud computing, this is where SAP S/4HANA comes in with its new capabilities in digital transformation.

Reimagining Public Sector’s New Capabilities With SAP S/4HANA

Public sector organisations need some strategic priorities to enhance their presence in the public eye while also embracing each new capability. With SAP S/4HANA, the public sector will run better. This tool should improve efficiency and helps make the premises a better place to live.

In that, we’ll tell a couple of points included with end-to-end (E2E) strategic business scenarios that reimagine the public sector’s new capabilities.

A. Putting The Citizen At The Centre

Putting the citizen at the centre means simplifying complicated processes for the citizen while also providing personalised, secure online engagement. Customer experience is the main focus. The E2E scenario would be to reimagine omnichannel touch points.

In the traditional workflow, public services tend to have disparate applications such as web content, contact centres, and even mobile apps. This makes companies unable to respond to citizen demands with the appropriate agility.

With SAP, services shall be designed and delivered around the citizen instead of the government. Platforms are integrated, enabling governments to provide services across departments and agencies. This leads to consumer-grade digital self-services offering predictive and personalised services and convenient access.

B. Reimagining Business Processes and Models

What do you do when unpredictable disruptions occur? A stable digital foundation must be laid for more efficient and agile processes. Public sectors need to adapt operational models so the public workers can focus on the cases that require human engagement. The E2E scenario would be to reimagine strategic and operational procurements.

In the traditional workflow, public sectors used to work on disparate and disconnected data sources. The search for suppliers, bid analysis, supplier evaluations, and risk reviews are done manually. This could lead to manual authoring, longer cycle times, and high legal costs.

With SAP, spending would be tracked in real-time. The analysis would have increased visibility into internal and external data. SAP also provides embedded capabilities to view additional supplier risk content and an automated, streamlined tool-based bid management process. This cycle ends in an automated contract collaboration and compliance.

C. Enabling The Workforce of The Future

Employees need the opportunity to do their best at every given a chance. This needs alignment between employee skills and organisation needs. Whether in-house or remote, workers need to be engaged and productive.

That’s why tracking, monitoring, and managing employee health, engagement, and well-being is essential. The E2E scenario would be to reimagine human experience management

In the traditional workflow, employee data would be held in siloed systems, making it challenging to consolidate for analysis. Managers and HR leaders are then forced to rely heavily on subjective experience. This includes budgeting, staffing, planning, scheduling, performing, and completing work. And it leads to inconsistent and inefficient manual processes, which add burdens and reduce employee engagement.

With SAP, it creates a single point of entry into a structured auditable process. All workforce across the organisation are fully integrated. In the end, work is completed with no staffing shortfalls or cost overruns. Managers and employees are engaged and happy.

D. Leveraging Data As An Asset

Data is a single source of truth. Public sectors need to create a culture that values evidence over intuition and is based on data that integrates everything. Prioritisation must also be made to protect data privacy. Public sectors can improve services to citizens by adopting a data-driven strategy that enables actions from insight. The E2E scenario would be to reimagine budget control and public finance management.

In the traditional workflow, public sectors would allocate budgets according to budget cycles by law and then report on spending according to legal requirements. They would be unable to monitor budget spending in real-time.

With SAP, public sectors shall allocate budgets according to defined programs and projects using evaluation feedback, value trees, forecast data, and reallocate according to the situation. They can automatically assign spending against the budget and gain real-time insight into spending versus actuals. Afterwards, they can use data insights to take action with budget execution. Digitalisation and process automation would be increased through a 360-degree view of all documents for each business transaction.

The next step is how public sectors can get the most out of their transition to digital transformation.

Facilitate Your Transition To Digital Transformation with RISE with SAP

To meet the demand of any business needs, an intelligent enterprise can provide the technology and new service paradigms to the constantly changing challenges of improving business performance.

RISE with SAP facilitates your transition like never seen before. It bundles together the tools, guidance, and support systems needed to become truly fit for the future. It offers a holistic on-your-term and on-your-timeline transformation to an intelligent enterprise. You can remove complexity with a simplified engagement and guided journey through your business transformation to go where your business needs.

This service is provided by cbs Consulting. Your business needs RISE with SAP, ONE with cbs to optimise the public sector organisation by having a faster time to premier value and flexibility without a high upfront investment. This method uses a Transformation Software Move to S/4HANA using cbs propriety tool, developed for any complex transformation scenarios.

For industrial customers of cbs, the move to the ‘RISE with SAP’ programme is not a technical migration but a strategic transformation that calls for a substantive examination of specialist requirements and a holistic view of the process and system landscape.

At cbs, simplifying complex processes and system landscapes for SAP industrial customers and lifting them into the cloud is part of everyday life as a fast and smart transformation to a digital platform on S/4HANA for end-to-end business solutions based on SAP technologies.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your transition journey towards digital transformation with SAP S4/HANA now!