Following the disruptions related to the pandemic in 2020, the global automotive industry saw a renewed increase in sales. However, the positive trends in the global economy and vehicle sales were disrupted once more. The Russian-Ukrainian conflict had a negative impact on the supply chain in the automotive industry, increasing the cost of raw materials and leading to further delays in the supply of components for car production.
Our desire to support our clients in responding to those events meant that we had to explore every ounce of flexibility of the implemented solutions, with the sole aim of helping them retain their staff, customers, and business continuity. Which were the most frequently chosen solutions? What exactly supported businesses in ensuring their finances remained safe and unharmed?
FIRST: Business transformation
As early as in the first months of the pandemic, we saw significant changes in customers’ habits, which resulted in the need to implement e-commerce solutions in virtually all areas, including but not limited to the automotive industry. Moreover, there is the continually growing number of electric vehicles, which leads to a stimulation of the demand for niche services and the replacement of electric vehicle parts in the secondary market. As far as the customer market is concerned, lifestyle changes are influencing the emergence of new mobility patterns.
Pandemic requirements also caused changes in the management of IT projects, although the most important thing for businesses was efficient functioning and the continuation of already commenced activities. These included implementations of S/4 class systems or their roll-outs. Many companies hesitated to make long-term commitments in such precarious circumstances. The existing situation made direct cooperation impossible, and companies often could not imagine carrying out large implementations without personal contact. However, due to time requirements fully remote implementations became the only option, which allowed companies to avoid travel costs. Incidentally, it turned out that the effects and time of carrying out those procedures did not change.
The changes described above and the resulting necessity to involve IT department staff in important business transformation projects have made retaining the existing solutions and applications particularly challenging. As a supplier, we responded to these needs by expanding our offer in the field of SAP systems maintenance and BASIS services. This allowed our clients to focus on the business projects which were the most important from their point of view.
SECOND: Tailor-made and custom solutions
Modern vehicles available on the market are making increasingly wider and more frequent use of the connected services technology as well as of a wide range of assistance systems. For vehicle manufacturers, this is yet another way to increase revenue streams, in this case relying mainly on subscription models. Additionally, the possibility of using the Digital Twin technology is being actively tested. Providing such solutions to the market requires the implementation of new IT solutions that will support these processes not only as far as the car or the customer are concerned, but also within the enterprise itself and through the integration of the entire partner network.
In this area, a number of tailor-made and custom options were created to extend and supplement the standard solutions.
THIRD: Cloud capabilities
While current needs are of critical importance, organizations think ahead by investing in the cloud. Dedicated solutions created from scratch make full use of cloud capabilities and are often created from specialized application components.
The scope and complexity of projects involving migrating applications to the cloud depend on business goals and often on costs. When conducting such projects, we pay great attention to the consequences of any changes in the field of security.
The easiest and fastest type is lift-and-shift migration. However, it may not fully use the functionality of the cloud platform.
‘Reengineering’ means that the architecture of the application is transformed in order to use the platform functions in the cloud. A monolithic application can be transformed into microservices hosted in containers. In the most radical migrations to the cloud, the application is rebuilt or completely replaced. Instead of just transferring code and data, a similar functionality is implemented from the outset with a full use of available cloud technologies. Companies can take this path to say goodbye to an outdated application. This approach is the most optimal in terms of architecture, but it is also the most complex and costly migration option.
In addition to cloud migration projects, we also create dedicated solutions from scratch. We often use specialized and tested application components for this purpose.
And which path of development did your organization take? Find out what drives the automotive industry and choose your direction of change at https://hicron.com/offer/sap-for-automotive/.