SAP Watch

Oct 16 2006   1:44AM GMT

New SAP Job roles: Disruptive innovators

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This is the fourth an final part in our series about the new SAP job roles outlined by SAP executive Shai Agassi in his TechEd 2006 keynote speech. What is a disruptive innovator? What are the job prospects? And how do you establish yourself as one? Get the scoop here!

Disruptive Innovators
As an SAP professional, the obvious first question is: how do you differentiate the disruptive innovators from the composers?

Most composers will own specific processes, like procurement, HR, manufacturing or other, clearly defined areas of responsibility. Their goal is to optimize their process to near-perfection, maintain it to meet changing needs and so on.

The disruptive innovator, on the other hand, needs a much more strategic mindset. This person is something of a maverick, looking across the entire company for areas with opportunities for disruptive innovation. It can be a new product, a new business process, or whatever it takes to move the company to the next level.

"The disruptive innovator has to be a hunter," Inbar said. "While consolidators have the luxury of tending to their niche of expertise, the disruptive innovator must be constantly on the move, looking for the next big thing."

This role is perhaps the hardest to define of the four; there's really no specific skillset to talk about beyond the fact that this person must have outstanding IT and business knowledge, and proven ability to think outside the box.

"Keep in mind that this is how SAP wants the world to be," Reed said. "In reality, some corporate cultures will embrace this kind of role more readily than others. Some cultures don't reward or even penalize people who step out of the box, so make sure you know your culture before you position yourself as a disruptive innovator."

Having said that, Reed thinks SAP is trying to convey the message that they're empowering users to do more with the SAP building blocks than ever before. It is an ongoing process and SAP isn't quite there to deliver everything they're talking about quite yet, but they're getting there, he said.

"The other roles seem to be more hands-on, but I see the disruptive innovator as a manager or Team Lead," Reed said. "You need a broader view as well as organizational leverage, ie. decent corporate status, in order to make things happen."

A Project Manager with good overall knowledge of how the technology supports the business side would make a good candidate. But all things considered, it doesn't really matter whether that person came from a technical or functional career path prior to shouldering this new role; all that really matters is the current understanding of both sides of the fence, Reed said.

This is the last part in our next-generation SAP jobs series. If you haven't done so already, make sure to check out the articles about composers, repository keepers and consolidators

Matt Danielsson
Editor

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