Diary of Digital Transformation – Matthew Riches (aged 37 ¾)
Matt Riches
By Matt Riches

Digital Diary 1.png 

Dear Diary

Before we begin I have a confession to make – I’m not that keen on the idea of keeping a diary, nor feel comfortable addressing you in the first person and, if truth be told, I’ve always been slightly wary of people who do. Indeed, I have long harboured the belief that regardless of the more obvious differences such as language, ethnicity and feelings towards people who post pictures of kittens on LinkedIn the population at large can be divided into two; those who keep diaries and ‘normal’ people.

I will concede that I did, in fact, keep a diary for almost two weeks when I was 13.  The problem is that even then and possibly as a direct result of being the youngest of three brothers, I incubated a healthy distrust of my fellow man (and women – I am an equal opportunity distruster) and the idea of making a hard copy of my feelings and desires was, and remains as analogous to me as keeping a secret is to Julian Assange. The resulting diary was therefore less a cathartic canvas for my deepest thoughts and emotions and more a dazzlingly dull chronicle consisting principally of the food I had eaten and TV I had watched. To illustrate this point Dear Diary, I draw your attention to the following excerpt from the 11th June 1994;

 ‘Fish fingers for tea while (sic) watching Neighbours before turning over

and watching Home and Away’.

Set against this backdrop you can imagine my reaction when the idea of me writing a ‘Diary of Digital Transformation’ was first mooted, and if you can’t imagine let me clarify – I said ‘bugger off’. Now the word mooted is an interesting one meaning (according to Wikipedia) ‘to raise a question or topic for discussion’ and after making my refusal it was made clear to me that my initial choice of interpretation was incorrect and it was, in actuality not a moot at all – it was, in fact an order.

And this, therefore, is where I find myself now dear diary, both the willing (and slightly smug) Programme Architect on one of Europe’s flagship digital transformation projects and a somewhat more hesitant diarist (less Samuel Pepys and more Bridget Jones) press ganged into documenting the trials, tribulations and lessons learnt of this programme along the way.

Now I would like to say that I am a stoic figure, a man who faces adversity with a hearty laugh and a can-do attitude, however this would be a complete lie. That being said I will endeavour to set aside my journal related prejudices and misgivings and treat you, Dear Diary, as a confidant. I will endeavour to write frequently and frankly about the internal machinations of the programme, concentrating principally on the impediments and lessons learnt and less on what I had for lunch or what was on TV at the time.

I will also endeavour to clear up some of the principle confusions and clarify oft abused terminology around this kind of programme whilst also citing the role played by key architectural and software components (including SAP S/4HANA, SAP SCP and the other members of the SAP ‘band’). I will also moan – probably a lot along the way and endeavour to answer questions if any are posed and if they are not overly abusive or facile. I will also use words like ‘facile’ which I believe make me sound intelligent – even if I do have to Google them first to ensure that I am using them in the right context.


Until next time Dear Diary…

Matt (Aged 37¾)


Stay tuned for Matt's next diary entry on the thorny question of what  digital transformation actually is. In the meantime, if you would like more information on digital transformation please check out this article by Hans Georg Uebe from SAP that discusses the role of the partner in digital transformation. 


Matt Riches
By Matt Riches

Matt is our Practice Director of Digital ERP having spent the last 15 years in various roles around SAP and ERP. Matt is a certified Enterprise Architect, the winning presenter of both SAP InnoJam and DemoJam events and is now a leading figure within the S/4HANA arena. Matt has three young children meaning that time away from the office is mainly spent trying to recall a social life whilst simultaneously trying to get some sleep!

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