Leading the Way in a Digital World

Published by Robert Enslin in December 2015. Interesting reading.

Imagine a world where mainstay brand names are no longer the measure of financial success. Think of those companies that you never thought could falter. Now realise that more than 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010. How many less will that be in 2020 as we move to a digital economy? Does your business have what it takes to not only survive but thrive?

Digital business is a reality. Well known upstarts like Uber and Airbnb are changing entire industries. So are fast growing businesses such as Under Armour or long-time established leaders like Kaeser Kompressoren, the 96-year-old German-based compressed-air system supplier. They are part of the new generation of fully digital businesses. Businesses that are about providing a highly personalised yet super simplified customer experience in a world where instant access to the desired products, services, suppliers, assets and things in general is changing the game.

Today’s successful companies are those fuelled by the changing nature of technology and how it is used. They understand that they, and their entire industry, are not immune to disruption – so they embrace change. They understand that leading in a digital world and economy requires a different way of thinking your business, your customers and your competitors – so they are agile and ready to seize opportunities as presented.

Edwin H. Land, co-founder of the Polaroid Corporation, once said that “every significant invention must be startling, unexpected, and must come into a world that is not prepared for it. If the world were prepared for it, it would not be much of an invention.” We introduced SAP HANA – the most advanced in-memory platform to do just that: drive digital business innovation at very large scale with the ultimate sophistication: simplicity. The perfect example is SAP S/4HANA, our next-generation business suite and digital core. 

Embracing Your Digital Strategy

Embracing a digital strategy is about reinventing your business, from business models to business processes to how people work. It starts with a digital core that not only serves as the business foundation to run digitised mission-critical business processes on a single source of always instant insight, but also interconnects all your value chain in real time.

A solid digital core is the prerequisite to participating in the digital economy. It’s a way to move away from lengthy, time-consuming batch processes. It’s a way to react quickly to market signals and chatter on social channels. It’s a way to connect your enterprise to the people, devices, partners, and social networks that make it thrive. With 86% of business executives agreeing that business processes and decision making have become so complex that they hinder the ability to grow, how can you move away from the promise of simplicity?

SAP S/4HANA is that significant invention to every business that employs it. It’s a value driver – on any device, to any user, in any line of business, in any industry, in any country or region. SAP is often our own first customer with new solutions and the SAP Digital Boardroom we are now using is no exception. The SAP Digital Boardroom utilises line-of-business data from the SAP S/4HANA suite and SAP HANA Cloud Platform to provide a single source of truth about our critical business metrics. Built on the SAP Cloud for Analytics solution, the SAP Digital Boardroom contextualises and simplifies performance management across businesses in real time. This approach is helping us monitor and drive real change in the digital economy – and is available to do the same for yours.

The time is now to reimagine what your business future can be and benefit from the unprecedented opportunities the digital economy offers. What are you waiting for?

Neil How
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Neil How

Neil ran his first SAP transformation programme in his early twenties. He spent the next 21 years working both client side and for various consultancies running numerous SAP programmes. After successfully completing over 15 full lifecycles he took a senior leadership/board position and his work moved onto creating the same success for others.

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