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The insideEdge (SAPinsider Vol. 12, Iss. 4)

by Chakib Bouhdary | SAPinsider

October 1, 2011

The world is beginning to see a massive "technology disruption" brought on by trends like social media, mobility, big data, and cloud computing. This disruption brings with it both changes and opportunities. In this executive address, SAP's Chief Value Officer Chakib Bouhdary discusses the disruption, the opportunities it brings, and SAP's plans to support companies willing to embrace the changing market.
 

Chakib Bouhdary
Chief Value Officer
SAP AG

Recent events have shown how different economies have become truly interlinked; while the financial market continues to go through a series of corrections and readjustments, the rest of the world does not stand still. Innovations — like smartphones, tablets, social media, e-commerce, and m-commerce — are being adopted by consumers around the world at a speed never seen before. I believe this is only the beginning of a massive “technology disruption.”

Disruptions typically bring with them change and, in many cases, opportunity. For companies that are willing to embrace the change, the sky is the limit. With the current technology disruption, business processes will be fundamentally transformed: Supply chains will be run through interconnected devices, pricing will become a real-time event, hospitals will be able to remotely monitor and manage patients to reduce health costs by catching problems early on, and sentiment analysis will provide a new way to track product performance by listening to millions of consumers.

At SAP, we see four fundamental technologies leading this disruption:

  • Social technologies. Staying connected in real time was considered impossible a few years ago, but today’s social technologies are changing how people work, interact, solve problems, and collaborate on a global basis. This change is breaking down barriers, as well as challenging concepts of intellectual property (IP) protection.
  • Connectivity and mobility. Billions of people will soon be mobile-enabled. And by 2020, a person may have up to seven devices, including cell phones and tablets that are connected to their cars, refrigerators, and televisions.
  • Big data. The trillions of connected devices sending information on a regular basis will cause a data explosion. Data volumes are expected to grow 40 times between now and 2020. Accessing this data and making sense of it all will be key to transforming business processes and driving business value.
  • Cloud. Accessing massive computing power and business content available in the cloud will lower adoption costs and democratize technology to the point where companies will have to compete at three new levels: speed of execution, access to talent, and speed of innovation.

SAP is committed to maintaining the core of what we do today, which is business process excellence. And we will extend this excellence through these four innovations. We believe these technologies are mature enough for adoption today. And for the first time, disruptions may come from anywhere in the world — not just from North America or Western Europe.

We highly recommend that everyone stay abreast of the latest technologies and adopt them per their business needs. Adoption needs to be driven by the business and in collaboration with the business. Remember, it is not critical that you get it exactly right the first time. Adoption is all about speed and innovation.

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