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Digitization Is Not on the Horizon: It’s Already Here

by Otto Schell | SAPinsider, Volume 17, Issue 3

August 4, 2016

Digitization is no longer just on the horizon: It’s here. But for many companies, the transition can be overwhelming. According to a recent survey of 346 DSAG members, many organizations seek support as they review their current capabilities and their goals for their digital transformation. Discover how these companies are preparing for the digital transformation and how you can embrace support for taking advantage of today’s innovative technologies.

Digitization is not merely on the horizon: It’s here, it’s real, and for many companies it can be overwhelming. According to a recent survey of 346 DSAG members from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, companies are reviewing their ability to reconcile the changes in customer interfaces, production and logistics activities, personnel management, and big data analytics that come with digitization.

The most significant changes are still under way, as business processes, work procedures, and customer interactions continue to evolve alongside innovative business strategies that reflect this digital focus. When faced with this monumental transformation, respondents said they will need the guidance of an established and forward-looking company such as SAP to lead them in their journey to digitization. And in turn, market leaders have a responsibility to educate and empower their customers to help them succeed.

Ongoing Support

According to the survey and focus groups, SAP still plays a major role in the industry and remains a leading figure in digital transformation; more than 70% of respondents believe SAP is a relevant partner and plays an important role in digitization. As such, they expect consistent support and pertinent advice throughout the process. Customers also require easy integration between their existing ERP systems and new product offerings that will suit their digital needs. Solutions that cover end-to-end processes are also a must as the lines between departments continue to blur in an increasingly collaborative work environment.

Real-time technology and the software that supports it will determine the enterprise architecture — but only if companies know how to harness it.

Collaboration of Business and IT

As responsibilities within organizations shift to keep up with digitization, IT and other departments across the company are working more closely together, fostering a greater depth of innovation and empowerment. The business side can now take ownership of projects through the enhanced capabilities in SAP software, and various departments are able to influence the direction of the company as a whole. As a result of this collaboration, new business models can be further explored at a rate that was previously unfeasible. For instance, with the Internet of Things becoming more prevalent, companies are now at a turning point: They will need a partner that can provide an infrastructure agile enough to combine market data with consumer research, analyze information in real time, translate insights into strategy, and create entirely new business channels. Real-time technology and the software that supports it will determine the enterprise architecture — but only if companies know how to harness it. Without proper guidance from an experienced partner, respondents are concerned that they could miss out on opportunities if their digital strategy is not fully developed for the future.

Partner for Success

It is important that leading figures in the industry, such as SAP, continue to inform customers on the best way to digitally transform their businesses via use cases and best practices. With SAP’s diverse and growing partner ecosystem, companies can choose from a variety of partners to help them in their journey to digitization. Having many options, however, does not guarantee that a company will make the best selection for its needs. This is why SAP must provide ongoing support to its customers that are transitioning to digital business and why DSAG will remain a resource for companies to discuss their experiences, seek advice from like-minded peers, and be part of a robust community of DSAG members.

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Otto Schell
Otto Schell

Board of Directors — Industry Solutions, Business Processes and Digital Transformation

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