For most companies, the question is not when to digitally transform the business, but how. In fact, one study found that 90% of executives and managers believe the digital economy will have a major impact on their business, but only 15% of companies are taking action by building a plan.1 Let’s face it: Transforming your business can be daunting, especially if you consider the avalanche of information that comes from digital technologies. The reward is powerful, however — once a business is able to connect all the live data that is available from various sources, and is able to act on it, that business becomes what we call a live business.
At SAP, we’re really excited about how our technology is enabling companies to become live businesses. You may have seen our recent “live business” campaign, which showcases customers that are running live. For us, running live represents the evolution of running simple. It means having instant clarity and access to a seamless digital business that enables customers to sense, respond, adapt, and anticipate customer demand. A live business predicts the future instead of reporting the past. It uses live system technology to tune its decision making, operations, and network of partners and to meet the changing needs of the customer in the moment of opportunity. Live decision making provides a single source of truth about a company’s most important business metrics to monitor, simulate, and drive change in the digital economy.
SAP technology is designed to help companies of all types and sizes achieve the goal of becoming a live business. While SAP HANA is the driving engine and SAP S/4HANA is the digital core of the business, speed is just one component of what makes a modern, data-driven, live business. It is also about using data in completely new ways, and getting beyond the siloed approaches of the past. SAP’s entire portfolio of end-to-end solutions — including platforms, apps, networks, and cloud technology — works together to support this transformation.
The beauty of a live business is that it goes beyond size, appealing to large multinationals as well as start-ups and small and midsize enterprises. All you need to tap into real-time data is a tablet and a cloud-based application. With SAP Business One, for example, a small start-up retailer can easily create a digital boardroom without barriers, empowering a single small business owner to run a live business with a real-time look into customers’ wants and needs. In the end, every business, regardless of its size, shares the same goal of making every customer feel like the most important one. Often, a simple approach can make all the difference.
Partners are a big part of the digital transformation process. As someone who considers herself a “channel native” due to experience in the business, I believe that SAP partners, with their deep implementation and development expertise, are uniquely positioned to help customers find the right technologies to meet their needs and steer them in the direction best suited to their goals. Ultimately, SAP’s goals, as well as those of its partners, are one and the same — to provide customers with the technology to act in the moment, and win as a live business.
1 MIT Sloan Management Review and Capgemini Consulting, “Embracing Digital Technology: A New Strategic Imperative” (2013; www.capgemini-consulting.com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/embracing_digital_technology_a_new_strategic_imperative.pdf). [back]