Current Issues

Regular Industry Development Updates, Opinions and Talking Points relating to Manufacturing, the Supply Chain and Logistics.

Got Your Surfboards Ready to Master the Wave of Digitalization?

24-May-2018
Got Your Surfboards Ready to Master the Wave of Digitalization?
It’s no secret that digital transformation is a reality. There is no doubt: Every company, no matter the size or industry, must tackle the challenges and opportunities the digital era offers.

At SAP, we are managing our own digital transformation by using the innovations of our own software; unquestionably, SAP runs SAP. As chief operating officer, I want to make SAP a role model for the intelligent enterprise using all the great opportunities that come with the digital era. Ultimately, we all are striving for the same goals — we all want to enable innovative business models, we all want to serve new customer expectations, we all want intelligence in our processes, we all want to unleash the power of data. We all want to win.

Undoubtedly, we all know that if we don’t manage to adapt to current and upcoming changes, the wave of digitalization might be too big for us to surf.

The question is twofold: how can we at SAP manage this wave and how can we support our customers in doing so, making sure that we all succeed?

Digital transformation will only be successful when we seamlessly connect people, processes, system data, and analytics. First, the customer has to be the center of what we think and do. Offering high-quality products and services is not enough anymore, it’s about innovative digital business models and the customer experience as a whole. Second, engaging with employees brings a huge range of benefits that cannot be ignored. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, productivity tends to improve by 20 to 25 percent in organizations where employees are connected through social technologies.

Everything Starts With Processes
Digital transformation starts with processes; not very sexy, but definitely significant. To enable innovative digital business models, we need to analyze, adapt, and possibly rethink our processes. And for every business model, we need to deliver a seamless customer experience from the very first marketing touch point to a seamless buying experience across all devices and channels, followed by a fast implementation to ensure rapid time to value and then — most importantly — a post-sales experience that keeps our customers happy for life. We must utilize the power of our data; we need to align the data architecture to bring intelligence into our processes.

At the same time, it is about fighting the complexity for the employees. We need to bring automation and intelligence into our processes so that colleagues can spend more time on high value-adding tasks.

All of this needs to be supported by a holistic enterprise architecture covering all application areas as one. Right from the beginning it was clear that SAP Cloud Platform — an open platform-as-a-service that provides in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique business services for building and extending personalized, collaborative, mobile-enabled cloud applications — will be essential to manage our transformation as it allows both our customers and us to drive process integration and data integration at the same time. No other company has the capability to offer a connected front and back office like SAP can. By connecting the front office with the back office, we enable real-time steering and real-time analytics — one important step toward the realization of the intelligent enterprise.

Having talked a lot about the theory and the hard facts, we should never forget that people are key to turning the promises that digital transformation holds into a reality. Since a holistic business transformation is also a huge change management project, it is essential that all stakeholders are involved in the right way. To succeed, we also need to drive a cultural change within the company. Each and every colleague needs to be onboard with the mission and vision.

It’s About Building Bridges
Regardless of our specific lines of business, industries, and regions, we all face the same challenges and I am sure you are already very familiar with them. To succeed, it’s key to stop considering single processes and instead to view all the processes in a company as ONE. If we want to surf the wave of digitalization, we have to build bridges and stop thinking in silos. We have to rethink business end to end.

If you want to learn more about how SAP can support you in managing the digital transformation, visit our Run Simple area of sap.com. Transformation is never easy, and turning into a truly intelligent enterprise is not something that can be achieved overnight. As Vidal Sassoon said: “The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

So let’s get to it – take out your surfboards and master the wave of digitalization.

Martin Meacock
Director, Product Management, Descartes
Brexit: only 10 weeks to implement if changes are ultimately needed
John Perry
Managing Director, SCALA
What does May's defeat mean for the supply chain?
Martin Meacock
Director, Product Management, Descartes
Get Ready for CDS
Don Brenchley
Director Industry Strategy, LLamasoft EMEA
Don't Let Soft Skills Be Forgotten In Your Supply Chain
Robert Broström
Director Of Service And Support, Handheld Group
Handheld Promotes Robert Broström To Director Of Service And Support
Dan Willmer
Professional Services Leader, MercuryGate
MercuryGate Hires Dan Willmer as New Professional Services Leader
Bob Brown
Manufacturing Industry Specialist, Loftware
Ideal Enterprise Labeling Systems Include Support and Service
Jason Chester
Director of Channel Programs, InfinityQS
2019 will see half of manufacturers invest in data collection technologies
Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Integrating Man And Machine: A Fresh Approach For Modern Grocery Warehouses
Dustin Maxey
Director of Product Marketing, Ping Identity
Security from the web to the loading bay
David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
Parcel Senders Must Face Up to Their Christmas Duties
David Jonker
Vice President, Thought Leadership, SAP
Your Customer, the AI
Kelly Feehan
Service Director, CABA
Workplace wellbeing predictions for 2019
Mike Thornton
Head of Manufacturing, RSM
Brexit uncertainty bites for manufacturers
John Perry
Managing Director, SCALA
Stockpiling decision should not be taken lightly
Tony Dobson
Managing Director, Snapfulfil
Brexit Uncertainty Boosts Sales For Synergy
David Feakins
Founder and CEO, Modus Brands
How has technology transformed the distribution industry?
Nicole Hardin
Director of Product Management, Sage
The business case for reducing food waste in the supply chain
Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Mindful consumers: Are we reaching an ethical tipping point?
David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
Online household goods sales soar by 26.5% while High Street sales slump
Amir Harel
General Manager - Visibility Solutions, Zetes
Visibility - the saviour of retail operational excellence?
Sameena Ashraf
Business Development and Partnerships, Stowga
How can warehouses acquire customers?
David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
Singles’ Day’s move upmarket powers UK brands’ sales
Craig Summers
UK Managing Director, Manhattan Associates
Beware the Disruptors
Don White
VP Enterprise Solutions, Snapfulfil North America
Never too early: Three metrics to track this peak season for next year's improvements
Patrick O’Brien
UK Retail Research Director, GlobalData
Business rates relief offers no reprieve for UK’s suffering retail chains
Bob Barltrop
Strategic Development Director, SWRnewstar
Chain Reaction
Colin Whelan
Principal WFO Solutions Consultant, Aspect Software
Effective channel shift is less about the technology and more about the people it affects
Jackie Steele
Business Development Representative, Loftware
Automated Supply Chains: Don't Let Labeling Become the Weak Link
David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
How home deliveries are fighting to retain their green crown
David Jinks MILT
Head of Consumer Research, Parcelhero
Will Trump’s Move To Pull Out of UPU Lead To New Post War Period?
Zandra Moore
CEO, Panintelligence
Data for good
Charlie Pool
CEO, Stowga
Panicking over peak?