Are You A Believer – And A Practitioner – In The Digital Economy?

Estelle Lagorce

Buzzwords of any kind tend to inspire reactions that run the gamut. What makes one person light up with joy causes others to roll their eyes with skepticism. The “digital revolution” is one of those polarizing buzzwords. Some cynics view it as marketing hype drummed up by tech companies to boost sales, while others are ardent believers who are certain they must become digital enterprises if they are to survive.

If you fall into the former category, your business might be falling behind. According to Capgemini Consulting and the MIT Center for Digital Business, early adopters of enabling technology in the digital economy are already reaping benefits. Amr El Meleegy, senior director of product marketing at SAP, acknowledges how daunting it can be to reinvent your business model. In a recent webinar, Reinventing Your Business Models for the Digital Economy, he cites a recent study which says that most CEOs understand the threats and opportunities of digital transformation, but have no strategy in place to deal with it.

Digital revolution as a cultural and market condition, not just a tech trend

The truth is that a digital revolution has already happened, and we live in it every day. Our communication style is ruled by iPhones and other mobile devices. We are constantly connected – and we rely on these connections to make decisions. Why should it be any different for businesses in the hyperconnected world? Consider these stats presented by El Meleegy:

  • 90% of the world’s data was generated in the past two years
  • there’s been 40% growth in adoption of business networks in the past two years
  • 51% of workloads were uploaded in the cloud in 2014
  • 212 billion things are projected to be connected by year-end 2020
  • 9 billion mobile users in the world projected by 2020

But what do all these numbers mean to businesses trying to thrive in the digital economy? One word: complexity. You can’t have that much data floating around without knowing how to wade through it. And that’s been the top concern from CFOs to IT to line managers. Just how pervasive is the complexity conundrum?

  • Costs inevitably rise
  • Employee satisfaction is harmed
  • Decision making is stymied by a flood of information, halting business growth

So how does the battle with complexity stack up against the potential benefits of tackling the digital enterprise? Many would agree that they have no choice but to buckle down and start the transformation. According to the Capgemini and MIT study, almost half of the S&P 500 won’t remain on the list in the next 10 years if they don’t keep pace with emerging technology trends.

Five key pillars to digital transformation success

There is no official roadmap to mastering the digital transformation, but El Meleegy offers critical questions whose answers can act as a guide to becoming a digital enterprise:

  1. How can I better use my products and assets?
  1. How can I deliver an omnichannel experience that provides an integrated, single view of customer interaction across all touch points?
  1. How can I digitize my core to move from batch to real-time processes and run everything on one platform?
  1. How can I enhance workforce engagement and allow my employees to use mobile devices to access personalized information where and when they need it?
  1. How can I increase supplier collaboration with help from reliable business networks?

To learn even more ways to master transformation in the digital economy, listen to the Webinar replay.

Estelle Lagorce

About Estelle Lagorce

Estelle Lagorce is the Director, Global Partner Marketing, at SAP. She leads the global planning, successful implementation and business impact of integrated marketing programs with top global Strategic Partner across priority regions and countries (demand generation, thought leadership).