How Athletic Innovators And Intelligent Enterprises Complete Their Journeys

Gerd Ehrhardt

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. While taking that first step may not be easy, the path it takes you down will lead to true accomplishment.

Anyone who has prepared for a marathon can tell you that “traditional” training techniques may be effective, but they are also inefficient and time-consuming. Today, thanks to innovation in athletic sciences, anyone can train like a professional.

Innovation doesn’t have to be a ground-breaking discovery or a finish line. It can occur anytime during the journey that starts with that first step. Marathoners are constantly trying to innovate their training regimens to maximize their abilities.

Getting more from data

Training for my first marathon, I came to realize that innovation is happening all around us – and it goes well beyond heart rate monitors. It happens thanks to the endless efforts of athletes and scientists in the past, present, and future.

A significant amount of data must be recorded and distributed on a global scale to produce the best results. The introduction of intelligent technologies has allowed average runners like me to provide useful information and match it with users globally. That data can then be consolidated, enabling that innovative spark to continue as long as people continue running.

Thanks to the cloud platform and freedom of information, this data helps to create a global team that is developing new and better ways to train. Organizations now have the ability to run machine-learning technologies to analyze data and address challenges.

Much like athletic innovators, these machines use trial and error to create algorithms that enable them to perform their assigned duties, providing intelligent enterprises with the information they need to complete their own journeys.

Crossing the finish line

Taking that first step is, of course, just the beginning of the marathon. In my case, I started to get tired, and my body became weak. The cadence I’d been repeating in my head began to fade at about mile 3, and breathing became significantly harder.

That’s when I noticed a group of people running near me, singing a cadence as they ran. As I started to recite the cadence myself, I was able to catch my breath a bit and keep pace with the group. I didn’t learn until after the marathon that the act of singing forces you to breathe while you’re running, and the pack mentality prevents you from failing.

This information was readily available – all I had to do was accept it. That is what made it possible for me to finish the marathon. Even if I, or anyone else in the group, stopped singing, the song would never stop. No single person could stop or change the cadence.

For more on how emerging technology can help meet today’s challenges, see “What My 25-Year-Old Truck Can Teach You About Intelligent Assets.”

Dr. Gerd Ehrhardt

About Dr. Gerd Ehrhardt

Dr. Gerd Ehrhardt has a proven record of multiyear and multilevel experience in transformation management. He has spent most of his career in an international environment within the software industry. Gerd has lived and worked in many countries on three continents, these include Germany, France, the USA, Singapore, and Jordan. He works at SAP, writes for the Forbes Magazine, the SAP News Center and contributes to the World Economic Forum Agenda. Please follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn