The Latest In Disruptive Innovations With Emerging Technologies

Vasanth Kumar

Purpose is an important driver in fostering an innovative culture within companies. Innovation is value, driven by purpose. The era of driving innovation by following others is over; it’s transitioning to businesses that are taking the lead, collaborating with the ecosystem, and driving it with new purpose. While success with innovation projects can potentially swing either way, the benefits to be reaped are multifold, especially with emerging, disruptive technologies.

Think about it. What type of business do you want to be? Innovative? Check. Using best practices? Check. Closely following market leaders? Check. But, what if you changed the order around and led the way instead? Check.

According to the IDC white paper “The Future Services Sector: Continuous Delivery for Competitive Advantage,” companies tend to look at new business models that deliver 15%–25% faster revenue growth than the industry average. To sustain such success, companies are rushing to adjust to the new service-driven business world – a world that can be enabled now with new technologies.

We believe the new service-driven business models work best when you connect things with people and processes. This means you need to make things intelligent. Sales can drive revenue by connecting, monitoring, and distributing products with embedded intelligence in the field to ensure never-empty situations. For the manufacturer, the fixed assets across the network have to be tracked, monitored, analyzed, and maintained. Businesses have to offer people new services in real time, highly tailored to the individual’s activity, location, and needs, to anticipate and solve issues before they even happen.

A business can do one of three things:

  1. Keep up with innovation trends
  2. Become a late adopter of innovation
  3. Emerge as a trend-setter by leveraging the power of co-innovating with trusted partners

With our experience in the last decade, we see more and more companies adopting the latter approach and actively collaborating with the ecosystem to create innovations for their business.

So where do we start? Well, it all starts with changing your thinking.

No technology for technology’s sake

One of the mistakes we often make with technology adoption is to shoot for all the latest. The better approach is to partner with experts across company boundaries and allow them to help you find the sweet spot of innovation and identify the right technology and applications to address business challenges. The other approach can be breaking new ground for your business by focusing on co-innovation through strategic partnerships with trusted technology experts.

A good follow-up question would be “how we can begin to view things differently?” Let’s look at two up-and-coming technologies and how we can consume them to our advantage.

IoT and security: Focus on security risk assessment

The connected world is fast becoming a reality. This essentially means Internet of Things (IoT) in everything and everywhere. Gartner predicts that by 2020, IoT technology will be in 95% of electronics for new product designs. This leads to smart devices and sensors everywhere creating an unprecedented amount of data. Key to the emerging connected world is the ability to gain new insights and make better decisions through advanced data analysis.

But in the great race to be leaders in the IoT realm, don’t leave behind the need to carefully evaluate and secure every component of the IoT ecosystem. The trick is to bring together the IoT ecosystem on a co-innovation mode to build smart IoT solutions that are inherently secure from the start.

The “B” journey: Bitcoin to blockchain

Beyond cryptocurrency, in blockchain we have a new technology that offers a real possibility for citizens and governments to move forward by revolutionizing service delivery with a built-in trust system. When using blockchain for public services, we are leveraging the basic and underlying principles of trust and transparency.

Quite rightly, the Dubai Government has put in place a plan for all government departments to be blockchain-enabled. We foresee that this could go much further than just enabling system trust; it could also help reduce crime and pilferage and even secure imported and exported products across every industry sector because tracking and traceability are higher.

Co-innovation is key for emerging technologies: An example from UAE

What started as a management philosophy is today practiced by global leaders for bringing alive the power of the ecosystem. A good case in point for co-innovation would be SAP’s recent showcase with a leading real-estate property management company. The pilot approach was to address how a lease process, where third parties such as contractors are involved, could be managed more efficiently with blockchain so that the period between two leases are reduced. With the blockchain pilot, work can be seamlessly monitored at every stage of the contractor’s process to bring better transparency on the completion status of the projects.

Think of net-new innovation

Over the last decade, co-innovation labs have been involved in fueling and running projects across multiple markets, including the recently launched set of co-innovation labs in the Middle East. The risks are lower and success rates are higher in a co-innovation approach. A large part of our work has been focused on bringing together businesses, partners, and the latest technologies with a structured and guided global approach to deliver focused innovation specific to the region and create differentiated value.

The global SAP Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) network facilitates project-based co-innovation with its members, enhancing the capabilities of SAP’s partner and customer ecosystem through a worldwide network of expertise and best-in-class technologies and platforms.


Vasanth Kumar

About Vasanth Kumar

Vasanth Kumar is the head of SAP Co-Innovation Lab, Middle East, for SAP. He is fostering co-innovation with ecosystem and bringing success in the region for SAP. Vasanth brings over 27 years of rich and blended experience with the manufacturing industry and enterprise business software to create value for customers, partners, and startups by driving strategy and achieving execution excellence.