Digital Transformation SMEs – SAP Executives Discuss What, When, How, Where and Why?
#1 Welcome To Our New Digital Reality
There’s a technology-enabled business revolution occurring right now that knows no borders and seemingly has no limits. It’s the future of global business on steroids. It represents the conversion of everything we know into ones and zeros: Digits that move across the globe at lightning speed connecting people and businesses in new, innovative, and ground breaking ways.
This revolution is called Digital Transformation, or DT, and while it seems to be the thing everyone is talking about, it really is nothing new. It was put into motion with the advent of the first computer, and with every passing year it gains tremendous speed, depth, and breadth. It grows only stronger as each mobile device, tablet, and connected sensor is imagined and sold. It has the same exponential growth curve as the Internet, and as more people and devices connect, it only gains strength. With DT, every industry, organization, and structure will change. The transactional business world we live in today will be fundamentally transformed. This is the stark reality.
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#2 What Exactly Is Digital Transformation?
The phrase digital transformation has been used widely in articles, blogs, keynote addresses, books, and podcasts. A simple Google search returns more than 4.2 million results. Unfortunately, as the phrase is more widely used, it becomes more all-encompassing – and therefore increasingly vague. From our perspective, digital transformation is simply this: the relentless pursuit of the conversion of our physical world into an environment represented by information, software, analytics, technology-enabled business processes, bits, bytes, and data.
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Geoff Scott is CEO of Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG), the world’s largest community of SAP professionals.
#3 Why Digital Transformation Is Not Out Of Reach For Small Businesses
Digital transformation for SMEs has impacted nearly every person and business on Earth in some way. For small and midsize companies, digital transformation has brought unimaginable opportunity to become more nimble, expand, and turn the tables on much larger competitors. When everything is digitized and tracked, businesses can work directly with suppliers and customers while gaining more control over their business.
Dinesh Sharma is the Vice President, Marketing, Internet of Things, at SAP. He is a GM-level technology executive with leadership, technical innovation, effective strategic planning,
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#4 Is The Personal Touch Possible In The Digital Economy?
When I travel, it’s a bit of a social event. I enjoy conversations with the gate agents, flight attendants, hotel staff, waitresses, and cab drivers. And while being outgoing is part of my nature, I don’t just talk to them for the sake of talking – I’m building relationships to learn where the locals go, discover how to get a deal, and, most of all, to have a better experience.
Now that consumers can click, tap, and swipe their way through the buying journey, that kind of experience and dialogue is quickly disappearing. A recently released IDC study, “Thriving in the Digital Economy: How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation,” sponsored by SAP, uncovers that a sizeable percentage of businesses worldwide are well aware of this reality:
- 41.8% believe that the next generation of corporate employees won’t have the same kind of relationships with customers as experienced in the past
- 38.7% cite that employees are no longer as personally connected to customers
Johann Wrede is the Global Vice President, Audience, Brand, & Content Marketing, for SAP Customer Engagement & Commerce.
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#5 The Truth About Data And Digital Transformation SMEs Business Should Know
Every part of our lives creates data. Think about the fact that Google alone gets 40,000 queries per second. That’s 3.5 million searches per day or 1.2 trillion per year! With the staggering amount of information available, every company – regardless of size – stands to benefit. However, a recently released IDC global study, “Thriving in the Digital Economy: How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation,” sponsored by SAP, revealed that not all small and midsize businesses are taking advantage of the data available and the insights they can derive and act on.
When asked how the proliferation of data volume, types, and sources has changed the way they operate:
- 41.6% are using real-time reporting for instant updates of current activities
- 48.7% are supporting data-driven decision making
According to the study, there’s a widespread perception that enterprise-grade, digital technology is just for big companies. Yet, this couldn’t be further from the truth: More than ever, technology is within every business’ reach.
Alison Biggan is global head of Product Marketing, Digital Enterprise Platform Group, at SAP.
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#6 Small and Midsize Businesses: Overcoming The Challenges Of Digital Transformation
Almost every small and midsize business has adopted some form of digital technology. Social collaboration, mobile apps, communication resources, and the cloud – these are just a few of the many options available. But when considering investing in such innovations, small and midsize businesses have specific criteria: The technology must transform market risk into opportunity and cost into revenue immediately, without disruption, and with little to no impact on cash flow.
According to the recently released IDC global study, “Thriving in the Digital Economy: How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation,” sponsored by SAP, small and midsize businesses worldwide see some challenges in digital transformation:
- 49.2% feel that the always-on nature of the digital economy is forcing them to be “always available” to deal with work-related issues
- 45.0% think social media poses challenges since mistakes are quickly visible on the Internet, making it impossible to hide anything from customers and prospects
- 41.3% are concerned that they will become too reliant on data to make effective decisions and will draw inappropriate conclusions
Rodolpho Cardenuto is the President of Global Channel and General Business at SAP, responsible for driving SAP Board-sponsored initiatives through strategic SAP partners and accelerating the company’s growth through new and existing sales channels worldwide.
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#7 Region by Region Comparison: Are Small And Midsize Businesses Ready For Digital Transformation?
Truly, 2016 is proving to be a year of extraordinary change and revolution. Every corner of the world is experiencing a historic shift in politics, economics, social interactions, and commerce. Not only is it influencing our everyday lives, but companies of all sizes are also feeling the squeeze on their profit margins and growth – forcing them to pay attention to digital transformation and its underlying impacts.
Are small and midsize businesses feeling the same pressure to adapt to this digital world? According to a recent IDC study, “Thriving in the Digital Economy: How small and midsize enterprises are adapting to digital transformation,” it all depends on geography.
Meaghan Sullivan is the vice president of Global Channel Marketing at SAP. In this role, she is tasked with accelerating global indirect revenue through channel marketing practices with a focus on VARs and Distributors.