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The Networked Economy Technology Overview

September 11, 2014

Networked Economy to Drive Net Worth – Collaborate, Create & Compete

Networked Economy
Networked Economy

Networked enterprises are 50% more likely to have increased sales and be market leaders. “Conversations on the Future of Business” Source: McKinsey

As ever, it’s not what you know, but whom you know. But even more now, it’s how you connect. Welcome to the Network Economy.

From mobile platforms to the cloud, from social media to machine-to-machine (M2M), people and organizations are linked in more ways and by more nodes than ever before. Those links confer a new power to the connected—and a distinct disadvantage to those who fail to leverage all available contact points. And the ante is continually raised. The network effect adds exponential value. But leveraging the new network density is ever more challenging. From shifting demographics to emerging mobility, from new cloud paradigms to greater interdependencies and connectedness, organizations need to grapple with new networked realities.

Emerging Mobility in the Networked Economy

Mobile platforms enable you to connect with information, enterprises, employees, and customers any time, anywhere. Real-time access to information enables you to analyze and respond to changing market conditions in an instant. Ongoing connections with suppliers and partners let you morph supply chains and processes as demand and other inputs ebb and flow. Constant contact with employees empowers them to collaborate and serve customers better. Continual interaction with customers positions you to understand their desires and meet their needs with a superlative brand experience.

New Cloud Paradigms in the Networked Economy

Cloud networks free organizations from the burden of unnecessary infrastructure investment, maintenance, and risk. Instead, they can focus on serving their markets with the ability to scale resources and deploy new capabilities as needed. But that’s just the beginning. “The emergence and growth of cloud-based business networks has created global communities of companies just as diverse and accessible as communities of individuals,” says Alex Saric, head of marketing for Ariba, an SAP Company. “The integration of such networks into enterprise software has made leveraging these communities to crowdsource a relatively seamless and simple process.” Cloud-based collaboration enables established enterprises such as Boeing to build better aircraft. It allows startups to access crucial partners and intellectual capital. And it equips every organization to drive greater efficiencies and reach new markets.

Types of Networks in the Networked Economy

A network of one has no worth. Add nodes, and its value emerges. Network the networks, and you have the Network Economy. It’s Metcalfe’s Law on steroids.

Business networks unleash unprecedented insight, innovation, and alignment. Participants can find the tools and information they need. Solve old problems and uncover new insights. Reach new customers and markets. Automate inputs and processes for cost savings and greater agility.

Internal networks enable unrestricted information flow, without regard to organizational or geographic boundaries. They can become destinations for data, learning, tools, and knowledge. They drive collaboration and problem solving, optimize processes, and speed time to market.

External networks bring together partners, customers, and markets. They empower you to capture market inputs, reduce operational risk, achieve more nimble supply chains, and deliver superlative customer experience.

Machine networks link sensors, components, equipment, and activities. By automating data collection and operations, they enable you to manage remote processes, monitor trends, and gain new levels of competitive advantage.

The Networked Economy – Faster, Cost Efficient Innovation

The Network Economy is a faster economy. To realize success, you need to achieve escape velocity. To that end, provide fast access to resources. Leverage cloud computing and mobile platforms to give your people the information and tools they need to do their jobs, whenever and wherever they need to do them.

The Network Economy is a more cost-efficient economy. Automating data flow through innovations like M2M can deliver benefits direct to the bottom line. Linking internal and external resources can give you cost-effective access to expertise and capacity.

The Network Economy is an innovative economy. Connect employees so they can uncover hidden expertise and collaborate on solving your most vexing problems. Fold in external knowledge you can scale up or down as needed to develop new products or respond to market changes.

Invest Wisely

The Network Economy depends on wise technology investment. “If we look at this emerging industry of peer-to-peer networks, there is so much value is that locked and unused,” says Ramesh Ramakrishnan, founder of RR Marketing Advisory. “Technology helps extend the reach of this value beyond one’s own immediate connections.” Cloud computing lets you access resources, link stakeholders, and deliver insights in real time. Mobile platforms connect employees, partners, and customers wherever they happen to be, whenever they need to be connected. Collaborative tools extend knowledge to all your people, and bring in value from outside your walls. In-memory computing and sophisticated analytics complement the data your networks pull in, yielding new insights and innovations.

Download the SAP Networked Economy