When it comes to the digital economy, it seems like every day brings a new wave of solutions, forecasts and news about our future. For example, business intelligence provider Ovum recently predicted a $4.8 trillion global opportunity by 2025, noting that a group of “digital enablers” (of which SAP is one) will benefit the most.
But who’s waiting 10 years? No one. The “digital economy” is the economy of today, and it’s alive and kicking. However, it does come with some massive challenges--like what to do with all the data. But it also brings opportunities to be more competitive, to know your customers better and to more accurately predict future needs.
Successful companies are basing their business models and their vision for the future on this new world.
You have a great opportunity to help customers make their own digital transformation as painless and as simple as possible. This is a huge—I mean, HUGE—opportunity for solution providers.
To paraphrase SAP CEO Bill McDermott, the roadmap to relevance is re-imagination. Companies like Airbnb, Uber and Netflix are moving away from the status quo, using new digital technology like mobile, cloud, and data analytics in creative ways.
SAP has identified five key technologies to help companies re-imagine their business with customers—what we call the Digital Business Framework:
- The Digital Core
First, you need to do more with your data. And you need to do it faster, better and cheaper. Crazy? It’s not as impossible as it once sounded. In fact, the now-generation of ERP solutions can produce real-time analysis and optimization, allowing businesses of all types and sizes, even SMBs, to make the right decisions when they need to be made. Leveraging the right platform can have massive implications on how businesses run and how customers engage with and view those companies.
- Customer Experience
With access to more content about products and solutions, customers are more demanding. The customer’s experience has to be the same across any channel, media or device, 24/7. In fact, 86% of customers will pay a premium for a better customer experience, according to the Amex Global Barometer.
- Workforce Engagement
We created SAP’s Run Simple concept for one primary reason: to help eliminate the complexity that is crushing productivity and efficiency in business. McDermott recently noted that the biggest 200 businesses in the world annually waste about 10% of their profits, or $237 billion, because of the ineffective means in which they operate. Technology is allowing the world to work smarter, but it can also choke us. Help your customers identify and implement the right solutions to better manage their operations, workforce, processes and customers.
- Business Networks & Supplier Collaboration
A McKinsey study found that half of all networked companies are more likely than their peers to have higher sales and higher profit margins, and to be a market leader. So it’s little wonder why solutions that help digitize business processes across operations are providing a red-hot market. Talk to your customers about how they’re connecting with their own business partners and suppliers. Help them to achieve the efficiency and scale they need to grow at the rate they expect.
- Assets & Internet of Things
By 2020, about 3 billion Internet users will access between 30 billion and 50 billion connected devices, and the Internet of Things will have an estimated $4 trillion to $11 trillion potential impact on the global economy. Smart products and data-driven business models in virtually every industry will change nearly every business.
Remember, as the digital transformation continues to unfold, those that started the conversation, and those that continue to drive the conversation, are the ones that stand to become the leaders. It’s time to think digital, act digital, be digital.
Ira Simon is vice president, Partner Marketing & Communications, at SAP. Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly and are part of The VAR Guy's annual platinum sponsorship. Learn more about partnership opportunities at: http://www.sap.com/partners/.