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Disrupt or be disrupted in the digital economy

Si-Mohamed SAÏD, Global Vice President, SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori Product Marketing | Aug. 24, 2015
In PWC's Annual Globe CEO Survey, 86% of the executives interviewed say that a clear vision of how digital technologies can create competitive advantage is key to the success of their investments.

This is a sponsored article by SAP.

The world is rapidly evolving into a digital economy, and if there was any doubt about that concept, one can just consider these numbers:

  • The Ericsson Mobility Report states that by the year 2020, there will be 9.5 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.
  • Gartner predicts that the number of IoT devices will grow to 26 billion units by 2020, representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009.
  • Data from the Accenture Digital Density Index shows that the increased penetration of digital technologies in economic activity can significantly lift productivity and GDP growth. The report indicates that the impact of this could potentially drive $1.36 trillion in additional output in the world's top 10 economies in 2020.

The reality is that there is an urgent need for today's enterprises to drive their digital transformation, especially if they do not want to be disrupted in their industry. In fact, in PWC's Annual Globe CEO Survey, 86% of the executives interviewed say that a clear vision of how digital technologies can create competitive advantage is key to the success of their investments.

Complexity is hindering forward momentum

While the numbers above indicate a rapidly evolving digital world, the reality is that many enterprises around the globe are struggling with how to keep pace with this change. They are unsure how to meet the expectations of savvy, connected customers, and they are continually scrambling to keep up with rapidly changing markets that require fast, immediate reactions.

At the heart of these challenges are systems that fall short - dramatically short, in fact - of meeting the demands of the digital transformation. These systems, which have morphed over the years, are far too complex and costly to support transformation properly - and they are impeding growth.

A global survey of more than 300 IT professionals conducted on behalf of CIO Insight in early 2015 suggests that IT managers recognise complexity as a major problem for their organisations. More than half of those surveyed feel that overly complex IT systems make it harder to meet customer needs, change business processes, and drive innovative business models.

Those that succeed in the digital economy will be organisations that understand the value of technology and the ability to respond, pivot, and drive change at the speed of light. The enterprises that can adapt their technology quickly and reinvent their businesses while keeping complexity at bay will be the ones that take advantage of new opportunities and thrive in this digital economy.

Simplification is key

So what's the answer? From an SAP perspective, it's to Run Simple. To this end, we are redefining how enterprise software can create value in a digital economy. A key example of this is the recent introduction of SAP S/4HANA.

 

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