Sven Denecken: Embrace the digital economy or be left behind
“Today, two clever kids can do what you needed entire corporations to do three years ago,” says SAP’s Global Vice PresidentShow transcript
Following on from The New Economy’s coverage of Cloud World Forum, we spoke to Sven Denecken from German software giant SAP, on how to re-imagine business processes and develop a digitised core.
The New Economy: Technology is being harnessed in an unprecedented manner, as global business models are being built. Here to share insight on some of these trends: Sven Denecken.
Now, let’s begin by briefly discussing some of the key digital trends that companies are embracing today.
Sven Denecken: So, there are four which I would like to mention. The first one is customer-centricity. Digital technology has changed the game completely, but customers change the rules as well.
The demand simple, seamless, and personalised experiences across any channel, any time, anywhere, and actually, on any device.
Number two would be, we need to be operationally simple, because the world is getting smarter in the digital economy. But the complexity is killing that innovation right away, because the external negative pressure on the collective bottom line is there. So we need to find ways to simplify – actually, everywhere.
Number three for me is the global e-network. There are trillions of dollars of commerce moving into silos, and millions of companies attempting to innovate, just on their own. So I think this is a lost opportunity to improve the lives of billions of end users.
Last but not least, number four: there is technology innovation. Take the internet of things, or take big data. The most dramatic change in the digital economy will be driven by that hyper-connectivity, and big data. This will transform nearly every business model out there.
The New Economy: So, how are companies meeting these targets through technology?
Sven Denecken: First of all, we think technology is not a means by itself. It always should be the enabler for that innovation; and trends like big data, connectivity, and cloud, have been around for a while.
Now, you see the combination technologies coming up: actually, they’re real game-changers, and they have potential. Like, 3d printing influencing manufacturing. Like internet of things influencing classical business to get to a service-oriented business. Or augmented reality in geo-spatial, which are capabilities that are influencing buyer behaviour.
All of this is asking for in-memory, real-time platforms, so you really can make use of it.
The New Economy: Beyond a digital strategy, what role does a digitised core play?
Sven Denecken: That’s a very good question. The digitised core, I think, is key to transforming business and preparing it for the future.
Every business process, someone sooner or later will touch the core. And almost certainly it is dependent on it. But now, the big question is, how to make your business faster, simpler, and further automate your process. Because you need to seamlessly integrate across all value chain processes: from client interaction, digital R&D, production, administration, and much more.
For us, it meant as a consequence to entirely re-think what a business core looks like in the 21st century. And here is where, at SAP, our new business suite S/4 HANA comes in.
Three things. Number one: the entire value chain is digitised, including the digital core, which serves as a foundation for the business innovation and optimisation.
Number two: the digital enterprise interconnects all aspects of the value chain, to drive and anticipate the business outcomes in real time.
And number three: enterprises across industries can lead with that digital transformation by completely re-imagining business models, business processes, and their work.
So, this helps SAP customers – and the ecosystem – to reimagine their business in the digital economy.
The New Economy: Excellent. So what is the next wave of innovation you’re looking to embrace when building strategic business models?
Sven Denecken: So that’s that crystal ball question, right? We think companies will re-map their entire business along efficiency, effectiveness, and agility: the framework of the digital transformation.
We recommend choosing the business process very wisely. Transform – or even disrupt – yourself quickly, and on the right true in-memory platform. This is what we see.
Today, two clever kids can do what you needed entire corporations and their infrastructure to do three years ago. So I think it’s time to make that move, and embrace the digital economy – or someone else will do it before, or do it instead of, you.
The New Economy: Okay; Sven, thank you so much for joining me today.
Sven Denecken: Thanks for having me.