Digital transformation is no longer an option

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    BUSINESSES have felt dysfunctional, even helpless during the length of the lockdowns brought about the pandemic.

    And in the midst of the virus-initiated home quarantines around the world, digitalization has become the norm. WFH, work-from-home is the new mode of business for those who can execute tasks from home. This lockdown also challenged companies to come up with ways to re-train and re-orient employees on the digital platform.

    “This crisis impacted has businesses for months, and probably even for years,” Christian Klein, Chief Executive Officer of SAP speaking about the importance of creating resilient, sustainable and profitable companies on a digital platform.

    SAP NOW Reimagined, with CEO Christian Klein in a digitally created stage. (Screengrab from Youtube)

    Klein did this at the “SAP Sapphire Now Reimagined,” an event that is normally done in huge event halls, in Las Vegas or San Francisco, but this year was done over a digital platform attracting thousands of participants.

    “More than any event hall can accommodate,” said one participant over the live interactive commentary facility.

    DIGITAL IS THE NEW NORMAL

    “Digital transformation is now no longer an option but a must,” Klein emphasized as he started to veer away from explaining technology simply as a solution that does not take away human interaction.

    “If we cannot interact in person we are forced to find other ways to do business…this means looking at new personalized services, new direct business models and powerful platform that allows a different kind of interaction,” he pointed out as he singled out how the crisis drew out the best in companies’ imagination and creativity.

    He also stressed that companies that used innovative technology were more competitive before the pandemic and became more resilient in the middle of it.

    He explained that for many businesses in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, the most important factor was profitability, but quickly added this was because companies needed to get into a survival mode—and take care of their employees first while looking at business sustainability.

    TECHNOLOGY MEANS RESILIENCE

    Companies that were ready with the technology turned out to be more resilient.

    One of these resilient companies that had built itself on an SAP platform is Porsche.
    Lutz Meschke, CFO of Porsche explained how the world was changing the way it moved itself with various policies that control and, in some cases, even deter the presence of automobiles.

    In the case of Porsche, its resilience comes in the move towards more electrified vehicles and increased robotics and automation in manufacturing. Applying artificial intelligence in many aspects of the business also allowed for faster scaling and building better business continuity. This includes a future where people can buy “made-to-order” cars using complex data that comes from social and market trends.

    During an earlier SAP Global Partner Summit, which was also held online, the company announced free global access to software demonstration environments. This was to help it partners and other companies navigate the various business landscapes, in a COVID-19 pandemic mode, and out of it.

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