Digital Economies: As economies (or marketplaces) evolve, they become more efficient over time. Any economist will tell you that. What is clear to me is that the next frontier of efficiency for all global economies is digital and driven by ones and zeroes, regulated by hyper efficient algorithms all of which will be modeled, executed and continually optimized in real time. In a Digital Economy, a very real currency is the data exchanged between entities, not just goods, services and monetary funds in the traditional sense. You need to look no further than the Financial Services “economy” to get a glimpse of what your industry will look like in a very short period of time.
Digital Enterprise: So if we are to believe that all economies either are or will become entirely digital as the next frontier of efficiency, what then becomes of the companies that participate in those economies? There are three organizational scenarios that I believe will play out:
Organizations that believe that they don’t need to rapidly evolve. They will die.
Organizations who choose believe that digital “elements” of their business (like a cloud based CRM product) will somehow make them a digital enterprise. These companies will not be competitive and will either suffer significant devaluation over the next decade or will be acquired.
Organizations who know what the coming Digital Economy for their respective industry will require to win and are earnestly building a Digital Core, connected all the way to the Digital Edge of their business and beyond. These companies will win.
If you don’t believe me, allow me to retort with: Uber.
Which transportation company, prior to the arrival of Uber, had the end to end, digital capability and processes to rapidly respond? The answer is none. If they had, Uber would never have risen to its current level of relevance and validation.
Digital Core: Which leads me to my final and most important point, the need for a Digital Core, connected to every part of your business all the way to the edge and beyond. SAP offers a Digital Core for your business. This core is called SAP HANA and it provides fundamentally different ways for your business to operate than how you’ve been running things to date.
Here’s a helpful graphic showing HANA at the core of a Digital Enterprise, working in tandem with an innovative suite of digital, responsive business applications:
To fully appreciate how this works, you first need to think of HANA as a platform, a Digital “operating system” for your whole company that enables your business to consume everything happening in and around your business in real time. Not just transaction data, like what you sold today, but the context around the transaction, like what someone said about the purchase. All of this, beautifully intermingled into one platform. That way you aren’t spending valuable investment dollars on integrating data, you’re investing those dollars on ways to connect with your customer in the moment and, ultimately, sell more.