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Three Digital Transformation Megatrends, Insights from Dr. Craig Brown

Feature Article | June 21, 2017 by Penny Delgadillo Valencia

At SAPPHIRE NOW I caught up with Dr. Craig Brown, technology expert, entrepreneur, and author of Untapped Potential, to chat about how organizations are viewing and using technology.

Craig consults with a range of businesses to drive both greater technology and management results, so I appreciated his deeper view into what business leaders are experiencing on their journey of digital transformation. He shared three trends that come up often in his conversations, all of which resonate with my experiences:

  • First, most businesses understand they need to digitally transform to stay competitive see the value in producing an apples-to-apples comparison of their competitive landscape.
  • Second, data quality and governance is a growing need.
  • Third, user experience isn’t just about happiness; it’s about productivity. If you cannot provide an appealing experience, your customers are going to look elsewhere. And an appealing experience hinges on productivity. It’s all about speed, making business more efficient, and helping them reinvent.

Which of course brought us to SAP Leonardo. SAPPHIRE NOW provided an immersive experience in this new digital innovation portfolio, which, at its core, is designed to help businesses not only realize digital transformation of existing end-to-end business processes, but also enable them to evolve new business models to run digitally.

“The SAP Leonardo experience was like Disney for me,” Craig reported. “I went twice.”

But all this access to and emphasis on Big Data has left some businesses lost. “We need to translate the buzzwords,” explained Craig. “I see a disconnect with my customers about machine learning and AI. Some customers are much further along the implementation process than others. Many of my clients see data as valuable, but they treat it as a liability that needs to be managed, rather than an asset. They need to see use cases of when these technologies brought value to businesses in order for them to visualize how it can impact their company.”

This is why conferences such as SAPPHIRE NOW are so important. They allow us to bring relevant scenarios to life for our customers. So much of the fast-changing technology landscape can seem theoretical—or hard to imagine where to begin without breaking existing systems.

To that point, Craig also underlined the value of data scientists, technologists who can help interpret and give meaning to all the data businesses now have available to them. “The machine learning messaging is overtaking data science in some ways, but there still need to be stewards in place to ensure that data can be translated to business value.”

Penny Delgadillo Valencia is senior vice president of Global Audience and Strategic Partner Marketing at SAP

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