Worse than foolish, it will prove fatal to continue cobbling together legacy applications to keep your organization limping along, according to SAP’s Steve Lucas at SAP TechEd (#SAPtd) in Barcelona this week. In order to keep up with — and outperform — your competition, you must transform into digital enterprises.

“Companies that ignore becoming a digital enterprise — or dismiss it — they will die,” the global president of the SAP Platform Solutions Group said during his keynote. “A digital enterprise is a company where the seemingly disconnected and inconsequential is fully connected and always consequential.”

In The Zone

SAP TechEd is a technical education conference aimed at teaching users how to facilitate transformations into digital enterprises using cutting-edge technology, such as the real-time powerhouse SAP Cloud for Analytics, the business app builder SAP HANA Cloud Platform and SAP HANA Vora, which bridges big data and transactional data. Learning occurred in four zones, each with its own mission:

  • Build: Get hands-on with code, devices, toys and tools — with SAP developers and designers standing by to help. For more information, check out the Build Zone video below.
  • Learn: Continue your technical education in relaxing environment featuring product roadmaps, networking sessions and more.
  • Explore: Discover the value of the SAP ecosystem from the SAP partners and user groups that rely on these technologies, services and programs to maintain their competitive edge.
  • Hang Out: Learn about UX technology while getting a coffee at the Fiori Café — when not taking in showcases, such as Digital Farming and the Digital Boardroom, or watching a discussion at the Live Studio.

We’ve Got It Covered

Unlike the SAP TechEd 5K Fun Run/Walk in Las Vegas last month, this week’s SAP TechEd featured Celebration Night, a fantastic evening of complementary food, drinks and entertainment across four of Barcelona’s hottest beachside clubs.

Making good on a promise in my Barcelona preview, here is some of coverage from the latest SAP TechEd:

A team of five from the University of Liechtenstein won this year’s DemoJam developer competition on Wednesday night. Kevin Flesher and Bolaji Smith told SAP’sCraig Cmehil how an energy company could use their app to collect text messages from customers around the world to find out what their concerns are, helping a big corporation effectively listen to each individual.

Getting to Work

These technologies can accomplish a lot, and SAP’s Björn Goerke brought most of them together during his keynote speech on Wednesday. After an impressive hour alone onstage building an app fit for any digital enterprise, Goerke appealed to the assembled technologists, engineers and developers.

“We’re more relevant than ever; we’re more needed than ever — but we need to stay on top of technologies,” Goerke said. “We need to excel in our domain … we need to be able to stretch the boundaries of what has been considered possible before.”

The people within digital enterprises must be creative, building imaginative-yet-relevant solutions for their end users, be they customers or fellow employees, according to Goerke. Those individuals must bravely embrace a world in which everything connects and anything can be consequential.

“We’ve seen that in this storm of digitization,” Goerke said. “You can either sit and wait and expect to be wiped out by your competition — or you can get to work.”

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.