Outcomes that Drive the Intelligent Enterprise

The phrase digital transformation seems to evoke a variety of thoughts and emotions. With all the press about digital transformation in the last few years, it is easy to either ignore or simply cringe at the statistics: Is it possible that a large, multi-national corporation could be missing something in their overall corporate strategy to compete? Will digitally transforming drive value to the business?

According to a recent survey, only eight percent of companies said that their current business model would remain economically viable if their industry keeps digitizing at its current course and speed (McKinsey & Company). In other words, 92 percent must evolve their business models to survive at the speed of digitization. How does the firm realize, scale, and execute on a digital program that drives new business models and outcomes while also optimizing current work functions?

It would be easy to point to the latest buzzword or technology we read about last week to solve these problems. It is important to reflect upon the strategic business goals we are looking to achieve within a digital transformation. These are not technology goals for technology’s sake; these are corporate goals and usually part of the overarching corporate strategy. It is apparent many firms don’t actually need to approach digital transformation as being the next Netflix or Uber in order to transform their business. In fact, digital transformation can be as direct as transformation through enterprise optimization.

Enterprise Optimization

Business outcomes are realized through end to end strategy execution, whether it be a proof of concept or an implementation. Goals that are well aligned throughout the corporation should drive complementarities for organizations to create benefits in indirect places. What this means is that the corporation should be fully in sync on both their business strategy and their technology strategy to balance the enterprise optimization equation. Easier said than done.

Real World Example

Recently, I visited a life sciences firm that expressed interest in a cold chain for logistics solution that helps manage time out of refrigeration and temperature for relevant biologic products within manufacturing and logistics. In this example, the solution was an industry innovation kit for SAP Leonardo.

What we learned – quickly — was that this cold chain solution is only part of a much larger opportunity to further digitize the supply chain and extend the value of the solution into and across other platforms, driving greater enterprise optimization opportunity.

When considering these technology decisions, it is important to think broadly about the long-term corporate goals that are interdependent. In doing so, the enterprise optimization approach can drive value and interoperability across other platforms and applications to drive greater enterprise-wide benefit. Key point: That value ties back to the business strategy in more ways than just the point solution or latest technology flavor of the day; it transcends technology where enterprise optimization can prove out the business strategy.

As one looks across the enterprise, it is easy to get lost within various technology point solutions that can leave us feeling left behind. Leveraging your enterprise systems of record to complement those systems of intelligence will allow the enterprise tools support the global business strategy. Please reach out to me any time to discuss your goals. I look forward to connecting the dots with you.


Today’s global marketplace requires innovation across every facet of your business. Employees, partners, and suppliers have to react faster to new opportunities and proactively create new ones. To learn how the latest innovations in artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, analytics, blockchain, and cloud technologies can help you create customer value and competitive differentiation, register for this informative and interactive webinar: Unlock Your Intelligent Enterprise.


James Piacentino is chief digital advisor for SAP Leonardo at SAP.