There is only one constant in business – and that’s change. From the cloud and artificial intelligence (AI) to blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), new digital technologies are altering how we live and work. They are expanding the horizon of the possible in terms of new products, services, business models, and the internal processes that enable these new offerings.
Success today is not just about improving your products and reacting to market demands. To stay relevant, you need to be able to constantly adapt to changing market requirements. You must constantly question and reinvent yourself, your business models, your processes, the way you work.
COVID-19 has brought into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are, catapulting digital transformation to the top of the priority list for virtually every organization in the world. In the blink of an eye, the pandemic has significantly disrupted working practices, making it imperative for businesses to adapt and act fast — pivoting operations and processes to manage through the pandemic and build resilience for a sustainable future ahead.
As a result, digital transformation is no longer an option, but a must. COVID-19 reminds us painfully of how volatile our world is and how fragile our interconnected, globalized economies are. At the same time, we have never used so many natural resources, emitted so many greenhouse gases and produced so much waste. To prosper over time, every company today must not only deliver in terms of financial performance, but also show how it makes a positive contribution to society. We all need to care about a sustainable world as much as we care about business success.
Since 1972, we have partnered with our customers and led every evolutionary stage of their business — as trusted partners, paradigm shifters, and drivers of their business transformation. For us, it has always been about helping our customers serve rising demands with technology — enabling them to anticipate, adapt, and even be ahead of change. This knowledge and experience fuel our intelligent enterprise strategy, all with one goal: supporting our customers in becoming resilient, profitable, and sustainable growth companies — without sacrificing one for the other.
For nearly 50 years, our products have revolutionized the way business is done. It began with a standard software to automate financial accounting that processes data in real time, allowing users to do all tasks in one integrated system. SAP R/2 expanded real-time processing of purely financial applications to other business areas, integrating end-to-end with all of a company’s business functions, such as accounting, manufacturing, supply chain, and human resources (HR). With SAP R/3, we smoothed the path to a globalized economy, helping customers of every industry and size to customize and extend enterprise resource planning (ERP) to their needs. And with the introduction of SAP HANA, SAP allowed customers to analyze data in seconds instead of days or even weeks, thus enabling them to run the same processes in a completely new way.
Now and together with our customers and partners, we will again reinvent how businesses run. We will expand our strong core, consisting of our intelligent suite, our Experience Management solutions, and our Business Technology Platform. We will offer industry cloud solutions so that companies can run their business seamlessly. We will build the world’s largest business network, allowing businesses to quickly react to fast changing environments and connecting demand to supply across company boundaries. And we will introduce solutions for sustainability management for organizations to understand and minimize their carbon footprint.
Over the coming of weeks, I will provide thorough information on several topics, so stay tuned! Together with my more than 100,000 colleagues worldwide, I am looking forward to building on SAP’s amazing heritage, delivering the right technology and software to help our customers to reinvent how businesses run and achieve their vision. Because this has never been more important than today.
Christian Klein is CEO of SAP SE.
This story was originally published on LinkedIn.