Only two decades ago, the world was entirely different. Just think of labor-intense and reactive operations in manufacturing giving rise to production setbacks, shipping delays and quality issues, having to check our bank accounts in person at the bank counter, or in-person visits to traditional retail stores.

Everywhere you look, digitalization is disrupting industries and changing business models. Technology and innovation have become the main players in how successful businesses are run and reinvented, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution significantly changes the customer and employee experience in every industry and will help enterprises to grow and scale the business.

Industries have always been our strong suit; our broadest portfolio in the market with solutions for more than 25 industries is perfect proof of this. We have spent a lot of time with customers and partners to understand and address industry requirements. To help them run their value chains end to end, our customers want SAP software and technology to drive more vertical, industry-specific processes in the cloud with seamless integration into the backbone – which in many cases is in core SAP applications.

We heard this feedback and we are acting on it. Working with our partners, we optimize their intelligent enterprises for the unique needs of each industry. We are building modular industry apps, helping our customers to stay competitive in their industry by adapting to new business models with a fast time to value. Just recently, we announced that our expanded industry cloud solutions portfolio serves the needs of three new industries: retail, professional services, and industrial machinery and components (IM&C) in addition to the four industries announced in June — utilities, automotive, consumer products, and engineering, construction and operations (EC&O).

SAP’s industry cloud delivers innovative, vertical solutions from SAP and our partners to transform business and drive sustainable growth. These solutions are built on SAP Business Technology Platform with an open API framework, open process model, open domain model, and business services. This helps ensure interoperability, rapid deployment, and integration with SAP’s intelligent suite. Artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and other advanced technologies from our platform are available to developers to accelerate innovation and deliver greater business value.

Our industry cloud solutions engage a broad range of partners to create solutions that complement and build on our deep expertise in end-to-end processes across industries. Because in our digital age, no company alone will be able to tackle the challenges and chances of today. It’s all about partnering and teaming up on a global scale. We will include traditional partners, but also startups, universities, and more. Joint planning means customers get the widest range of solutions available to support their unique industry requirements.

As an example, we are currently working with a large retailer who previously mainly worked with physical stores. Together we are now implementing an online store that brings together all systems and data and offers customers a comprehensive and extraordinary consumer experience — because the most beautiful online shop is of no use if you have delivery issues, long delivery times, or if you cannot offer flexible payment options. We are currently carrying out similar transformation projects in many other industries with customers such as Bosch and Honeywell or partners such as Siemens to leverage further automation potential.

We will reinvent how industries create value by re-imagining processes. We can help retailers implement cashier-less checkouts, turn stores into fulfillment centers across multiple channels, or increase efficiencies and carbon optimized transportation and return processes.

Business leaders can access a wide selection of solutions that are easy to explore, buy, adopt, and use. They will be able to enhance and extend business capabilities while supporting process integrity, compliance, and security. They can be agile and efficient while supporting sustainable growth and strategic transformation. An industry cloud approach will also help CIOs be more responsive to changing business requirements, to simplify the IT landscape, and to drive continuous innovation.

SAP’s industry cloud will help customers adopt best and next industry practices — to grow and reinvent how businesses run as well as lead in their industries.

Christian Klein is CEO of SAP.
This story was originally published on LinkedIn.