Justifiably proud of their digital accomplishments, most companies still suffer from a false sense of digital capabilities. Their increasing attention on evolving customer experiences, product and service innovations, production efficiencies, and competitive advantages leaves little room for driving much needed change in core operations, such as facility management or payroll processing.

But the world is changing, and keeping one foot on the gas pedal for higher visibility projects while pumping the brakes with the other foot for back-office changes is not enough to keep up. Businesses must rapidly move both aspects of their digital strategies in unison to drive significant progress so that competitors are challenged to keep pace.

With industry cloud solutions, organizations can achieve this balance.

Modernizing Industries to Meet Unique Expectations

SAP makes industry cloud solutions easier to discover, subscribe to, and use, offering customers access to unified user experiences, familiar design paradigms, and plug-and-play integrations to reinvent themselves and their markets simultaneously. Organizations from every industry can then deploy specialized solutions to optimize, extend, and transform their core business processes by digitalizing and automating operations across their business.

For example, utilities companies are shifting operations to provide more sustainable and renewable energy in response to growing demand for decarbonization and decentralization. Industry cloud solutions can be used to combine Big Data-enabled energy data management for millions of end devices on a cloud-based, open platform with smart, industry-specific analytics and integration to support energy-related core processes.

Meanwhile, logistics service providers can collect various types of information from their vehicle fleets with a digital vehicle hub enabled by an asset network. By consolidating multiple data sources into a single network-based cloud platform, they can rapidly ramp up new business models, monetize vehicle information across customer channels, and enable collaboration and innovation with third-party participants.

Consumer products companies also have access to an intelligent virtual assistant that streamlines the trade claims management process and eliminates the need for manual matching and auditing. The solution leverages embedded machine learning to automate steps, reduce errors, and help avoid disputes. Organizations can then aggregate and enrich market activity in real time, accelerate balance sheet reconciliation with greater accuracy, lower the cost per claim, and enhance workflow productivity — all while establishing stronger customer relationships.

With an industry cloud solution, retailers can improve their intelligent returns management processes through embedded machine learning models and an analytics engine that accelerate and ease profitable decision-making. The solution turns the challenges of product returns into opportunities that improve customer retention and brand connection with a fluid returns experience for consumers, while increasing productivity and lowering processing costs across sales channels.

Retailers can also benefit from an order management foundation developed to centralize the monitoring, analysis, and management of their omnichannel order processes. By optimizing nodes in their network — such as distribution centers, stores, dark stores, and third-party drop shipping — they can reduce costs, improve agility, and increase brand satisfaction by meeting their customer promises as expected.

Industry cloud solutions can even enable emerging industries, such as automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) installing and operating residential and commercial charging stations for electric vehicles. An e-mobility solution integrates end-to-end billing processes with one platform to lower energy costs and avoid expensive grid-connection expenditure through connections to energy service providers. And for their customers, the cost of improving their carbon footprint and impact on the planet becomes more affordable.

Competing as an Ecosystem Forged by Innovation

Business transformation begins with an idea – whether fixing a problem or discovering and creating new value. But eventually, companies translate ideas differently to address their industry’s unique market dynamics, customer demands, public expectations, and regulatory pressures.

For SAP customers, the answer to turning their ideas into meaningful technologies, products, services, business models, or people experiences is an industry cloud solution designed to meet their unique reality. Doing so offers the scale, access, and support they need to adapt to emerging dynamics continuously and rapidly, without sacrificing process efficiency or disrupting their other innovation efforts.

Visit the SAP Store site to explore and access the latest industry cloud solutions from SAP.

Joe Pacor is senior director of Industries Marketing at SAP.