In a time of ongoing disruption and uncertainty, the ability to access insights into your organisation and the environment in which it operates can mean the difference between growth and stagnation.

According to Pieter van der Merwe, Regional Sales Director for Platform and Technologies at SAP Africa, the growing complexity of modern businesses requires new tools and strategies, however.

Modern organisations need instant access to real-time data across all operations and tools to mine that data for insights that can improve how those organisations are run,” Van der Merwe said.

“The growing importance of customer experience makes it critical to also track, measure, and integrate experience data to gain a holistic view over the total performance of every part of the organisation,” he added.

Growing fears

In PwC’s latest COVID-19 CFO Pulse Survey, 95% of CFOs surveyed in Africa said they expect a decrease in revenue this yearwith 51% saying they are concerned about the impact of the global economic downturn.

“Organisations across Africa are having to deal with immense disruption, growing complexity, and challenging operating conditions,” Van der Merwe noted.

“Relying on outdated technologies, manual processes and slow, cumbersome legacy infrastructure has the potential of derailing efforts at building back better following the initial impact of the pandemic and resultant lockdown measures.”

“Organisations need to utilise all the data assets at their disposal to optimise business processes, improve the customer experience, create new opportunities, identify and mitigate risk and ensure all operations are integrated end-to-end for a complete view of the organisation,” Van der Merwe said.

SAP supports organisations which wish to achieve this by transforming their data management capabilities through the deployment of its market-leading HANA platform.

SAP HANA is an in-memory, columnar database management system that combines transactional and advanced analytical workloads on diverse data, whether physically or virtually connected.

Massive return on investment

A recent IDC study found that organisations which had deployed SAP HANA to identify and deliver innovative use cases had achieved an average five-year return-on-investment of 679%.

HANA empowers real-time decision-making, enables the development of intelligent custom applications, and leverages data to create unique new services that better serve customers.

Van der Merwe said SAP HANA helps organisations turn business data into real value by delivering on three critical areas.

1. Building connected processes and experiences

SAP HANA can help to connect processes and deliver engaging experiences by embedding integration, data management, and intelligence across all business applications.

This helps simplify and optimise complex processes, reduces reliance on intermediaries, and integrates end-to-end business processes for impactful experiences that deliver greater returns on investments into other technologies.

2. Enabling confident decisions with integrity

By ensuring accurate, comprehensive, and secure data, SAP can help organisations make decisions with confidence and integrity by moving from data analytics to intelligence.

This helps deliver fast and accurate insights into the organisation, powers real-time decision-making based on trusted data and accurate context and provides a holistic view of the organisation that enables more accurate and comprehensive planning.

3. Powering continued business innovation

SAP HANA also integrates intelligent technologies such as AI, IoT, blockchain, and advanced analytics – and helps organisations connect processes and experiences to help them make decisions confidently.

This enables continued business innovation across the organisations, which can reduce churn by making new connected experiences quickly available to customers, partners, and employees.