If trust is the most important currency in modern business, then data is the gold that underpins that currency. Organisations that operate on incomplete, inaccurate or disparate data will find it impossible to consistently build and maintain trust with customers, partners and employees.

According to Pieter van der Merwe, Regional Sales Director for Platform and Technologies at SAP Africa, the majority of CEOs remain concerned over the quality of their business data despite the gains made in investment into new technologies.

“Without access to accurate data across the entire organisation in real time, business leaders are unable to make accurate decisions. This can create disconnects in the customer experience, employee experience and product experience, which can erode trust over time and chase customers and talent away to competitors.”

One Gartner survey found that only 8% of organisations had reached ’transformational’ levels of maturity in their data and analytics. A separate study by the Harvard Business Review found that only 3% of company data meets the minimum threshold for data quality.

“In these volatile and uncertain times, organisations need to ensure they take every step to build and maintain trust with customers, partners and employees,” says van der Merwe.

“This is impossible when the underlying data is inaccurate or not reflective of the organisation as a whole or any part thereof.”

In a 2019 CEO survey by IDC, respondents stated that digital trust programs are the most important agenda item over the next five years.

According to the survey, 40% of Fortune 1000 companies will require partners and vendors to meet trust scores as a condition of doing business within five years.

Half of the world’s two thousand largest organisations are expected to name a chief trust officer by 2023, while two-thirds stated they would request a formal trust initiative by 2025.

“The heightened levels of trust needed in our near future means traditional approaches to building that trust need to be re-evaluated,” says van der Merwe.

“The growing complexity of modern business environments means organisations need to deploy new tools and technologies to help maintain the integrity of business processes to engender trust between the organisation and its various partners, employees and customers.”

In 2019, SAP introduced BW/4HANA, a completely revamped version of SAP Business Warehouse that runs on the SAP HANA in-memory database. The platform provides a range of powerful functions, including:

  • Data integration of multiple data sources and data types.
  • High levels of data quality; stream processing which, when combined with HANA provides a foundation for real-time analytics.
  • Spatial functionality that supports location analytics at the core of applications ranging from mobile advertising to IoT.
  • The ability to capture relationships between different data sets to uncover unique insights.
  • Text analytics that can support AI applications such as natural language processing, understanding and generation.

“Customers around the world are using SAP BW/4HANA to support their analytic needs and consolidate large volumes of data from both SAP and non-SAP sources in near real time,” says van der Merwe. “SAP HANA and SAP BW/4HANA enables organisations to build and maintain trust by ensuring they work from trusted, connected and intelligent data that they can rely on.”

According to van der Merwe, organisations can realise benefits across three key value areas, namely:

Reducing data complexity

By empowering organisations with the ability to view, access and use all their data in one trusted and unified landscape, SAP’s data warehouse portfolio simplifies data management across the organisation.

Ensuring data is connected and intelligent

By delivering intelligent, connected data, organisations gain real-time analytics about live transactions and vast data sets without the need for mass data duplication. SAP is the only technology provider that enables in-memory transactions and analysis on a single data set.

Avoiding vendor lock-in with an open system

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for data management. Organisations need an open and flexible data system that can work across on-premise, hybrid and cloud environments.

SAP’s data warehouse portfolio gives organisations complete freedom in how they deploy data management for systems, applications and development.