The Ancient Greeks believed that all visible things are created from a foundation of four critical elements: earth, water, air, and fire. Different forms of matter behave in distinct ways because they possess varying proportions of each component, but ultimately, all four elements are present. According to the philosopher Empedocles, the entire nature of the visible physical universe is created through the combination and mixing of these primordial elements.
The same principle can be applied to a business technology platform. Most businesses prefer the flexibility of adopting various technologies from a single set of database and data management solutions, application development and integration capabilities, analytics tools, and intelligent technologies. However, it’s also critical that businesses represent every category in their IT landscape – not one or two, but all. And any enterprise has the four areas working together creates a synergy for automation and transformation that is not possible when the components are bespoke and not interoperable…
The four elements of a business technology platform
The design of SAP Business Technology Platform is one prime example. All four platform elements come together on a central foundation to achieve resilient and consistent business outcomes and support continuous business innovation and process evolution. But when one is missing, the expected result of agile automation and digital transformation is put at risk. So just like Empedocles, we should think about these four essential platform elements working together holistically.
- Database and data management (“Earth”)
Just as the earth serves as a foundation for growth, database and data management solutions supply fertile ground for an intelligent business. This portfolio supports the management, governance, and integration of an enterprise´s data through a core set of strategic data solutions that seed the organization to make smart and confident decisions.
In SAP Business Technology Platform, database and data management can be supported with one or more solutions that cover:
- SAP HANA and databases: Make decisions based on real-time insights and analytics running on an integrated platform.
- Data intelligence and orchestration: Integrate distributed data effectively and deliver data-driven innovation across distributed landscapes, complex data types, and processing engines.
- Master data management: Benefit from a single, trusted view of master data across domains and implement automated business processes.
- Information governance and metadata management: Understand information assets to anticipate risk confidently and drive better business outcomes.
- Data quality and integration: Collect, connect, and transform data into a trusted, ever-ready resource.
- Application development and integration (“Water”)
Like water, application development and integration help application implementations, integrations and extensions flow like a river: openness, flexibility, adaptability, connection. All these aspects allow organizations to build intelligent applications at scale – which is imperative to modernize business processes and serve customers better.
Application development and integration are enabled across SAP Business Technology Platform with solutions for:
- Integration: Connect people, processes, data, and devices seamlessly across the enterprise by uniting applications on premise and in the cloud.
- Enterprise extensions: Simplify the development of application extensions, optimize business processes, and expand the business value with an open IT ecosystem.
- Analytics (“Air”)
Air is perhaps one of the most extraordinary fundamentals for life. In fact the ancient Hebrews and Greeks both created onomatopoeia words for “Air” (you can almost hear the sound of the word as you read it). And just like the human body requires good quality air to breathe and survive, businesses rely on reliable analysis of their data to operate, grow, and evolve. With analytics solutions, decision-makers of all roles and expertise can access information with ease and discover deeps insights to make precise, confident decisions that help the business flourish over time.
Analytics solutions from SAP Business Technology Platform support capabilities, such as:
- Business intelligence: Eliminate guesswork, monitor key metrics, and put actionable information at the user´s fingertips with 24×7 access to intelligence and data analysis tools.
- Collaborative enterprise planning: Improve planning alignment, decision-making, and business performance by connecting people and processes enterprise-wide.
- Data warehousing: Gain fast access to data to enable data-driven decision-making based on real-time data.
- Intelligent technologies (“Fire”)
In nature, fire represents energy, transformation, evolution, and passion. And the fire behind SAP Business Technology Platform is intelligent technologies. Like the portfolios, as mentioned earlier, the use of intelligent technologies from SAP is an essential part of SAP Business Technology Platform. They help ignite innovation in every area of the business and solve complex challenges at tremendous speed. In a very real way, they light up the business!
The intelligent technologies available through SAP Business Technology Platform include:
- Artificial intelligence: Make confident decisions by automating repetitive tasks and delivering a human experience with computer insights across your business
- Internet of Things: Connect assets, people, and processes on real-time insight, while enhancing innovation with data-driven intelligence from machines, products, supply chains, customers, and partners
- Blockchain: Build trust and increase efficiency to simplify complex, multipart business processes.
- Robotic Process Automation: Automate repetitive manual processes by creating, scheduling, managing, and monitoring intelligent bots.
Data’s power is best amplified with a complete platform
Like earth, water, air, and fire are essential elements of all visible things, so are all technology categories of a business technology platform for businesses to survive and thrive. Database and data management, application development and integration, analytics, and intelligent technologies – the capabilities of all these portfolios must be available in the platform to make swift, bold, confident decisions with integrity. Otherwise, if one element is missing, the real promise of data-driven intelligence will never fully materialize.
Also check out this video on how Business Technology Platform can help you to accelerate your transformation and connect your data and business processes on one integrated platform.