by John Schweitzer, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Analytics, SAP
Every day, we have conversations about how organizations can provide the information employees need, right in the moment of decision making – information that allows them to take action and understand both the opportunity and risk associated with it. We call this giving them intelligent data. In previous posts, I’ve discussed the framework for intelligent data, which suggests companies inform, align, and adapt. Today, the concept of aligning your business takes center stage.
To make a decision, you need to be informed – but data alone isn’t enough. Let’s say you have massive amounts of big data, and it’s retrieved by a whole host of users. That’s a great start, but what are those employees actually doing with the data? Do they agree on its importance, its meaning? Do they understand how it relates to the organization’s goals, and do they know how to use it to advance those goals? In short, how well are employees, data, and organizational goals aligned?
Alignment comes into play at both the organization and the individual level. The organization must define a strategy, set goals supporting it, create and communicate initiatives that help the company reach those goals, and document both the process and results. You’ll need to ensure that all employees are aligned behind the plan. And you must measure and manage performance against goals. MBOs are a common way to measure individual action; management reports and external financial reporting can help track progress toward organizational goals.
Three pieces of technology can help an organization align itself around corporate goals.
1. You need a robust, fully integrated performance management framework. What sets SAP apart in performance management? SAP solutions for enterprise performance management aren’t only hailed as leaders in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CPM suites, but they also extend strategy management to more users through mobile and cloud computing.
For example, the SAP Strategy Management mobile app keeps executives engaged with KPIs both in and out of the office – helping them connect strategy, goals, initiatives, and metrics while staying on top of issues that demand immediate attention. And SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver– powered by SAP HANA gives employees instant insight into all relevant data, combined with real-time planning capabilities. More people involved in planning – plus immediate access to the latest data – equals better plans with greater buy-in.
2. For good decision making and strategic alignment, you need to define your strategy and identify opportunities – but you must also understand the risks involved. Such risk-adjusted planning is equally applicable to both financial and operational decisions. A risk-management framework provides cross-enterprise transparency, efficiency optimization, increased effectiveness, and maximum visibility across risk initiatives. The result: You draw from best-practice responses to make risk-intelligent decisions – and deliver stronger corporate alignment.
Watch how Baker Hughes implements SAP solutions for governance, risk, and compliance to better manage their business.
3. Finally, you need input from the right people, wherever they are – which means the ability to collaborate across teams. Employees must be able to see progress, work together on next steps, and align around actions that propel the business. SuccessFactors Jam helps users work with the people, data, and structured business tools they need to make decisions based on facts – not opinions.
Being informed and having access to information is a good start, but it’s not sufficient. Your employees need intelligent data to understand how information is tied to corporate goals and how best to use it to make decisions across the organization. SAP’s integrated solutions for performance management, risk management, and collaboration help you drive alignment at all levels – moving you surely and speedily toward your goals.
See first-hand how SAP puts intelligent data into motion by attending the upcoming ASUG SAP BusinessObjects User Conference September 10-13 in Orlando, Florida. This exciting event provides attendees with the opportunity to see hands-on demonstrations driven by customers and SAP experts. And don’t forget to register for the SAP Analytics forum, where you’ll gain insight into our roadmap and see the latest analytics innovations. We look forward to seeing you there!