The holiday season is a time of reflection for many. This week’s Top 5 blog posts follow SAP Business Trends contributors as they look back at the people they met, what improved with their job and how they can improve their business.

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Businesses need a cloud-first mentality in order to constantly innovate, adapt and survive.

No. 1: Predictive Business – Real-Time Access Is No Longer Enough

Successful businesses see into the future, then adapt and execute before their competition. Cloud computing helps organizations do this, which makes the cloud more than just a deployment option, according to Sven Denecken; it’s a whole new way of operating.

No. 2: Fascinating People I Met in 2013

“One of the great advantages of being part of a global company like SAP is the people,” said the company’s Co-CEO Bill McDermott. So he shares his impressions of some of the most interesting people he had the pleasure of meeting this year, including TIME Magazine’s first female managing editor and the man who led a small team of data scientists to victory over a massive political establishment.

No. 3: 21 More Reasons to Love SAP Business Trends

This year was a big one for SAP Business Trends. Tim Clark adds up how more executives plus more event coverage plus more original content equals growth and success for the SCN’s leading thought leadership venue.

No. 4: Carols in the Cloud: How the Twelve Days of Christmas can be Better in the Cloud

“The Twelve Days of Christmas” may be fun to sing, but shopping for all of the items in this beloved Christmas carol could be exhausting. So James Marland explores how cloud solutions can optimize these tasks, such as bundling and unbundling the livestock and horticultural components of purchasing a partridge and a pear tree.

No. 5: Why Did the Biggest Children’s Retailer in Russia Switch from Oracle to SAP?

The holiday season is the busiest time of year for Russia’s largest chain of toy stores. Diana Abroskina shows how the switch to SAP helped Detskiy Mir maintain its fast development pace and continue satisfying its loyal customers’ skyrocketing demand.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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