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Human behavior is changing. Technology is on track to dominate our lives, and we are becoming digital-first. There is no doubt that a digital transformation is already ongoing and omnipresent.


We see industry after industry and enterprise after enterprise equipping themselves with new technologies like cloud, mobile, data, and networks to digitally transform and get prepared for the digital universe. Those leaning back and relying on their current success will soon bite the dust. 52% of the Fortune 500 since 2000 did so already. Nothing and nobody is safe from disruption, but at the same time, nothing and nobody can find an excuse to not be a disruptor — given the great opportunities created by a digital transformation.

With our series on Digital Transformation, we hope to have given you some insights into what is happening — and also some helpful ideas on how to tackle the challenges ahead. This infographic sums it up nicely:

DigitalTransformation-Infographic

Below, you will find a wrap-up of our series of blogs on the topic of digital transformation:
Digital Transformation, Part 1: Rapid State of Change
When businesses today want to outpace the disruption happening in the market, they need to equip themselves with technology that will help them adapt to change quickly – and the cloud is the spearhead of that. It’s not only cloud computing technology that is the driving force for business innovation; it is the advent of multiple disruptive technologies, like mobile, in-memory computing, and predictive analytics, coming together thanks to the cloud.

Digital Transformation, Part 2: What makes it disruptive?
The smartphone has brought a deluge of disruption to our lives, changing and challenging one industry after another at a staggering pace.  It has not only changed the way we interact with games and media, it has even transformed experiences like customer engagement. More than ever, consumer expectations matter.

Digital Transformation, Part 3: The Building Blocks
We see four key building blocks of digital transformation that, taken together, can drive enterprises’ shift to the new way of business: cloud, mobile, data, and networks.
The cloud is far more than a deployment model. Ultimately, it means freedom, efficiency, and integration.  With the cloud, businesses can focus on their core missions with better collaboration and always up-to-date solutions.  It’s scalable, flexible, and accessible. Mobile enhances and is inextricably related to the digital transformation.  It takes freedom and connectedness further by allowing for greater access. Using the right data in the right context means smarter decisions, new opportunities, and ultimately, a big competitive advantage.  Big data is really BIG, with over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data being produced daily — but only a fraction of this is actually used. With over 1.3 billion people now on social networks, it’s no surprise that networks play a large role in digital transformation.  Common examples include businesses using Twitter, Facebook, and the like as a means of customer service and engagement.

Digital Transformation, Part 4: The Role of Leadership
Mastering the digital transformation under the pressure of possible disruption is challenging, especially with so many lacking the management and experience necessary.  Leadership is critical in order to kick-start the transformation.  Clear direction and initiative from the right leader can make a substantial push forward toward achieving digital transformation. I would even argue that no leadership means no change and no transformation.

Digital Transformation, Part 5: Transformation by Industry
Digital transformation has hardly been uniform across or within industries.  It’s clear that some industries surpass others in their transformation. It’s also no secret that within every industry, we find digital beginners, the digitally mature, and everything in between. Digital maturity stems from two factors: digital intensity and transformation management intensity.  In other words, digital maturity is determined by a firm’s initiative in incorporating technology and by its leadership in this direction.

Digital Transformation, Part 6: Examples of digital transformation done right
Every business should jump at the opportunity to improve and transform, especially when there are great rewards to reap, and when not doing so could be harmful. The never-ending advancement of technology presents enterprises with countless promising opportunities for every aspect of their business. Three outstanding examples show the great benefit of co-innovation — usage of new technologies and putting the customer in the center of the business model: Marriott, Nespresso, and T-Mobile USA.

Digital Transformation, Part 7: The Outlook
Without a doubt, technology will play an ever-increasing role in our lives.  The growing Internet of Things will be ubiquitous, tying our lives closer to technology.  It will no longer be an option to be digitally clueless; businesses that lose customers because of poor communication will not survive.  People and therefore customers are changing; businesses need to change with them. But the path to digital transformation won’t come without challenges.  Certain jobs will become obsolete, so businesses need to act accordingly and up-skill their employees.  Another struggle is the variability of digital proficiency – not everyone will be so eager to jump on the digital bandwagon.

After intensively researching the topic, we, the Cloud Strategy & Co-Innovation Team, are 100% convinced that a digital transformation is indispensable for the future success of businesses. So far, this is our last blog on this topic, but we won’t leave you behind without some goodies. During the last six months, a lot of great success stories came our way, and they help illustrate opportunities that companies are already leveraging. We don’t want to hold these stories back. We’ll provide you with amazing examples during the coming weeks to help you kick-start your own digital transformation.
Stay tuned for more use cases and get prepared for the digital transformation that will happen. You’ll either lead, follow, or be outpaced — your choice.
We are also excited to discuss the many different aspects of digital transformation with you. Follow us on Twitter via @SAPCloud, @SDenecken, @BeSchulze, @NikolaiVetter
We also invite you to join us in the next openSAP MOOC “Digital Transformation and its Impact” starting on February 24.
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