How to Run Simple with Industry Cloud

By Jennifer Bartolo

I recently attended an industry round table at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW
conference completely focused on cloud computing. While “cloud” has become a
highly commoditized and over used term, it has never before been so essential
to our lives and to business success.

As addressed by the round table, co-innovation is ushering in a
completely new paradigm for agile development in the cloud. Co-innovation can
offer unique competitive advantages by simplifying the customer experience and
shortening innovation cycles for creation, deployment and consumption.

Here is an overview of how SAP is working with companies in the banking
and insurance industries to Run Simple and push the power of cloud to new
levels.

Cloud as the Transformation Enabler

As the way we do business continues to shift and become more digital, companies must
expand their use of cloud technology to not only stay competitive, but to
enable transformation that drives their business and meets customer demands.

Kari Escobedo, who spoke on the panel on behalf of the Industry Executive Advisory Council,
pointed out that speed and scalability are two key benefits companies can realize
from transitioning to the cloud. When it’s a race to secure customer
satisfaction and loyalty, this can mean the difference between becoming a
market leader or the next forgotten service provider.

In addition to speed and scalability, Devrajan Govender of Nedbank, stressed that cloud
is essential to future simplification, rationalization and standardization of
business processes. Nedbank specifically has made a commitment to streamline
and automate its planning processes with SAP cloud-based solutions, and the
company has seen a 30-40% improvement in data accuracy as a result.

Security is a Must

Particularly when dealing with sensitive information that ranges from
corporate financials to customer data, security is always a consideration. The
roundtable panelists didn’t forget to emphasize that security is not only
essential to business success but also to employee recruitment.

“Complete security assessment is always our first step,” said George
Murphy of Lincoln Financial Group, who runs the company’s HR technology and operations. “We
can’t get the right talent into our organization if we’re not moving to the
cloud.”

Regardless of individual industries, HR departments must always be up
to date on technologies and regulations that support payroll, new hires and
general operations.

Internet of Things

With everyone constantly wanting to be “plugged in,” the demand for constant connectivity
continues to grow. The “Internet of Things” is a term we frequently throw
around, but the panel discussed how there is still skepticism when it comes to
truly implementing technological change.

Each panelist cited the need to educate key stakeholders, secure top-level
buy-in and communicate goals clearly to help alleviate any fear of change and
security risks.

However, the panelists also pointed out that the benefits and rewards
of transitioning to the cloud far outweighed any challenges associated with the
switch. Speed and innovation were among the most frequently named benefits,
both a time and cost perspective.

As companies are under increasing pressure to reduce operational costs,
improve customer interactions and increase internal communications to reduce
time-to-market, co-innovation will remain key to achieving these goals.

In today’s always-on society, enterprises must take cloud computing to
new heights to reach key audiences in a mobile, social and data-driven manner.

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