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Digital transformation is thought to represent a €1.25 trillion opportunity to European businesses according to a study by Roland Berger. This equates to a €200 billion of opportunity for UK PLC. However, according to a recent PWC survey, only 74% of UK CEO’s recognise the role of Analytics in their Digital Transformation versus a global average of 84%.

Which begs the question, how are CEO’s in the rest of the world leveraging Analytics in their Digital Transformation. And what can UK CEOs learn from their experiences?

Enable innovation led growth by simplifying the core

The complexity faced by organizations today in the multitude of systems, data silos and spreadsheets is throttling the ability for organisations to respond and change to evolving market and regulatory demands. New in-memory technologies strip back complex IT landscapes to plug business decision makers directly into the critical Insights needed to identify rapidly moving business dynamics and quickly respond with agile business planning solutions.

The role of a simple core in readying the enterprise to adapt to the changing business environment extends deep into the function of finance. Through
Simple Finance, SAP has reinvented the role of finance systems to enable finance managers and the wider business to work from a common view in real time to analyze, predict and identify the best strategic business options.

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Personalise service through simple, agile customer insight leveraging all touch points.

Whether you’re a water utility or a consumer goods company, the importance of offering personalized service is fundamental to staying relevant in the Digital age.

Merchants must bring all touch points such as social, call centre, web traffic or mobile into consideration if they are to properly understand and manage the overall consumer experience. A consistent experience with alignment of products, pricing and promotions via preferred interaction channels is key to driving growth and market share.

SAP Analytics provide the capabilities to integrate all such touch points and critically, provide business users the tools needed to quickly model a rapidly changing environment to continually refocus the right offering to the right customer.

See how
EON have been able to enhance their Digital initiatives by using Predictive Analysis tools to focus campaigns only on customers with a propensity to buy – driving success and saving valuable marketing spend.

Innovate for growth while maintaining effective business controls

A look at the factors leading to the financial crisis in London and around the world in 2008 demonstrate the risks that can quickly develop in an industry undergoing rapid innovative change.

This is why SAP engineer business controls into it’s solutions from ground up to ensure governance protocols can be maintained whilst enabling the business to chase new market opportunities.


The circumstances leading up to the global financial crisis ultimately point to a failure of a robust controls framework to mitigate the potential risks and exposures a Business needs to consider.  This was not limited to just the financial sector with the very obvious decline of Lehmans, and Northern Rock, but also many high street brands such as Woolworths and Zavvi.


SAP’s market leading GRC solutions have governance protocols built into the heart, helping meet internal and external risk regulations, but can provide better insight and influence key business decisions, reducing risk and providing strong competitive advantage in this rapidly changing market.

SAP’s GRC capability helps organizations embrace an innovative startup approach by enabling the creation of new business units within the group risk framework, whilst allowing the autonomy to test new markets by delegating the first line of defence to the local business unit. Since this is all on one platform, group risk and audit functions can retain their view into business processes to ensure unacceptable risk doesn’t accumulate as new business units thrive.

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Fulfill customer demands quickly by shortening supply chains

Arguably the most significant aspect of the Digital revolution is the impact on long established supply chains. Product manufacturers are increasingly seeking out consumers directly whilst internet retailing is reducing the dependency on expensive, property intensive distribution networks.

Whilst much of the supply chain story is dominated by innovations in the Business Network, the role of Analytics remains paramount if organizations are to deliver best possible service to customers.

For global organisations with supply chains crossing many regions and product categories, the ability to gain visibility into supply chains in order to identify opportunities to streamline is key. The maturity and scale of the online marketplace now means significant competitive advantage can be gained by those best able to model, mine and analyse complex supply chains and fulfil consumer demands most effectively.

See how SAP Lumira can be used to better manage supply chain transportation costs.

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Protecting from unknown business threats and unlock hidden value through a single platform approach

For the modern organisation to perform and survive in the Digital Economy, the themes above are no longer ‘nice to have’s’.

Each plays a critical role in ensuring the modern enterprise both capture market opportunity as well as working within the relevant regulatory regime and ultimately returning shareholder value.

However, organisations will be able to unlock significant competitive advantage by delivering all of the above on a single, simple platform for digitial innovation. Businesses that can see business opportunity in the context of regulatory and financial risk, in real time will ultimately out perform their rivals who decouple these two concepts through a disparate ‘best of breed’ approach. Where would Woolworths be today if they were able to more quickly model the impact of fluctuations in it’s property portfolio in the context of sales and campaign planning? This requirement may have been considered a far off requirement until the rapidly changing ‘digitally enabled’ market forces suddenly made this business model redundant.

It is clear that only a simple, agile, highly performance Analytics solution can keep the modern enterprise relevant in the modern digital economy.

These are my thoughts, what do you think?

Credits and references

Thanks to Paul Zeila and Dustin King for input on the role of GRC in the Digital Economy.

PWC Global CEO Survey 2015

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