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This coming weekend, the Formula One juggernaut rolls into Shanghai for the third race of the season.

Since the opening race in Melbourne last month, I’m sure a number of modifications have already been made to each car lining up on the grid as teams learn more about its performance in racing conditions, and work to deliver the marginal gains that get them ahead of the competition.

In the constant push for racing perfection, access to real-time performance data is paramount to making the right decisions.

When you think about it, the challenges faced by Formula One teams are similar to those in business today – responding to constantly evolving market conditions, harnessing the potential of increasing volumes of data, and dealing with the threat of competitors – new and old – who are disrupting traditional models and practices. As such, there’s much we can all learn from the fastest sport in the world.

First and foremost, enabling access to the right information at the right time is critical to helping companies monitor and drive change in the digital economy. Just like the pit wall, creating a Digital Boardroom provides board members, executives and decision-makers with a transparent and comprehensive real-time view of performance across the entire organisation. And if done right the data can be accessed across multiple devices. This means information is available to anyone, on any device, at any time, so decisions can be rapidly made to capitalise on the opportunities available.

In Formula One, this could be reviewing live data against previous performance results to decide when to change a tyre or take an extra lap, or even looking at how weather patterns might change in the future and adapting the game plan.

For business this means responding to the competition with a new product, predicting and managing faults in the production line, or knowing where to allocate staff or funding. Speeding up the sharing of information between workers in the field and those in the boardroom means decisions are faster and more reliable than ever before.

Encouragingly, SAP research shows digital transformation is a key business priority in Australia. However, executing on it is no simple task. Therefore, businesses need to use insights and information about market trends, business forecasts and both internal and external data to make better informed decisions. By doing so, businesses can act faster, and be more flexible while still maintaining the reliability and consistent results their customers need.

As competition heats up, it’s more important than ever to utilise data insights to drive change. Doing so will not only keep you in the race, but could even beat out others for pole position.

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