(This is first blog in a series explaining how SAP Cloud Platform – Intelligently connects people, things and businesses. Second blog explaining connecting people can be found here.)

“Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living”, so wrote Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT Media Lab, in the fascinating 1996 book, Being Digital. That was over 20 years ago. In the book, Negroponte predicted today’s world of digital communities, connected machines and wearable computing. Clearly, the idea of digital is not new. So why only in the last few years have companies focused on becoming digital to drive their business?

We used to take real world concepts and abstract them into computer equivalents. Think of business ledgers, customer records, supplier records, employee processes moving from paper based processes to their equivalent electronic forms. For the most part, businesses kept doing what they did best and technology companies simply enabled them to run better.

People, companies and things have become increasingly interconnected these last few years through the digital advancements of phones, networks and sensors. Combine that with the advantage of the Cloud, which gives companies the agility to innovate faster, and you have a powerful combination. Now, scalable technologies challenge the more traditional way of doing business.

These digital natives, as we call them, include the all too familiar companies that disrupt taxi and lodging businesses. They go beyond the mere replication of paper processes to take full advantage of today’s connected digital world to serve up new business models, enhance engagement with customers, and rethink business processes in innovative ways.

If last few years are any indication, this wave of digital native transformation will affect companies in every industry. To remain competitive, businesses must drive their business through software innovation or risk getting disrupted. This is the essence of digital business today.

So how can a business prepare itself for this inevitable change? At SAP we work with companies to consider their mission critical business processes as the digital core of the business. Then we surround this digital core with an innovation layer that can quickly respond to ever changing business realities. We call this intelligently connecting people, things and businesses.

Software-driven companies bring value to market faster than ever before without worrying about the design, availability, and administration of IT infrastructure or databases. Many of these companies turn to the SAP Cloud Platform to drive this necessary innovation.

The SAP Cloud Platform is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) that brings together and manages all the necessary services like IoT, Analytics, UX, Microservices, APIs, ML, etc., in one place so companies only need to focus on creating and extending applications relevant to their business.

In the coming blogs, I will address the various ways the SAP Cloud Platform helps organization be digital. Stay tuned and please share your feedback on topics you’d like to see covered in this series.

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