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How Digitization is Shaping the Future of Work

Many industries fear that the digital transformation will lead to the automation of tasks or entire job categories. Digitization requires companies to define and implement flexible, agile organizational models that foster new ways of collaboration and require a high amount of personal flexibility. Software companies (from SAP, to Facebook and Google) have already adopted flexible work models. Which responsibility does SAP have in generating new employment opportunities fostered by new technology?

At the SAP Alumni event, which took place on March 24th, I had the opportunity to speak with some of the most innovative minds in the industrie about what the future of work might look like as changes are already noticeable. How do we define “normal” employment? How many hours and moreover, where will we be working? Globalization, virtual teams and networked organizations are no longer an exception.

The SAP Alumni event was the first global gathering of current and former SAP employees and SAP co-founder Dietmar Hopp in the Wirsol Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim,

The agenda addressed topics regarding personal and corporate responsibility in the context of technology trends. Participants could take part in the round table discussions with experts and explore cutting-edge technology trends and their impact on society. During the round table, we discussed challenges and risks, chances and opportunities regarding the digital transformation. We explored several topics that will be of high importance in the near future.

Responsibilities will change. Therefore, we must define new roles, job profiles and functions to be successful as the #1 cloud company. Because of mobile working, the daily working hours tend to be more and more flexible. So, it is no surprise that flexible working models to combine family and career are considered necessary.

The question “How do we define “normal” employment?” arose during the discussion. Furthermore, we were wondering, “What role will leaders have in a digitized work environment?” Another aspect is that leadership challenges will change because of digitization. Crowd Working, loyalty or virtual teams become the center of attention. The digital leader might overall be a coach rather than a leader. Speaking of virtual teams, as the world grows together, the network of enterprises extends across borders, so working in virtual teams or working in mixed teams is considered to be normal. The personal responsibility will have an increasing importance.

Moreover, sharing of knowledge and resources will become even more important than ever. This might be facilitated by new organizational structures, which are indispensable for successful companies. Therefore, health protection, will occupy a whole new level of awareness. We conclude, that SAP Alumni or current SAP employees shared our positive experience – the SAP spirit – is a good start to shape the future of work.

Despite the challenges fostered by new technology, many of the participants felt confident that digitization is rather an opportunity than a risk. Through the creative work of SAP, new technology is not only a chance for the company itself, but moreover, an advantage for our customers and partners as well.

I think the SAP Alumni event was a great opportunity to network, see former colleagues and to discuss relevant topics for the future. These topics will affect SAP, its employees and its customers. It was great to see what innovative ideas participants brought forward and I am certain, together we can have a great impact on the future of work.

You are an SAP Alumni and you are interested in joining similar events in the future? Then join the SAP Alumni Network now (https://alumni.sap.com/).

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