Probably most of us have a few personal iconic movies that we consider mile-stones for different reasons. While some of these are too embarrassing to share (again for different reasons …) one of mine is: Jurassic Park. What’s the correlation to business solutions today you might ask?
Well, in addition to T-Rex and the squeaky Velociraptors Jurassic Park introduced the concept of Chaos Theory and the Butterfly effect to a broader audience. Michael Crichton’s books, which I would highly recommend, take this to more detailed levels. One concept that did not make it into the movie but is of importance also for business discussions, is about stable and chaotic states.
The concept postulates that stability is only one step away from catastrophe. It gives a false sense of security and makes you complacent. Evolution and innovation are much more likely to happen when your life or business success is threatened – in that situation the need to adapt and change is evident.
Now I think we can all agree, that Wholesale Distribution is not in the most stable and quiet phase currently. Competition is increasing, markets are shifting and evolving, new players are emerging and revolutionary technologies are changing the way we do things. Digital Transformation is buzzing through virtually all hallways, conferences and magazines. Everyone understands that doing nothing is the equivalent of waiting for the raptors to close in or stand in line with the other dinosaurs and become extinct.
So, it is also not surprising that Digital Transformation or a Digital Strategy makes the top 3 lists for most CEOs and CIOs. Digitalization is a bit of a fluffy term though, even though it probably is an industrial revolution similar to the introduction of the steam engine. A few months ago, I had the pleasure to chat with Barbara Liebermeister who wrote a book about HR leadership in the digital era. She highlighted one key finding in her research, “Fundamental values and truths remain valid and just as important as in previous times.”
A statement that to me is true about virtually all areas of business. Technology will not take away the need to have a strategy, to be able to implement and execute it and to motivate people to join us on that journey. Without such a winning strategy all the technology of the world will probably not make you very successful.
What technology can do however, is help formulate that strategy. Big data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning together with new data sources via social media or sensors give you unprecedented amounts of the data and the potential to transform them into insight and knowledge. With Virtual and Augmented Reality, new options are changing the way we can consume and digest these insights and use them come to optimal conclusions.
If you want to learn more about some of the tools I mentioned and how they can support your business activities check out our SAP Leonardo page for inspiration. Just remember, you are still in the driver’s seat, you can just use a different car – maybe one with a capacitor …