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Author's profile photo Katharina Muellers-Patel

Services Industries: Transformation-ready and primed for growth

When Deloitte Africa– which provides professional services across 17 countries  – sought to replace its disparate and legacy systems, it embarked on a digital transformation journey. Armed with an intelligent solution, it leveraged automation, standardized business processes, digitized user experience and improved overall governance.

No industry is immune from disruption. As technology-driven innovations transform the way services are consumed, competition in the Services Industries is stiff. Organizations and industries that were already on the path of digital transformation weathered the pandemic-induced global unrest better than most others. And now, businesses strive for growth in a new digital environment.

Services Industries comprise of Engineering, Construction and Operations, Higher Education and Research, Media, Professional Services, Sports and Entertainment,  Telecommunications and Travel and Transportation industries. Each was impacted differently by the pandemic and yet commonalities exist between them as companies and organizations prioritize digital transformation and migration to the cloud.

Dynamic and Diverse

The Services Industries have always been laser-focused on their customers, by nature. But now, emerging trends present this cluster with a new set of challenges to overcome, as well as new opportunities to capture.

From global logistics and telco-driven communications, to workforce management and digital content, Services companies and organizations must collectively find innovative solutions to better serve customers while providing an extraordinary customer experience.

Disruption and continuity are two sides of the same coin for the Engineering, Construction and Operations industry. By 2050, cities will house two-thirds of the human population and yet, three-quarters of the buildings that will exist in 2050 are still to be conceived. This translates to huge growth, billions of components, thousands of suppliers and high productivity. With a connected supply chain to reduce labor costs and improve margins, construction companies must build technologically advanced buildings which are carbon neutral and sustainable.

As universities closed campuses in the wake of the pandemic, the Higher Education and Research community responded with virtual classrooms and online student engagement innovations. A study showed that around 50% of the higher education students surveyed during the pandemic found online learning to actually improve their technical skills when compared to face-to-face classes. Also, majority of the respondents (70%) were ready to opt for online classes to manage the curriculum during this pandemic. Clearly, digital learning interventions are here to stay.

In the last three months of 2020, global streaming grew 44% when compared to the same period in 2019. Reports show that consumers that maintained three streaming subscriptions before the pandemic, now have five. With consumers seeking an enriched experience, the market opportunity in the Media industry lies with digitization of the customer experience. Growth plans will now hinge on predicting the streaming consumer’s needs, up-selling content and cross-selling corresponding services.

The pandemic arrested mobility and hurt the Travel and Transportation industry immensely. But thanks to Cargo Transportation & Logistics companies, the world keeps moving ahead. Intelligent technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) will heighten customer experience by providing real-time location and status of shipment. Also, digitizing customer experiences, adopting intelligent operations and asset management will be central to future growth strategies.

With basic tasks being automated and firms developing digital knowledge-based products and outcome-based services, Professional Services providers are now working to grow revenues without increasing the workforce, while delivering their services in a hybrid or virtual environment. Clients  seek outstanding outcomes and personalization. Firms are providing clients the benefit of not having to invest in an on-premise solution and instead offering ready-to-deploy solutions and SaaS products that provide on-demand access to services such as tax advice or business analytics for example.

By 2024, the global sports analytics market size is expected to hit $5.2 Billion. With advancements in technology, performance data makes the difference between champion athletes and the rest of the field. Going forward, comprehensive solutions for player performance data, player contract analysis, fan engagement and ticketing will become game-changers in the Sports and Entertainment industry and help both players and franchises stay ahead of the game.

The Telecommunications industry is critical to how people and businesses interact. Across the world, 4.3 billion users access the internet via mobile devices. And per reports, the expected value of the cumulative operating profit through 2025 for the telecom industry is a staggering US$1.2 Trillion. With 5G on the horizon, companies that personalize end-to-end customer experiences and diversify their revenue streams will be better placed to compete with disrupters and new market entrants.

Technology Transformation as an Enabler

As the world changes rapidly, large-scale enterprises as well as emerging players are challenged to keep pace with new data-driven business models and digital technologies that create growth opportunities.

Our Industry Cloud powered ‘transformation-as-a-service’ solutions help customers rise by removing complexity and simplifying engagement with timely transformation interventions.

As the next phase of market evolution emerges, it is imperative that Services companies and organizations adapt, display flexibility and adopt technology to stay resilient. Accessing industry next-generation practices via Industry Cloud will become key to foster innovation, secure regulatory compliance and achieve effective collaboration with partners and customers.

Thus, with rapid innovation and Industry Cloud powered transformation, the Services Industries are primed for growth in the post-pandemic world.

For more on solutions for the Services Industries, visit sap.com/industries

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