(Image credit/{Pixabay/O12)SAP SE have published research findings from a study commissioned by SAP and conducted by leading industry analyst Forrester Consulting. The report suggests that intelligent technologies are critical for supporting digital transformation in the enterprise.

SAP commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate the adoption of intelligent technologies and how they’re supporting digital transformation. To explore this topic, Forrester conducted an online survey of 747 respondents. The respondents are all digital transformation and intelligent technology decision makers from consumer products, discrete manufacturing, retail, and utilities companies. To qualify, companies had to meet two important innovation criteria. Firstly, they must be actively undergoing digital transformation. Second, have implemented at least two innovation technologies – machine learning, internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain, virtual or augmented reality.

The study found that as companies seek competitive advantages, they are prioritising innovation technologies. As such, these companies are implementing or have already implemented innovation technologies to drive digital transformation:

  • The IoT: 92 percent
  • Artificial Intelligence: 78 percent
  • Machine learning: 77 percent
  • Augmented reality/virtual reality: 70 percent
  • Blockchain: 68 percent

Intelligent technologies key Findings

  • Focus on innovation drives digitalisation.

Leaders in this study, regardless of their industry, focus on innovation across the business, have implemented at least two innovation technologies, prioritised digital transformation, and engage in several activities to enable digital priorities simultaneously.

  • Innovation technologies fuel digitalisation.

Up to 93% of those surveyed consider innovation technologies key to achieving their transformation goals. With an eagerness to understand where these technologies add the most value, companies are enabling a wide range of activities using intelligent technologies. However, the study found that deploying combinations of intelligent technology maximizes their value.

  • Intelligent enterprises require intelligent technology.

Becoming an intelligent enterprise is about connecting people, processes, data, and technologies to accelerate digital transformation, to improve customer engagement, and to invent new revenue streams. Achieving all of this is not easy, and companies need the right tools to succeed.

Looking at internal processes

The study also found that as digital transformation journeys continue to be a priority for enterprises. Organisations are increasingly optimising existing processes. The reasons ranged from improving efficiency, extending processes to capture new value, transforming business models to gain new revenue streams. According to the study, 92 percent of companies showed a high interest in platforms that can unify data collected by, and used across, all intelligent technologies and business processes. Access to these tools helps maximise the value of innovation technologies, helping companies become intelligent enterprises.

Different strokes for different folks

Based on the results, different industries are focused on different priorities. As a result, leveraging multiple intelligent technologies, according to their varying levels of digital maturity and unique business goals. For example, most discrete manufacturers are prioritising implementing or expanding predictive maintenance efforts. In comparison, retailers are primarily focused on using Big Data and predictive analytics to make assortment decisions. In contrast, utility companies are applying a digital boardroom where executives can see real-time capacity or efficiency rates.

(Image credit/LinkedIn/Irfan Khan)
Irfan Khan, president, SAP Platform & Technologies, Global Customer Operations

By partnering with Forrester on this intelligent enterprise study, we were able to uncover some of the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing new technologies,” said Irfan Khan, president, SAP Platform & Technologies, Global Customer Operations.

Khan adds, “The study found that as companies seek competitive advantages, they are prioritising innovation technologies. We are seeing businesses use the IoT, AI, augmented reality, ML and blockchain to improve processes. It also drives innovation and meet digital transformation objectives.

As the study states, “Intelligent enterprises win in the digital era. An intelligent enterprise is an entity connecting people, processes, data and technologies as a means to accelerate digital transformation, doing more with less, improving customer engagement and inventing new revenue streams.”

Enterprise Times: What this means for businesses?

Another day, another dollar… Or rather another report about all things digital. What’s interesting about this report is the lack of referencing to customers or customer needs.

Yes, all companies must innovate and keep their finger on the digital pulse. But please bare in mind. Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, IOT, predictive analysis and all the new and intelligent technologies are designed to support relationships with customers, prospects and suppliers. Digital transformation is about making the organisation more agile and adept to responding to those changing customer needs.  Changing for the sake of changing, or because it’s the fashionable organisational trend is not the way forward.

The report suggests enterprises must evaluate innovation technologies or risk losing ground.  No. Businesses need to understand the needs of their customers first. Then evaluate the appropriate technologies to support them.


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