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The Intelligent Enterprise Approach is the Best Way to Manage in “Interesting Times”

Keep ahead of the competition in good times and bad

Hong Kong has been through a lot in the last few decades. From bird flu to the Asian Financial Crisis, SARS, the GFC and even swine flu!

But, watching the news in recent weeks – with street protests at home, and the Sino-US trade war heating up – made me wonder if our city had fallen victim to that old Chinese curse. You know, the one that goes “May you live in interesting times!”

One thing the current situation highlighted is that life is unpredictable, and people need to be prepared. That’s just as true for businesses. So when the times are good, they can make the most of them. And when the commercial climate turns bearish, they can outperform their competitors. 

Efficiency is a critical consideration

To my mind, being prepared means becoming as efficient as possible. Today, the most efficient enterprises are also the most intelligent.

Don’t misunderstand me. The Intelligent Enterprise isn’t a solution. It’s a strategy that enables a company to turn data into actions, drive process automation and innovation, unlock new areas of growth, and deliver exceptional experiences.

It leverages emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), the Internet of Things (IoT), and analytics to enable the workforce to focus on higher value outcomes.

And, from a practical standpoint, becoming an Intelligent Enterprise builds flexibility and insight into business processes, so the firm can rapidly respond to change, pivot towards the right outcomes, and guard against disruptive competitors.

Working better, not harder

In an intelligent enterprise, the way we work should be as seamless – if not more seamless – than the way we live. That means being able to access systems from any device at any time. And the systems should actually make things easier by prioritizing work, and making recommendations on how to tackle problems.

If that sounds utopian, think about it this way. There are significant practical benefits. Companies with engaged employees enjoy 202% better performance and productivity than those whose staff aren’t engaged.

The transformation to an intelligent enterprise also helps organizations to direct scarce resources to areas where they’ll have the greatest impact. For instance, by simulating the impact of a threat and the outcome of potential options, they can choose the best way to run the business today, while innovating to meet future needs.

Increasing enterprise IQ

There are good reasons for businesses to aspire to become an Intelligent Enterprise, but many of them aren’t quite sure how to get started. It’s not like flipping a switch. It’s really about embedding intelligence at every step of the business’ process, where it can add value. 

SAP’s recipe for creating an Intelligent Enterprise includes three key components. The first is the “Intelligent Suite” which consists of a Digital Core based on S/4HANA, CRM, SRM and a suite of SAP products. These intelligent, integration-ready applications can help manage customers, supply chains, networks, employees, and core processes. They are easily extensible – and offer a consistent and intuitive user experience.

The second piece is the “Digital Platform,” consisting of “Data Management” and “Cloud Platform”. The third component is SAP Leonardo, which includes Intelligent Technologies, such as Machine Learning, Blockchain, IoT, Data Intelligence, Big Data and Analytics.

Bad times, good times

But, however you embark on the Intelligent Enterprise journey, the destination is the same. Building the ability to respond faster to changes in the marketplace, delivering a step change in productivity, and transforming workforce engagement.

With that in place, the enterprise is better placed to tackle anything the markets throw at it, and turn that old curse into a blessing!

See what you can do now: https://www.sap.com/hk/products/sme-business-software.html

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