Simplify Your Digital Transformation: Go Mobile

Simplify Your Digital Transformation: Go Mobile

Rick Knowles

Most companies are going through significant transformation as digital technology sweeps through multiple industries worldwide. Sometimes the complexity of change in the enterprise can be overwhelming, so how can you ensure that your corporate digital transformation is as simple (and painless) as possible? Go mobile.

Native mobile apps are quickly gaining ground as the key element in corporate digital strategies. This makes sense when you factor in that global mobile market forecasts predict mobile app revenues to reach $80.6 billion by 2020.

How can you make the most of native mobile apps in the enterprise? Focus on the following key areas:

  1. Empathy
  2. Innovation
  3. Business model transformation

These three elements can make or break your digital transformation, and they should be at the core of your mobile strategy.

Understanding empathy

It’s essential to have empathy for end users (employees, partners, and customers) and truly understand how things get done in your business. If you’re not really sure how things are accomplished, how can you expect to improve the process? Once you have a true understanding of the roles that peope play within your organization, then you can focus on innovative ways to make their roles more efficient, more productive, and simply better with the use of native mobile apps.

Developing native mobile apps for the enterprise

As the need for enterprise mobility increases, so does the need for mobile developers. A recent CIODive article says demand for mobile developers is up 104% since 2014. This demand is significant because designers and developers usually have to start from the beginning with each new application, which takes a considerable amount of time and requires several team members to tackle multiple projects. It can be daunting and costly trying to find the right talent with the right skillset to develop each new application from scratch. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Enterprise grade toolkits and developer learning platforms can be much more efficient and cost effective.

Innovation made easy

Mobile innovation is easier than ever thanks to some great tools available these days, like Apple and SAP’s recent announcement of the general availability of the SAP Cloud Platform software development kit (SDK) for iOS. This type of toolkit makes things simpler for developers and designers because it provides the framework and templates to easily create native mobile enterprise apps. The ease of creating native mobile apps in this way allows developers to create simple or extremely detailed and complex native iOS applications that are still easy-to-use for end users.

Having access to tools like this can also speed up the design and development processes and cut the app deployment time in half, which can help reduce the cost of building a mobile app. As a result, it frees up time for designers and developers to focus on more innovation within your company or on gaining additional training from developer learning platforms.

Evolving business models

The simplicity of mobile technology often drives business model transformation, so make sure you view your current business models through a digital lens. Be open to creating new lines of business, developing innovative service lines, or redesigning existing businesss models to streamline processses using native mobile technology.

When you focus on the first two areas of empathy and innovation and gain access to simple enterprise grade tools like an SDK, this combination naturally leads to business model innovation.

Some great companies are already transforming their business models with mobile solutions:

    Precision tool manufacturer MAPAL combined a mobile app with an IoT platform to expand from selling tools to also being a service provider.
    Renewable energy company Vestas is using native mobile apps and cloud platforms to improve operations and construction of wind energy solutions.
    KAUST University is transforming its operations and campus life with native mobile apps.
    Surgical instrument provider B.Braun created an app to digitize the management of hospital operating room tools, enabling more accurate and customized surgical sets.
    Interior and exterior panel producer FunderMax uses an enterprise mobile app to augment images for architects and create new ways to interact with business partners and customers.

As more people expect to use mobile devices at work, the need to develop effective native mobile enterprise solutions is quickly mounting. Focusing on empathy, innovation, and business model transformation is the simplest way to evolve your business and succeed in today’s digital era.

Discover how the Apple and SAP partnership is revolutionizing mobile apps for the enterprise.


Transform Or Die: What Will You Do In The Digital Economy?

Scott Feldman and Puneet Suppal

By now, most executives are keenly aware that the digital economy can be either an opportunity or a threat. The question is not whether they should engage their business in it. Rather, it’s how to unleash the power of digital technology while maintaining a healthy business, leveraging existing IT investments, and innovating without disrupting themselves.

Yet most of those executives are shying away from such a challenge. According to a recent study by MIT Sloan and Capgemini, only 15% of CEOs are executing a digital strategy, even though 90% agree that the digital economy will impact their industry. As these businesses ignore this reality, early adopters of digital transformation are achieving 9% higher revenue creation, 26% greater impact on profitability, and 12% more market valuation.

Why aren’t more leaders willing to transform their business and seize the opportunity of our hyperconnected world? The answer is as simple as human nature. Innately, humans are uncomfortable with the notion of change. We even find comfort in stability and predictability. Unfortunately, the digital economy is none of these – it’s fast and always evolving.

Digital transformation is no longer an option – it’s the imperative

At this moment, we are witnessing an explosion of connections, data, and innovations. And even though this hyperconnectivity has changed the game, customers are radically changing the rules – demanding simple, seamless, and personalized experiences at every touch point.

Billions of people are using social and digital communities to provide services, share insights, and engage in commerce. All the while, new channels for engaging with customers are created, and new ways for making better use of resources are emerging. It is these communities that allow companies to not only give customers what they want, but also align efforts across the business network to maximize value potential.

To seize the opportunities ahead, businesses must go beyond sensors, Big Data, analytics, and social media. More important, they need to reinvent themselves in a manner that is compatible with an increasingly digital world and its inhabitants (a.k.a. your consumers).

Here are a few companies that understand the importance of digital transformation – and are reaping the rewards:

    Under Armour: No longer is this widely popular athletic brand just selling shoes and apparel. They are connecting 38 million people on a digital platform. By focusing on this services side of the business, Under Armour is poised to become a lifestyle advisor and health consultant, using his product side as the enabler.
    Port of Hamburg: Europe’s second-largest port is keeping carrier trucks and ships productive around the clock. By fusing facility, weather, and traffic conditions with vehicle availability and shipment schedules, the Port increased container handling capacity by 178% without expanding its physical space.
    Haier Asia: This top-ranking multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company decided to disrupt itself before someone else did. The company used a two-prong approach to digital transformation to create a service-based model to seize the potential of changing consumer behaviors and accelerate product development.
    Uber: This startup darling is more than just a taxi service. It is transforming how urban logistics operates through a technology trifecta: Big Data, cloud, and mobile.
    American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO): Even nonprofits can benefit from digital transformation. ASCO is transforming care for cancer patients worldwide by consolidating patient information with its CancerLinQ. By unlocking knowledge and value from the 97% of cancer patients who are not involved in clinical trials, healthcare providers can drive better, more data-driven decision making and outcomes.

It’s time to take action

During the SAP Executive Technology Summit at SAP TechEd on October 19-20, an elite group of CIOs, CTOs, and corporate executives will gather to discuss the challenges of digital transformation and how they can solve them. With the freedom of open, candid, and interactive discussions led by SAP Board Members and senior technology leadership, delegates will exchange ideas on how to get on the right path while leveraging their existing technology infrastructure.

Stay tuned for exclusive insights from this invitation-only event in our next blog!
Scott Feldman is Global Head of the SAP HANA Customer Community at SAP. Connect with him on Twitter @sfeldman0.

Puneet Suppal drives Solution Strategy and Adoption (Customer Innovation & IoT) at SAP Labs. Connect with him on Twitter @puneetsuppal .


What Is Digital Transformation?

Andreas Schmitz

Achieving quantum leaps through disruption and using data in new contexts, in ways designed for more than just Generation Y – indeed, the digital transformation affects us all. It’s time for a detailed look at its key aspects.

Data finding its way into new settings

Archiving all of a company’s internal information until the end of time is generally a good idea, as it gives the boss the security that nothing will be lost. Meanwhile, enabling him or her to create bar graphs and pie charts based on sales trends – preferably in real time, of course – is even better.

But the best scenario of all is when the boss can incorporate data from external sources. All of a sudden, information on factors as seemingly mundane as the weather start helping to improve interpretations of fluctuations in sales and to make precise modifications to the company’s offerings. When the gusts of autumn begin to blow, for example, energy providers scale back solar production and crank up their windmills. Here, external data provides a foundation for processes and decisions that were previously unattainable.

Quantum leaps possible through disruption

While these advancements involve changes in existing workflows, there are also much more radical approaches that eschew conventional structures entirely.

“The aggressive use of data is transforming business models, facilitating new products and services, creating new processes, generating greater utility, and ushering in a new culture of management,” states Professor Walter Brenner of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, regarding the effects of digitalization.

Harnessing these benefits requires the application of innovative information and communication technology, especially the kind termed “disruptive.” A complete departure from existing structures may not necessarily be the actual goal, but it can occur as a consequence of this process.

Having had to contend with “only” one new technology at a time in the past, be it PCs, SAP software, SQL databases, or the Internet itself, companies are now facing an array of concurrent topics, such as the Internet of Things, social media, third-generation e-business, and tablets and smartphones. Professor Brenner thus believes that every good – and perhaps disruptive – idea can result in a “quantum leap in terms of data.”

Products and services shaped by customers

It has already been nearly seven years since the release of an app that enables customers to order and pay for taxis. Initially introduced in Berlin, Germany, mytaxi makes it possible to avoid waiting on hold for the next phone representative and pay by credit card while giving drivers greater independence from taxi dispatch centers. In addition, analyses of user data can lead to the creation of new services, such as for people who consistently order taxis at around the same time of day.

“Successful models focus on providing utility to the customer,” Professor Brenner explains. “In the beginning, at least, everything else is secondary.”

In this regard, the private taxi agency Uber is a fair bit more radical. It bypasses the entire taxi industry and hires private individuals interested in making themselves and their vehicles available for rides on the Uber platform. Similarly, Airbnb runs a platform travelers can use to book private accommodations instead of hotel rooms.

Long-established companies are also undergoing profound changes. The German publishing house Axel Springer SE, for instance, has acquired a number of startups, launched an online dating platform, and released an app with which users can collect points at retail. Chairman and CEO Matthias Döpfner also has an interest in getting the company’s newspapers and other periodicals back into the black based on payment models, of course, but these endeavors are somewhat at odds with the traditional notion of publishing houses being involved solely in publishing.

The impact of digitalization transcends Generation Y

Digitalization is effecting changes in nearly every industry. Retailers will likely have no choice but to integrate their sales channels into an omnichannel approach. Seeking to make their data services as attractive as possible, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi have joined forces to purchase the digital map service HERE. Mechanical engineering companies are outfitting their equipment with sensors to reduce downtime and achieve further product improvements.

“The specific potential and risks at hand determine how and by what means each individual company approaches the subject of digitalization,” Professor Brenner reveals. The resulting services will ultimately benefit every customer – not just those belonging to Generation Y, who present a certain basic affinity for digital methods.

“Think of cars that notify the service center when their brakes or drive belts need to be replaced, offer parking assistance, or even handle parking for you,” Brenner offers. “This can be a big help to elderly people in particular.”

Chief digital officers: team members, not miracle workers

Making the transition to the digital future is something that involves not only a CEO or a head of marketing or IT, but the entire company. Though these individuals do play an important role as proponents of digital models, it also takes more than just a chief digital officer alone.

For Professor Brenner, appointing a single person to the board of a DAX company to oversee digitalization is basically absurd. “Unless you’re talking about Da Vinci or Leibnitz born again, nobody could handle such a task,” he states.

In Brenner’s view, this is a topic for each and every department, and responsibilities should be assigned much like on a soccer field: “You’ve got a coach and the players – and the fans, as well, who are more or less what it’s all about.”

Here, the CIO neither competes with the CDO nor assumes an elevated position in the process of digital transformation. Implementing new databases like SAP HANA or Hadoop, leveraging sensor data in both technical and commercially viable ways, these are the tasks CIOs will face going forward.

“There are some fantastic jobs out there,” Brenner affirms.

Want more insight on managing digital transformation? See Three Keys To Winning In A World Of Disruption. Image via Shutterstock

Article published by Andreas Schmitz. It originally appeared on SAP News Center and has been republished with permission.


The Future Will Be Co-Created

Dan Wellers and Timo Elliott

Just 3% of companies have completed enterprise digital transformation projects .

92% of those companies have significantly improved or transformed customer engagement .

81% of business executives say platforms will reshape industries into interconnected ecosystems .

More than half of large enterprises (80% of the Global 500) will join industry platforms by 2018.

Link to SourcesRedefining Customer Experience

Many business leaders think of the customer journey or experience as the interaction an individual or business has with their firm.

A Network Effect

But the business value of the future will exist in the much broader, end-to-end experiences of a customer-the experience of travel, for example, or healthcare management or mobility. Individual companies alone, even with their existing supplier networks, lack the capacity to transform these comprehensive experiences.

Solutions could include:

Rather than go it alone, companies will develop deep collaborative relationships across industries-even with their customers-to create powerful ecosystems that multiply the breadth and depth of the products, services, and experiences they can deliver. Digital native companies like Baidu and Uber have embraced ecosystem thinking from their early days. But forward-looking legacy companies are beginning to take the approach.

What Color Is Your Ecosystem?

  • Packaging provider Weig has integrated partners into production with customers co-inventing custom materials.
  • China’s Ping An insurance company is aggressively expanding beyond its sector with a digital platform to help customers manage their healthcare experience.
  • British roadside assistance provider RAC is delivering a predictive breakdown service for drivers by acquiring and partnering with high-tech companies.

Abandoning long-held notions of business value creation in favor of an ecosystem approach requires new tactics and strategies. Companies can:

1. Dispassionately map the end-to-end customer experience, including those pieces outside company control.

2. Employ future planning tactics, such as scenario planning, to examine how that experience might evolve.

3. Identify organizations in that experience ecosystem with whom you might co-innovate.

4. Embrace technologies that foster secure collaboration and joint innovation around delivery of experiences, such as cloud computing, APIs, and micro-services.

Evolve or Be Commoditized

5. Hire, train for, and reward creativity, innovation, and customer-centricity.

Download the executive brief The Future Will be Co-Created.

Some companies will remain in their traditional industry boxes, churning out products and services in isolation. But they will be commodity players reaping commensurate returns. Companies that want to remain competitive will seek out their new ecosystem or get left out in the cold.

Read the full article The Future Belongs to Industry-Busting Ecosystems.


Karma Automotive Reengineers The Customer Experience To Be Almost As Luxurious As The Revero

Celia Brown

The automotive industry is ripe for disruption and Karma Automotive is at the forefront of the movement. It is capitalizing on a combination of innovative technology, sustainability practices, and connected manufacturing to deliver a game-changing customer experience. Karma recently launched its first luxury plug-in hybrid car along with a commitment to challenge conventional thinking about purchasing and owning a luxury vehicle.

To capture “wallet share” via vehicle sales in an economy rapidly moving towards a shared mobility model, car manufacturers need to differentiate their products and services. The first step is to move away from the traditional car sales and maintenance model to an integrated mobility service. Karma has built its business with that in mind and is now fully prepared to deliver on its promise of 100% customer satisfaction.

Omnichannel commerce

Mikael Elley, vice president and CIO at Karma Automotive, is the mastermind behind the technology landscape. In building a young startup, his team wanted to implement best-in-class enterprise technology, but also wanted the flexibility to be agile enough to turn on a dime. When Karma started the journey, the team wasn’t sure if they were going to sell direct, leverage a dealer model, or both.

At its launch in May 2017, Karma had implemented both sales models in addition to planning to establish its own dealership. By leveraging omnichannel commerce, digital and in-person experiences have been designed to be as seamless and luxurious as Karma’s cars.

One reason for this is the fact that the entire company ecosystem – from customers to dealers to corporate employees – is operating on a single, integrated platform. From order to delivery and beyond, there is a single source of truth for everyone touching the customer experience, which is updated in real time and readily available from either a web or mobile app.

Connected tools

Karma’s connected customer experience also extends to the manufacturing shop floor. Here, authorized company representatives can access the specific status of a vehicle or review analytics and trends related to sales or quality assurance.

With quality assurance top of mind, the tools in Karma’s factory are also connected to the core platform. The torque tools are integrated with Internet of Things technology to communicate to the operator exactly which tool to utilize for a given job.

Service in the cloud

According to Jim Taylor, chief revenue officer for Karma Automotive, the key to disrupting the traditional automotive industry model starts and ends with the technology. With cloud-based technology and a single platform at the core, Karma can monitor and even update its vehicles long after they have left the factory floor.

Taylor explained, “From a service standpoint and a customer standpoint, we’re able to update the vehicles and send the software back and forth through the cloud and over the air. And so, it’s a broad spectrum – all the way from base manufacturing into the technology of the vehicle.”

What next for Karma Automotive?

Karma’s first vehicle, the Revero, launched this spring, and the expectations for its success are high all around. The team is eager to get its hands on more customer data and leverage technology to augment strategic business decision making.

When asked about his roadmap, CIO Elley said, “Machine learning is going to be big for us and we want to take advantage of some of the technology available to get even deeper insights into how we could better serve our customers, who our customers are, and what drives the customer satisfaction and customer value as well.”

As is describes its vehicles, Karma Automotive shall remain “unapologetically conspicuous in their beauty and
uncommonly light in their footprint.”

For more on delivering exceptional customer experiences, see Influencing Customers Through Infinite Personalization.



Article by channel:

Read more articles tagged: Mobile