Who remembers Eckhart Tolle’s bestselling book by the same name? A guide to spiritual enlightenment, it brought home a universal truth as old as the Bhagwad Gita – living in the present is the secret to our well-being and happiness. Why should it be any different for the way we run our businesses then? If businesses lived in the moment i.e. made decisions and adapted to real time intelligence wouldn’t they be more successful?

Real time business intelligence as a concept has been around for a while now – data at your finger tips to enable speedy yet insightful decisions in marketing is well acknowledged. Now what if you could extend this capability to the top-end strategic decision making in the company, turning the board room into a digital, live and current state of being? Imagine the benefits associated with such a transformation. Especially at a time when today’s boards have had to make themselves more approachable and move from their stance on whether to interact with shareholders to actually evaluating the best ways to engage them. The world in which we live today with a multitude of touch points necessitates an open and transparent communication with shareholders but is truly only possible when boards have access to the full picture themselves.

Another key challenge for boards in the volatile environment we live in is risk oversight. According to a recent survey conducted by NYSE Governance Services of nearly 500 directors, 55% believed that a public company board can never fully anticipate the different aspects of risk, particularly emerging risks like cyber-security and social media. While cyber risks currently take higher precedence over social media on the corporate agenda one just has to look at how deeply ingrained social media is already in our daily lives to see it becoming top priority soon. Often for no apparent wrong doing of the company, a simple customer grievance or misrepresentation of facts can lead to socially damaging nightmares.  According to a Forbes Insights survey conducted in 2014 a whopping 90% of executives state that reputation risk is their key business challenge. In my opinion this percentile will just go up before it comes down and I truly believe we are not far from the day when company boards will dedicate a substantial portion of their time monitoring social media and related policies.

What this brings to the fore is the need for transparency and a real-time business performance view across the company. Enter the Digital Board Room – a breakthrough from SAP that takes business data from different applications to provide a single source of truth about a company’s business metrics. This is an important benefit especially in today’s fast changing digital economy – often board members have access to disparate reports not to mention dated and static data. The Digital Board Room aims to not merely harmonize company operations into a single view but also improve the quality and speed of reporting and collaboration in real time. The result – decisions based on true, live data insights helping to build trust between all stakeholders of the company including board members, employees, shareholders and customers.

SAP recently previewed the Digital Board Room at SAPPHIRENOW 2016 but if you missed the captivating pictures, here’s your chance to get a glimpse into the Power of Now

Published with permission from Author.



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