In addition to my responsibility as CMO, SAP India these last few months have seen me take on an interim role of Digital Head for SAP in APJ. It would seem the word ‘Digital’ has taken on a life of its own this year with industry experts urging businesses to gear up for the Digital Transformation, companies and countries creating their Digital Agendas not to mention the Indian government launching its very own Digital India campaign.

But in this ensuing noise on digital, I urge companies not to fear the word- digital. If you know your business well and know where you want to take it you will figure out how to use digital to move ahead. This may surprise you now but eventually we may not even qualify businesses as being digital – it’s like dropping the e from e-commerce. I mean realistically don’t we all travel on e-tickets and haven’t we stopped using the prefix e in this context?

I recommend not bogging your business down with that new app or new technology and instead first re-imagining your business keeping the end objective in mind. We often make the mistake of adding layer over layer of business process not realizing that we are in fact complicating matters rather than simplifying them.  Remember complexity is the reason businesses today are losing billions – a whopping US$ 237 billion. So keep it simple!

In this mad dash towards all things online, let’s not be a me-too. Seek differentiation in all you do – why do you want to be the 10th online fashion retailer if you’re not offering anything different from your peers. The online world seems the new gold rush but don’t forget how many got their hands burned too in that original dash for cash.

I’d like to remind businesses not to lose focus of their customers. As extreme as that may sound, with a profusion of customer touch points businesses seem to be inundated with the data being generated. How often do customers come away exasperated from the lack of service offered by customer service departments? Let’s not lose sight of the forest for the trees and ensure we always remain accessible.

And my last piece of advice is not to hold onto the old but rather usher in the new. So much change happening around us…be open to it …let your business become more fluid and thereby more informed and more empowered. I leave you with a video that makes you look at digital as a natural progression of life as we know it. It’s not about breaking barriers but evolving with your ecosystem to ensure you succeed. On that note, I wish you a Happy New Year!

Published with permission.

Image courtesy from author.


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