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SAP Highlights the Key Traits of Digital Leaders

84 Percent of Global Companies Say that Digital Transformation is Critical to their Survival

August 09, 2017

According to a new study from SAP, while 84 percent of global companies say that digital transformation is critical to their survival in the next five years, only three percent have completed company-wide transformation efforts.

Based on survey results from more than 3,000 senior executives across 17 countries and regions, the SAP study looked at the characteristics of the top 100 performing companies among the respondents to identify what they had in common.

Here are the four key traits they identified among those leaders.

Digital Leaders Take a Holistic View of Digital Transformation. According to SAP, digital leaders see digital transformation as truly transformational and see it as more than just another technology initiative. More than 90 percent of digital leaders in the SAP survey said that digital transformation was a core business goal, compared to 61 percent of other respondents. Transformation, according to digital leaders, extends throughout the organization, impacting how employees interact with customers, suppliers and partners.

Digital leaders place a premium on talent. 71 percent of digital leaders indicated that digital transformation efforts made it easier to attract and retain talent vs. 54 percent of other respondents. They also spent more resources on retraining the existing workforce to adapt to a digital future. As studies from other organizations like the Hackett Group have demonstrated, one of the biggest limiting factors to digital transformation is the skillset of existing employees. Digital leaders acknowledge this and have taken concrete steps to address the issue.

Digital leaders focus on the customer. 70 percent of digital leaders said that digital transformation was already increasing customer satisfaction, compared to 22 percent of other respondents. Leaders view the impact on the customer experience as the benchmark for a successful digital transformation—as opposed to what they view as ancillary benefits to cost savings and efficiency gains.

Digital Leaders Invest in next-generation technologies: Half of the SAP digital leaders surveyed are already working with artificial intelligence and machine learning, compared to 7 percent of all others. They are also investing more heavily in Big Data and analytics (94 percent vs. 60 percent) and the Internet of Things (76 percent vs. 52 percent).

Take the Steps Towards Becoming a Digital Transformation Leader

Artsyl Technologies works hand in hand with our ERP, ECM and business automation partners to help companies identify specific business processes that are great candidates for digital transformation. Often, by taking on well-defined processes where manual processes and a lack of process visibility are key bottlenecks (like account payable invoice processing or sales order automation), companies can achieve fast ROI and empower their employees to gain a fundamental understanding of how to plan, execute and support a digital transformation initiative in a way that can scale from a single department or process.

To learn more, contact your Artsyl Technologies account representative.