The SAPPHIRE NOW keynote address promised to be eye-opening and it exceeded my expectations. This year I had the privilege to be part of SAP’s influencer class and being part of the inside circle granted my colleagues and me exclusive insights into the future of technology in business. As valuable as they are, there was also a highlight – the open to all keynote that grabbed attention and brought forth business operation intelligence that benefits small, medium, and large entities alike.

This year’s keynote address was given by Christian Klein, CEO, COO, and member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, during the ”The Enterprise in an Age of Networks” session at the SAPPHIRE NOW summit yesterday.

Klein’s well-done keynote address focused on the changing ecosystem of learning and business prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital is the focus with emphasis on transparency across all areas of business operations. Technologies are evolving to bring not only businesses together but families too. The way we learn and the way we work will never be the same again. It is time to evolve to be more connected and innovative for a successful tomorrow. 

Klein stressed three key insights which will shape the business world as we know it – all of which we found equally intriguing.

Key Insight Number 1

The most resilient companies are those who embraced technology to sustain their business. The COVID-19 Pandemic was a time for change and the opportunity to use technological intelligence. Companies that embraced the trend faster ensured lesser disruption in their processes and productivity. 

The feat of being technologically intelligent is based not only on knowledge but courage as well. Courage to keep traditional business models behind and look towards forward-thinking models

Klein used the case study on Brakes Ecosystem – a SYSCO company is as a great example of what pioneering adaptation of technology can do the ensure minimal downtime even during a pandemic

Key Insight Number 2

We win together as a community – no business does business alone. This is one of the most important trends to move forward. We live in a connected economy and it only makes sense to be part of a connected community to help our businesses work smoother. Industries will be revolutionized when businesses become communities and vice versa.

The new businesses models must emphasize the following:

   The need to reinvent how companies work

   Complex logistics of old models need to be overhauled

COVID-19 showed us the importance of real-time transparency. In traditional methods, the one-to-one communications in the supply chain do not provide real-time data to businesses. Digitization gives the whole scenario much-needed transparency. 

Key Insight Number 3

One of the most hard-hitting insights Klein put forward is preservation. Preservation that zeroes in on three vital aspects.

Zero Emissions

Zero Waste

Zero Inequality

Klein focused his energy on emphasizing how important these three-pointers will be in the businesses of the future. SAP is already working full steam to create a very low carbon footprint model that will ensure steady work towards zero emissions. Businesses across the globe are focusing on minimizing their carbon footprint and technology is there to help.

Zero waste is the need of the hour during pandemics. With the delivery of almost everything hit with logistical glitches, waste curbing is of much importance. Businesses will do well to ensure that minimal wastage of resources occurs in the whole supply chain model.

 The third and most arguably the strongest point of the session was zero inequality. This is the time to come together and form a better cause. Thereby inequality has no place in the new age businesses. Community is vital for businesses and that is where the focus must be given 

We at Jumpstart enjoyed the session immensely, to say the least. What were your take and views on the keynote? Let’s exchange ideas for a connected future.