A new SAP study conducted in partnership with IDC Canada reveals that succeeding in the "human side of business" might be the secret sauce for organizations that have undergone a successful digital transformation.
The survey of 303 organizational strategy decision-makers and influencers within Canadian enterprises found that while 85 per cent of enterprises had established a formal digital strategy, up from 76 per cent in 2017, most companies were at wildly different stages on their journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise.
Only 12 per cent of Canadian enterprises were identified as Intelligent Enterprise (IE) leaders. While these businesses are well-ahead of their peers in the adoption of innovative technologies, the report also revealed a clear connection between experience management and IE progress.
According to the SAP IE Study, 73 per cent of IE leaders will increase their focus on employee experience next year, while 59 per cent of IE leaders will increase their focus on customer experience. Over two out of three (68%) IE leaders also believe that customer experience has significantly improved financial performance within their business over the previous year.
"Decision-makers have a strong recognition that technology is one of the key solutions on the path to becoming an intelligent enterprise and need to now combine this with a focus on realizing value in different ways," said Tony Olvet, Group Vice President, Research Domains, IDC Canada. "By building intelligence into every facet of business, organizations better transform data and drive action across all lines of business."
The Intelligent Enterprise
The Intelligent Enterprise is a strategy that allows enterprises to transform data into action across all lines of business – driving process automation and innovation, unlocking new areas of growth, and delivering exceptional experiences. To identify how far along Canadian enterprises are in their transformation to succeed in the digital economy, IDC Canada developed a four-stage progress scale: Observer > Participant > Challenger > Leader.
According to the study, 11 per cent of Canadian enterprises are still at the 'Observer' stage (low adoption of building block and innovative technologies, disconnected line-of-business digital initiatives, limited focus on experience management), 42 per cent are at the 'Participant' stage, 34 per cent are 'Challenger' stage, and only 12 per cent are 'Leaders' (advanced use of technology, integrated and continuous enterprise-wide digital innovation, tight linkage between employee experience and customer experience).
"Over the past half-decade, Canadian business leaders have been hearing the message loud and clear about the need to establish a digital strategy. The challenge, and where managers need guidance now, is how?" said Sam Masri, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Canada. "Understanding more advanced organizations provides insight that other Canadian businesses can emulate on their path to becoming intelligent enterprises."
Key Learnings from Canada's IE leaders
According to the study, here are a few ways that IE Leaders are differentiating themselves from the rest of the pack:
1. Engaged leadership helps drive digital transformation
2. Customer experience is essential