SAP breakdowns the traits of a digital transformation leader

SAP has discovered that 84% of global companies have identified digital transformation as being a key necessity to their survival over the next five years, yet only 3% have completed their transformation.

Working in close collaboration with Oxford Economics, the study, named ‘SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study: 4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart’, identified four key traits of digital leaders.

The first is that digital leaders see digital transformation as a true change, 96% reporting digital transformation is a core business goal and even extends beyond the company to customers, suppliers and partners.

The study also found that digital leaders typically prioritise customer-facing processes during the digital transformation process, which 70% of leaders reported is increasing customer satisfaction vs. 22% of all others.

Other areas include prioritising talent, which 71% of leaders also reported that an ongoing digital transformation effort actually makes it easier to attract and keep on valuable talent, as well as investment in next-generation.

Of the latter, 50% of leaders reported investing in technologies, such as AI and machine learning, while 94% are investing in Big Data and 76% are investing in IoT.

SAP’s study also found that those enterprise that have adopted digital technologies and best practices, enjoy higher levels of market share, roughly 85% vs. 41%. Similarly, 80% enjoy higher profitability vs 53%.

Vivek Bapat, senior vice president, global head of Marketing Strategy and Thought Leadership, SAP SE, said: “Digital transformation is no longer a choice, it’s an essential driver of revenue, profit and growth.

“Executives need to move from simply understanding the high stakes to activating complete end-to-end execution across their business. This requires innovative breakthrough technologies, investing in digital skills, and retraining the existing workforce. The next two years will be a key inflection point, which will separate the digital winners from those left behind.”

The results were unveiled at SAP Leonardo Live, which ran from 11-12 July in Frankfurt, Germany.

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