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Digital technology has changed nearly everything we know about the world. Mobile devices have liberated from our desks. Organizations, people, and devices are more intertwined. Infrastructure, software, and services are easier to deploy, scale, and host. And the shrinking size and increased capacity of devices to measure, report, and react to change are making us more dependent on mobile technology.

With each click, tap, and swipe, very rarely do we consciously think about the impact of digital technology. It’s become a way of life, and, for businesses, it’s just another tool for customer engagement.

Recently, I was reminded of the influence of technology when I moderated the Webinar Ready or Not, Digital Is Your Business – What All SAP Customers Need to Know! alongside Geoff Scott, CEO of Americas' SAP Users' Group (ASUG). From mobile devices in our hands to digital presses on the shop floor, digital transformation is pervasive and inescapable – and full of open-ended opportunities.

Uber doesn't own a single car ? That's insane !

There are many dimensions to digital transformation in the world of business. Machines can communicate with each other to adjust to changing requirements and sustain optimal performance. Digital technology is generating incredible amounts of data, forcing employees of all level to flex their analytics skills to refine customer-centric process innovation.

More astonishing is the number of businesses – from startups to large, established, multinational conglomerates – creating entirely new customer experiences by going digital. Think about it: The largest taxi service owns no cars. The biggest accommodations provider owns no real estate. And the most-popular media distributor owns no content.

Each of these companies has managed to disrupt an entire industry, world markets, and established brands – all without holding a thing except a mobile app and a business network.

5 steps that can secure your place in the digital economy

If there is anything that these businesses have taught us, it’s the inevitability of change and disruption. It’s up to us whether we decided to prepare for it or cease to exist in the future.

Whether we like it or not, digital transformation is accelerating. If your business is going to survive, you need to embrace it now. Here are five steps that can get on your way:

1. Think of your business as the next great disruptor

Approximately 90% of CEOs know that digital technology is impacting their industry, but only less than 15% are digitally transforming with a clear plan. Beat your competitors to the punch by creating a clear digital path that promotes simplicity and innovation.

2. Stop waiting for the perfect moment – start now

Take risks. Work in an agile manner. Fail often, but recover quickly. It’s time to accept that digital transformation is the future of your business. And taking an offense approach in your digital game plan sometimes means making mistakes along the way.

3. Prepare your workforce

According to PwC, 73% of CEOs believe the lack of employees with key technical skills is a threat. Making sure your talent has the right knowledge to support your digital transformation strategy will have the greatest impact on not only business operations, but also the customer experience.

4. Rethink your business processes

Know what really matters to your customers and which of them are your strategic differentiators and core competencies. Outsource the rest to others who have the expertise and scale to deliver better results.

5. Redefine your business culture to engage employees throughout the journey

No line of business, pay grade, nor partner is immune from a business that is in the midst of a digital transformation. Everyone must be committed to meet the challenges of the digital economy. From HR and sales to your supply network, every employee must understand the opportunities the lie ahead, the business’ strategy for getting there, and the role they will play.

Ultimately, success in the digital economy doesn’t just depend on your business’ ability to implement digital technology. You must be astute at rethinking strategy, culture, talent, and opportunities that may or may not reside within the traditional boundaries of your industry.

Take a deep dive into the technology-enabled revolution that’s occurring right now and see what’s at stake for your business. Watch the Webinar replay Ready or Not, Digital Is Your Business – What All SAP Customers Need to Know !

Join ASUG’s Digital Transformation Program to receive updates and engage in our program activities. We are on this journey together!