SAP sets a course for the future


At its massive customer conference held last week in Orlando, SAP made it clear that it was charting a new course for the future. In announcing Leonardo — what it calls a digital innovation system — and in interviews with company executives, the message was unambiguous: SAP is an important part of the enterprise digital transformation story.

While the messaging around Leonardo was a bit muddled and at times felt like a bucket of buzzwords, it represents a decisive step forward in its effort to transform the company from a legacy, back-office technology player into the enterprise’s digital transformation platform and enabler of choice. According to its press release, the goal of Leonardo is to, “enable customers to rapidly innovate and scale that innovation to redefine their business for the digital world.”

Transformation by example

In many ways, SAP is the perfect guide for large enterprise organizations grappling with the dual demands of responding to digital disruption, while continuing to develop and support a legacy business.

After all, SAP itself is a behemoth company employing over 85,000 people in 130 countries. It looks and operates a lot like the enterprise customers it serves. And, like those enterprise customers, it was slow to see and adapt to its own digital disruption threat — in its case, the cloud.

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