Shift to ‘intelligent enterprise’ key to post COVID-19 prospects

Image by Martin Sanchez

Two in every five (40%) the businesses are still adopting a “wait and see” approach in response to the pandemic, even as the digital era evolves into an “intelligent” one whereby firms are facing mounting new challenges amidst digital disruption and new rules to the game, according to SAP.

This is from results of a SAP’s poll of 4,500 Southeast Asian business leaders, which reveals the extent of COVID-19’s impact on businesses across the region, and concerns about long-term prospects.

Winning companies are those that transform through innovation, more so in today’s ‘digitally disruptive’ world compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For countries and companies that are complacent with a ‘wait and see’ attitude, they would be left behind – and may even become ‘irrelevant,’” said Rachel Barger, president and managing director of SAP Southeast Asia

“As businesses recalibrate their strategies for the long-term, it is crucial to shift away from an expectation to revert to normalcy as before,” said Barger. I”n a new reality, intelligent enterprises can ‘do more with less’, deliver best-in-class customer experience, build resilient supply chains, while inventing new business models and revenue streams.”

Close to two-thirds (63%)  of regional business leaders surveyed have already seen changes in customers’ purchasing behaviour and motivations since the start of 2020, although 21% of businesses are unsure or lack insight on changes in their customer’s needs.

Amidst this shift, organisations are still moving conservatively with their digital transformation efforts, with many adopting a protective stance with the mindset that disruption from COVID-19 will pass in due course.

Yet, over 80% of regional businesses leaders surveyed expect significant/massive impact to change their business model or operations, with just 1% expecting “business-as-usual” in the long run.

With business-as-usual no longer an option, regional business leaders are adjusting organisational priorities  with a focus on business transformation (21%), enhancing customer engagement (15%), making business processes more efficient (14%), ensuring business continuity (12%), and supply chain resilience and redefinition (9%).

As we adapt to the new realities caused by COVID-19, SAP says the roles of technology will have to evolve to achieve resiliency, deliver profitability, and act sustainably.

SAP suggest that firms aim to be an “intelligent enterprise” to greatly reduce the impact of this crisis, by using intelligent technologies, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and robotic process automation.