[Column] Titilayo Adewumi: Rise to the challenge: Building intelligent enterprises in West Africa
The past few years have been a wake-up call to businesses to speed up their digital transformation efforts and more quickly adopt the technologies needed to deal with disruption.
Business leaders today are digitising with haste, seeking to enhance products and services, future-proof their businesses, drive innovation, and improve customer experiences.
While governments in West Africa strive to undo the damage wrought by the pandemic and implement policies to boost economic growth in the region, business leaders have their hands full dealing with widespread uncertainty and disruption.
However, West African enterprises face a golden opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation efforts and build globally competitive business models that can unlock revenue growth through innovation and efficiency gains.
One Harvard Business study singled out Nigeria as a country of untapped opportunities for growth in digital technology adoption, citing the country’s immense start-up ecosystem and powerful economy as key potential drivers of greater digitalisation.
Building intelligent West African enterprises
For any modern business, one of the most important drivers of digital technology adoption is the attainment of intelligent enterprise capabilities.
An intelligent enterprise can consistently apply advanced technologies and best practices with agile and integrated business processes to solve problems or take advantage of new opportunities. It uses powerful technologies to collect insights about customers, partners, and employees to uncover trends and opportunities, and seamlessly blends new tools such as AI to take better decisions that accelerate the achievement of broader business objectives.
Intelligent enterprises share several common traits, including:
- Agility and responsiveness, which ensures employees can respond to challenges with intelligent decision-making.
- Real-time adaptiveness that drives better business outcomes by improving decision-making with real-time data and intelligence.
- Collaboration and integration across the enterprise, ensuring organisations can build and engage a global network of suppliers, skills, and supply chains.
- Innovation, driven by data and emerging technologies to enable quick scaling.
For West African businesses, achieving intelligent enterprise capabilities will help build greater resilience against disruptions while unlocking accurate real-time decision-making at scale.
By having access to the right technology to drive improvements across their operations, intelligent enterprises can accelerate the pace at which they innovate, remove friction from customer experiences, better attract and retain hybrid workforces, and gain greater visibility over end-to-end business processes.
For many business and IT leaders, however, understanding where they are on the road to achieving intelligent enterprise capabilities – and what steps need to be taken to get there – can be tricky.
Business-Transformation-as-a-Service supporting business efforts
The immense pace of change in all areas of trade is one of the biggest challenges facing modern business leaders. The past few years have only served as further proof that change is the only constant in our current business environment.
Business-Transformation-as-a-Service has emerged as a powerful tool to help companies keep up with the pace of change and deal with complexity more effectively.
SAP’s Rise with SAP programme, for example, offers companies a rich suite of products and services designed to accelerate digital transformation, no matter where the business is on their journey toward becoming an intelligent enterprise.
Rise with SAP offers companies a powerful suite of market-leading technology, the power and scalability of the cloud, and a vibrant ecosystem of partners to accelerate digitalisation efforts and build more efficient and resilient businesses.
West African companies from leading soft drink manufacturers to consumer goods companies are leveraging Business-Transformation-as-a-Service to become intelligent enterprises, unlocking vast business benefits along the way that include:
The ability to manage huge data sets through intelligent ERP systems that integrate data sets with powerful analytics for real-time insights.
- Greater agility through intelligent decision-making that is powered by real-time data-driven insights.
- Improved availability of data to decision-makers as well as better integration of extensions such as IoT devices.
- Visibility across business processes that encourages greater collaboration within the organisation as well as with external suppliers and partners.
- Greater scalability through leveraging cloud technologies, allowing the business to enter new markets while maintaining standardised business processes.
With the correct investment into new technologies, West African enterprises can build greater resilience against disruption while eliminating uncertainty from their business environment.
And with the introduction of Business-Transformation-as-a-Service supported by a rich ecosystem of expert partners, West African enterprises have a golden opportunity to gain new capabilities that will enable their success and growth for years to come.