As the business landscape shifts in the wake of the pandemic, companies are accelerating their digital transformation to stay resilient and responsive. SAP invited local business leaders at the forefront of transformational change to share their cloud deployment best practices and insights at the SAP NOW Hong Kong forum on July 13, 2022.
Marking SAP's global 50th anniversary and SAP Hong Kong's 30th anniversary, SAP NOW Hong Kong 2022 focused on a single priority: supporting companies to become "intelligent sustainable enterprises" for a future built on data-driven operations.
Rajni Sharma, Managing Director, SAP Hong Kong, expanded on this theme as she welcomed a broad cross-section of the local business community to the forum. "Intelligent sustainable enterprises are companies that leverage cloud technologies to adapt, transform, innovate and, most importantly, make decisions based on a holistic picture generated by data," she said.
"With 50 years of enterprise solutions experience, SAP launched RISE with SAP last year. This integrated offering supports companies to empower their customers, employees, suppliers and partners to work together better, leveraging data management, artificial intelligence, machine learning, automation and predictive analysis. SAP is also supporting companies to embed sustainability into their core processes to strengthen business continuity," she continued.
As a highlight of SAP NOW, notable Hong Kong business leaders revealed what they recommend to those leveraging technology and data to tackle a volatile operating environment and prepare for a sustainable future.
Build a Data Culture
Tontec International, a global leader in the design and production of plastic injection molds and moldings, is leveraging RISE with SAP to transform and power its global expansion. At SAP NOW, Tontec President Nelson Lam advised business leaders to begin their cloud journey by establishing a data culture in which employees believe in the power of big data.
"From there, you can identify what kind of product data and business process data to capture and utilize. You will then have a realistic picture of the achievements and possibilities that cloud computing will bring," he said. "Many SMEs continue to use many software and legacy systems that they developed themselves. But they should note that even though they can migrate their solutions and applications to the cloud, technology and standards are changing so fast that they might have difficulty catching up in the future."
Keep the Goal in Mind
A global leader in apparel manufacturing headquartered in Hong Kong, Crystal International Group Limited bolsters its transformation through an "One Team One Dream" culture, galvanizing its employees, technology partners and SAP teams, to work towards a shared goal. Karl Ting, the company's General Manager of Corporate Information Services, advised that companies embarking on cloud transformation to establish a clear picture of their "end state", with logical initial steps within a well-defined roadmap.
"Companies should note that continuous improvement is not guaranteed," he added. "You have to ensure that your transformation is supported by critical success factors, such as having the commitment of top management, working well with your strategic implementation partner, having the right solutions and making sure that your projects are adequately supported by the operational teams."
Establish the Business Case
Jonathan Wan, Director, Group Finance and IT, Strategic Planning, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Company Limited, believes that every cloud transformation must have a business case as its foundation.
"Although cloud operations can certainly improve system availability and scalability, no cloud deployment can be successful if it is not supported by a business case and a return on investment assessment," he said. "Compliance is also another important factor from the risk management perspective. As Hong Kong and mainland China have different regulations on data management and data privacy, cloud transformation should take that into consideration."
Communicate Early and Well
For Chinachem Group, a leading property developer in Hong Kong and beyond, change management is the "secret ingredient" for transformation, according to Ben Fung, General Manager of Information Technology and Solutions. He reiterated the importance of close, two-way communication to align with the IT team and end-users.
"Every transformation project should involve showing end-users how digital solutions can help them do their jobs better," he said. "When colleagues understand the business rationale for the transformation, the IT teams can focus on building an IT environment and infrastructure that keeps operations running and facilitates transformation at the same time. With this foundation, companies can carefully select the right cloud solutions to enable their business."