How organisations get fit with the cost of living squeeze

With ongoing inflationary pressures and the cost-of-living crisis, organisations need to have a serious think about how they can get fit.

Just like the millions of people who begin new fitness routines every day to live longer and healthier lives, businesses should be looking at ways they can ‘get fit’ and build long term resilience.

Similar to humans, training is the key to getting lean – but instead of pounding the pavement or pumping iron, organisations should be looking to put their functions and processes through their paces, with the help of technology.

The starting point for businesses wanting to get fit is building a strong core, which forms the foundation of their operations. Next, they should look to target the rest of the body, building a regime that targets weak spots and optimises operations throughout the businesses.

Building a workout regime

The human body is a complex structure, with each one unique in its own way. Businesses, too, are complex in their own way, made up of a variety of processes, applications and systems. And like the human body, finding the right routine that works for it can be a method of trial and error.

Similar to humans, ‘training’ a business relies on sharp shocks to the system that challenge how things are usually done and highlight areas for improvement. Once those areas are identified, businesses can hone in on them and, just like building a workout routine, create a strategy that will target where the work is needed.

However, like any good workout routine, the core forms a strong foundation to support overall fitness – from flexibility to stability. Before businesses can create a comprehensive strategy, or workout, and begin addressing separate areas of the business, they need to understand and shape their core businesses principles that they can then build upon.

Work the core

When it comes to businesses, many lack a strong data core. This ultimately has a domino effect on all other aspects of the business, causing them to be out of sync with one another. And with the economic crisis causing ongoing challenges, the unpredictability can easily throw a business off balance.

Improving decision making requires a holistic approach, where all operational data is taken into account before change is put in place. Implementing a data architecture with the right software solutions allows information across the business to be centralised and connected.

Where businesses previously might have had to manually transfer data and recreate all the business context lost from extracting and replicating data, a data architecture keeps this all intact. This provides a single source of truth, where businesses can access and manage data and react in real time.

With this complete unified view of their data, businesses have the ability to accelerate their decision-making with trust and confidence, knowing they always have the complete picture of their data regardless of where it is stored or how it was designed. And like strengthening the entire body, they can optimise the whole business.

Healthy body, healthy mind

With the ability to access insights in real time, businesses can ‘train’ their mind, boost their flexibility and agility and improve their reaction time. With constantly evolving market circumstances, fit businesses require the ability to pivot quickly and seamlessly adapt their operations and business models. Having the right data will allow them to unify processes to deliver quick and accurate change.

Using this enhanced insight, business can de-silo disparate departments, and use that as a prompt to identify inefficiencies, target them and cut out bloated processes. In terms of functionality, businesses should be turning to automation to improve operations and streamline business processes to reduce repetitive manual work.

Ultimately, the knock-on effect of this tech innovation will be to create a more efficient workforce and processes that cut out unnecessary tasks, as well as reduce the time it takes to do activities – helping business leaders to have more visibility on problems and take powerful, effective action.

Supporting future fitness

As high inflation and the cost of living crisis continues, businesses should be thinking about how they grow from the challenges of the last year and make sure they come out the other side unscathed. This means rethinking their business operations and changing tact to build long term resilience. The first step is creating a strong foundation with a data core,  bringing all operational data into one place. Then, they can build a routine around this, identifying weak spots and putting in the work to improve efficiency and boost their agility. With the right routine in place, they can build a fit business ready for the challenges of the future.

About the Author

Stef De Mulder is Head of BTP SAP EMEA North. SAP Business Technology Platform is a PaaS cloud computing service offered by SAP. At SAP, our purpose is to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. Our promise is to innovate to help our customers run at their best. SAP is committed to helping every customer become a best-run business. We engineer solutions to fuel innovation, foster equality, and spread opportunity across borders and cultures. Together, with our customers and partners, we can transform industries, grow economies, lift up societies, and sustain our environment. #TheBestRun