SAP AG is one of the world’s largest software companies with more than 60,000 employees. Jim Hagemann Snabe, as Co-CEO, is responsible for more than 190,000 SAP clients on a global scale. At PA’s Executive Seminar on Thursday 31 May, he said: “Don’t go to India to find the cheapest solution but to find the best. If you choose to outsource to India only to get the cheapest labour, that’s all you are going to get. That is not the way forward for Denmark or Europe considering the uncertain economic climate.”
Streamlining all processes
Discussing IT systems, Mr Hagemann Snabe said, “There are no easy solutions to the lack of growth in Denmark; however, we should consider streamlining all business processes. It is sensible to make things smarter and faster, and to optimise the entire business rather than just a fragment of it. The next step is to differentiate where possible. Too many companies focus too much on how things have been done previously, rather than on what will happen in the future. Doing the latter will enable you to react much faster.”
His view was supported by Torsten Jacobsen, PA Consulting Group: “More efficient IT systems are a prerequisite for creating a successful company. This, combined with clear processes for the entire company, minimises the risk of waste. A company is an entity, which is why all processes are mutually dependent.”
Embracing new progress in technology
Mr Hagemann Snabe sees a great potential in technology that can help companies renew themselves: “Right now we are facing a paradigm shift – once again. In the 1970s it was about the central systems of the mainframe, in the 1990s the flexible client-server structure created the internet as machines and people were connected. Once again we are facing a paradigm shift that will create progress. In reality, cloud is a central resource in a flexible global environment. Moreover, we are able to reach the individual user through smartphones, and that is the new IT reality, which holds a wealth of opportunities.”
Finally, Mr Hagemann Snabe explained that selling on a global scale may be a challenge for smaller, innovative companies: “An idea without scalability is worth nothing. So large companies need to act as a catalyst for smaller companies, and we need to collaborate rather than focus on what is mine and what is yours. I urge Danish companies to look beyond the border and to think globally. A wise geologist once said: ‘The stone age didn’t come to an end because we ran out of stones but because mankind came up with something smarter."
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