Now it’s a requirement, says a top SAP executive. “It’s no longer a question of ‘Can I innovate in order to become best in class’. Now it’s a question of ‘Can I innovate in order to survive,’” SAP executive Claus Heinrich told a recent Forrester Research Executive Strategy Forum. Stressing the importance of innovation and embracing new technologies, Heinrich told the assembled CIOs and IT managers that the future of enterprise software is all about enabling adaptive business processes. The executive cited the real-time nature of business today, and how business events can be measured immediately, without having to wait until a nightly batch process is complete. “The velocity and complexity of information have increased dramatically,” Heinrich warned, then adding, “It’s not a threat, it’s an opportunity…to better serve customers.” He was asked his opinion of how the technology world will look five years from now, once the extended Internet—where companies can share data with customers, suppliers and partners over the Internet—takes hold. “I think you’ll see more shared services and companies focused more on their core competencies, what they do best,” he said. Heinrich conceded that Americans are ahead of Europeans in adopting new technologies. “There’s more of a ‘just do it’ mentality in the U.S.,” Heinrich said. “People here take more risks, both entrepreneurial risks and personal risks.”

eWeek 29 Oct 2003