network economyWelcome to the Network Economy, where the old adage “it’s not what you know, but whom you know” has never been truer. It’s all about connection. Mobile, cloud, social media, machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies are enabling a connection between people and organizations like we have never seen before. Those businesses that leverage all available contact points are awarded with a new power to collaborate, create and compete.

But with great power comes great responsibility. While networks add exponential value, managing network density and complexity is ever more challenging.

Demographics are shifting. The 80 million millennials that are flooding the marketplace and workforce are expecting the same connectivity they enjoy at home to be in-stores and in the workplace. But it’s not just Gen Y that is hyper-connected. The fastest-growing social media segment is 45-to-64 year-olds. Customers and employees are demanding that business be mobile, social, always on, ever connected.

Many organizations are also struggling to keep up with the pace of emerging mobility. Customers and employees are mobile, so must businesses’ communications, processes and offerings. If organizations don’t optimize for mobile, they risk becoming irrelevant and overlooked by customers and talent.

At the same time, new cloud paradigms are bringing forth new opportunities, as well as new challenges. Business and life is increasingly taking place in the cloud and moving to the cloud is becoming less of question for businesses and more of a necessity. However, new cloud strategies also introduce greater complexity and questions about security, privacy, asset management and more.

And finally, network density and complexity is ever advancing. Today we have networks connected to networks, and networks within networks. These networks aren’t just connecting people and businesses; they’re disrupting customer touch points, markets, hierarchies and supply chains.

While embracing networks yields change and risk, the more organizations avoid networks, the faster they fall behind. Thus, the same network challenges that vex processes and markets also position the forward-leaning businesses to outcompete and win in the marketplace. The Network Economy is enabling business to be done faster, more cost efficient, more innovative and leveraging the latest technology, ultimately reaching new levels of success. Why not take advantage of it?

The Network Economy: Finding Power in Connections from SAP