Companies that do right will be the ones that win, says the SAP CEO, Bill McDermott, talking about the winning companies in the digital economy. McDermott sees SAP to be one such company that is striving hard to get the technology into hands of everyone, irrespective of their economic condition.
Recalling his life as a teenager doing part-time jobs and owning a business at an early age, McDermott says it taught him to have empathy for the customer. Because he believes that, if to get anything you want in life it is important to give others what they want.
McDermott makes these statements in a video interview with William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones, a publisher of business news and financial information. When Lewis addresses McDermott as one of the people-centric CEO he has ever known, McDermott replied, “We are in a consumer-driven growth revolution…This idea of personalized service whether it’s healthcare, education, retail, these technologies only matter if they can improve people’s lives. That’s what we are determined to do, to help this world run better and improve people’s lives.”
McDermott to those pessimistic thinkers about innovations like AI said, “Some people fear computers could take over, and people could get left behind…but...the idea of augmenting humanity using deep learning, artificial intelligence, IoT, robotics, blockchain – all these technologies can improve the human condition and lift people up so they achieve more.” These technologies will help increase sales and jobs by letting individuals concentrate more on the responsibilities that require human judgment.
The CEO uses SAP as an example of a future-oriented, customer-centric organization and continued to elaborate stating, “We make portfolio planning decisions…based on does it helps the environment and the society, and improve the economy…we are taking on the world’s biggest challenges because we believe that they are the world’s biggest opportunities. And it’s not just good for the world; it’s also good for business. That’s why we’ve been able to double the number of employees, triple the market cap of the company.”
He concludes by putting his trust on the savvy consumers “When they see companies doing good…and can back it up with transparency, data and facts, those are the companies that will be the winners.” SAP sees new opportunities with new technologies pitching-in, and so unlike other technology CEOs, McDermott welcomes the innovations like automation and robotics taking-over mundane and monotonous tasks, machine learning and AI converting “records of data” to “records of intelligence”. SAP’s new slogan Run Simple literally means to keep the company running with transforming world rather than to hinder feeling threatened.