The thriving business model: people, process, technology

Businesses must embrace new business models to be sustainable in the long run, says Manik Narayan Saha, CIO of SAP Asia-Pacific.
By: | April 29, 2019


About the Author
Manik Narayan Saha is the CIO of SAP in Asia-Pacific (including Japan)

From online shopping to the use of applications, consumers have increased standards for customer experiences and businesses to produce better outcomes in a shorter delivery time.

Redesigning business models and the use of technological tools can significantly improve the way a business works; necessitating a move towards a more flexible and agile workforce.

Looking back at the pre-e-commerce era, purchases were made from brick-and-mortar stores, customers had a limited ability to compare prices and did not have as many options, unlike today.

Now, customers have amassed a wealth of information; making them more educated and aware. They can consider their options before making a purchase decision.

Businesses must work harder to win at every customer interaction to gain loyalty and sales. According to Gartner, poor customer services will account for a decline in 30% of digital business projects by 2020.

This means that businesses must adjust their business models to be customer- and experience-centric.



Businesses need to invest in their people because they are vital to the future of the company. In the workplace, agile working policies should be set in place to give employees autonomy such as flexible working arrangements that can improve productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.

Apart from the welfare of employees, there is also a need to change the employees’ work scope from manual labor to work that is more creative and analytical.

Through technology and automation, employees can be retrained to perform more complex and creative tasks that can value add to the company.

By upskilling and being specialists in a field, the workforce becomes more agile and ready to adapt to changes.



A shift in how businesses operate from a process perspective needs to be assessed. For example, typically, in a traditional business-IT projects, the waterfall methodology was used in the past.

This means that projects are perceived in a linear, sequential way that is more rigid in nature, and by the time the projects are delivered, the business stakes have changed.

Agile methodology on the other hand, like its name, allows for more flexibility and room for changes. When companies move from the traditional model to be more agile, programs and projects receive better delivery from the team as the priorities can be reworked and updated in shorter cycles.

Integrating modern techniques such as design thinking early in the process helps the project teams understand and better visualise the final outcomes so that businesses run better with a clear objective of what matters for the end customers.



When companies move from the traditional model to be more agile, programs and projects receive better delivery from the team as the priorities can be reworked and updated in shorter cycles.

In today’s world, technology can be utilised to significantly increase profitability, productivity and efficiency. Automated business applications can reduce excessive paperwork and create reports seamlessly.

Repetitive tasks like finance invoice processing can be less taxing on an employee as machine learning and automation can accelerate efficiencies of such work.

Digital marketing enables a company to reach much beyond local physical boundaries. Efficient tools free up an employee’s time and capacity to do creative work which value adds to the company.

Another facet to technology in a company is digital workspaces. Simply put, the laptops that we use at work is the window into a company.

The ease of connectivity to the corporate network, within or outside of the office, is a minute but crucial detail in helping employees be mobile and flexible with their work environment.

This increases their productivity and efficiency because they can work in the comfort of their own home to virtually anywhere!

Whether employees are working in local offices or across the globe, how can the business facilitate collaboration? This is where data-sharing platforms come in, it allows employees to work in tandem with each other and not in silos.

These tools are usually private and secure within a company which means that employees can share confidential materials across with another team member.

The benefits are that while it allows you to work on documents simultaneously and in real-time, it also acts as a sophisticated chatroom that allows you to share insights, ideas, or documents that can enhance the collaboration between teams.

In an organisation, technology dictates how efficiently the business runs, and be connected digitally to the people around them.


In tune with tomorrow

A modern business must have the foresight and ability to identify factors that may impact the organisation’s growth from disruptive technologies to trends in the industry.

It is necessary that a business re-evaluates its strategies and redesign its business models to reflect the change in the industry and plans ahead.

Today, digital leadership is a mandate for any company that wants to be in business tomorrow, and to remain sustainable, all three aspects of people, process and technology must be “upgraded” in tandem to remain relevant.

SAP will be at the first-ever HR Festival Asia, brought to you by the combined experience of HR Technology Conference & Exposition (US) and HR Summit (Asia).

Visit the SAP SuccessFactors Booth # 77 at the Expo Hall to explore real-time experience insights with operational data, and how companies can respond to their employees’ needs, fostering engagement, reducing attrition, and improving customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

For more information, visit