Biz Sch News 07 September 2017

Learning about digital transformation with SAP

Digital disruption is happening across businesses, industries and countries. Speaking to about 200 The NUS BBA students, Ms Zarina Lam Stanford, Head of Marketing Asia Pacific and Japan SAP gave a talk on how the digitisation is transforming the business world at NUS Business School. Stephanie Lam, final year Accountancy and Marketing student, recounts the interactive session held on 6 September 2017.

From right: emcee and final year student Stephanie Lam; speaker Zarina Lam Stanford; A/P Ang Swee Hoon; and members of SAP marketing team

In her introduction of her organisation to the students, she said SAP stands for Systeme, Anwendungen und Produkte in der Datenverarbeitung, translating to Systems, Applications & Products in Data Processing, but quipped that SAP also stands for “Super Awesome People”.

Ms Zarina opened the session with a selfie with the audience to illustrate how technology has transformed our daily lives. She jumped straight to answer the questions students had sent over to her before the talk. These include how future careers would be influenced by digital transformation, what the key differences between traditional and modern marketing were, and what the top global trends in businesses were.

Ms Zarina shared with the audience that according to a SAP study, almost half of the world’s top 100 leaders said that investing in digital skills and technology such as business analytics and data science was most important in driving revenue in the next two years.

Highlighting how digitisation has changed business practices, Ms Zarina said that in today’s sales and marketing experiences, 67 percent of a buyer’s journey is now done digitally and 57 percent of the purchase decision is completed before the customer even calls a supplier. This is a call to action for future industry leaders to digitalise the way they do business.

Giving advice to students who are about to enter the workforce, Ms Zarina said the top three points are: stay relevant amidst the changing landscape, to have a business mind, and to have a consumer focus.

She also said digital transformation is transforming the recruitment process. She highlighted examples of digitalised recruitment practices such as LinkedIn profile validation to video interviews and artificial intelligence profiling through mini games.

In her conclusion, Ms Zarina said that digital transformation impacts everyone, it would be good to embrace these changes to empower our daily ventures.