It is impossible to ignore how technology is changing how we live. In our homes with intelligent appliances and digital assistants; during our commutes with on-demand transportation and ride-sharing; and on the go with mobile and cloud services.

But what will the confluence of machine intelligence, enterprise mobility, and cloud-based services mean for the enterprise?

Companies that once were giants in their industries are being forced to undergo digital transformation to fight for market share and to stay relevant. Technologies such as machine learning, the IoT, analytics, and blockchain will be integral as companies reinvent their products, processes, customer experiences, and business models.

The SAP Leonardo digital innovation system will be the innovation platform that will bring these technologies together and enable enterprises to create businesses of the future.

However, technology alone cannot enable a successful digital transformation. It takes putting the user at the center of the problem and having end user empathy to help uncover the problems worth solving. The framework by which this is done, is called design thinking. And by applying this methodology, breakthrough innovation can be unlocked in common business use cases. SAP is bringing the SAP Leonardo system to our customers with this end-user first approach; using design-led development and a design thinking–led customer engagement.

So what is new with how we are bringing SAP Leonardo to market? Through a design-led approach, we first engage with our customers in exploratory workshops to identify the most compelling use cases. These workshops will identify the problems worth solving and lay a foundation for the innovation to come in our customer’s business process, business models, and customer experiences. We then do discovery workshops with business and IT users to identify the processes and create interactive prototypes using our rapid prototyping tool SAP Build, which also provides the ability to capture end-user feedback very early in the design and prototype phase before the solution is delivered. This is a very different approach SAP is taking in bringing software solutions to enterprises.

In our experiences creating enterprise software, we have learned valuable lessons about how to successfully integrate design into every phase of the software development process. One of these are the design reviews that we introduced at SAP and are now bringing to our customers. These milestones ensure design and user experience are given the same importance in software development as Q-gates (quality gates) are given to eliminate bugs.

Recently I took to Twitter to pledge that SAP will continue to lead design centricity in enterprise software, and in that same spirit, I believe that SAP Leonardo, partnered with our SAP Design organization, will change the way our customers innovate at scale and usher in their future.

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