A lot of IT companies are starting the new year right with numerous kick-offs. They want to stay ahead of their competition and up-to-date on new technology trends. Commendable, but they have to be careful not to mistake euphoria and determination for facts.
SAP seems to be ecstatic to show off new technologies, making the life of its partners and customers even harder. Even though good ideas, smart prototypes and fresh marketing concepts are important, they are not ready-to-use products for everyday life with an ERP system.
It’s great that SAP has rediscovered its pioneer spirit – the SAP community can almost unanimously agree on that. However, SAP CEO Bill McDermott too often mistakes good ideas for finished products that are ready to go and will enrich the lives of his customers. Which is very rarely the case, as one well-known example shows.
Blockchain: famous, but far from ready
Yes, blockchain is most likely a very important and relevant technology. However, apart from Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, what did it really achieve up until now? The stage of tests, experimentation and trial and error has only just begun. It seems like every other week there is a new predicament, a new fraud, a new catastrophe – and blockchain is always right in the middle of it.
Of course, experts and computer scientists will find a solution to every blockchain problem – eventually. Until then, using the technology remains risky and, what can seem even worse to companies, unprofitable.
However, as always, SAP seems to think it has found the solution already. With its framework Leonardo, the company believes it has mastered every challenge concerning blockchain – and couldn’t be more wrong.
Even SAP can make honest mistakes; that is not the problem. The problem is that with turning a blind eye to the dark side of blockchain, SAP is purposefully putting its customers in danger.
For the year to come, one can only hope that SAP’s New Year’s resolution involves a more acute sense of reality and more thorough fact checks. After all, the ERP realm is not a never-never land – but a reality for many people.