Sapphire: Companies must rebuild trust with customers, says SAP boss

Organisational clarity must become the top corporate priority if trust is to be restored among customers in the post-economic meltdown world, says SAP CEO...

Organisational clarity must become the top corporate priority if trust is to be restored among customers in the post-economic meltdown world, says SAP CEO Leo Apotheker.

As he opened the Sapphire user conference in Orlando. Apotheker warned delegates that all organisations must re-examine their strategies and corporate philosophies in order to rebuild customer trust. This means placing a new emphasis on achieving clarity in order to minimise risk in the future.

"The past ten months have been a turning point for all of us. None of us could have imagined how the global economy would go into downturn as it has" he said. "We all face a new reality that is not just a bump in the road. Uncertainty is here to stay. The best run companies will survive despite the uncertainty. The only antidote against uncertainty is clarity. Our vision for the future is for every enterprise to be a clear enterprise."

According to SAP's definition, a clear enterprise has "clarity of purpose and of strategy" and can measure and manage the level of risk in all decisions across the organisation. He cited the example of Goldman Sachs as an organisation that demonstrates clarity in its risk management strategy, delivering the right information to the right people at the right time. "We have a duty to manage risk," said Apotheker. "Risk exists in all organisations.

One challenge facing all organisations is that the growth of the networked economy means that risk is now shared across a wider landscape. "Business networks are here to stay and will determine how we come out of this global downturn, but the have an inherent risk," he said. "The interdependency of business networks combined with real time technology have in some cases made things worse. One bad decision has the ability to spread risk around the world."

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