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Business Change Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum – In China or Anywhere Else

Published on 30 April in SAP
There are plenty of news stories coming out of China about information technology, business trends, and social change. Here are a few recent examples:

 

  • Citing statistics from the China Internet Network Information Center, the online news site Tech In Asia reports that China now has 632 million Internet users and, among them, 83.4 % access the Web via mobile device.
  • An article in China Briefing Magazine describes how China’s domestic cloud computing market expanded dramatically in 2014. The market is estimated to grow by at least another 60% over the next couple of years.
  • In a CEO Insight from PricewaterhouseCoopers, Chairman Dennis M. Nally notes that 9 out of 10 CEOs surveyed in China said they were concerned about the availability of key skills. Nally suggests that the question these CEOs need to ask is, “Do I have a corporate strategy and culture that can bring the best out of and retain the Millennial generation?”

At first glance, these look like random sound bites. But there is at least one place in China where all these topics seem to be converging.

It’s a company called China DataCom Corporation Limited.

Let’s Connect the Dots

So what are the intersections points at China DataCom?

The Internet Connection: China DataCom is a mobile Web service provider and part of the China Telecom Corporation group. Its pedigree alone puts China DataCom at the heart of that country’s mobile and Internet technologies. China Telecom is one of the largest telecommunication providers in Mainland China – at the end of 2014, it had about 186 million mobile subscribers and around 107 million broadband subscribers.

The Cloud Connection: In 2013, SAP SE and China Telecom announced a strategic partnership in cloud computing through which the SAP Cloud portfolio would be offered to small and large organizations in China via China DataCom. The first solutions made available through the partnership, and hosted in a China Telecom Internet data center, are a complete suite of human capital management (HCM) solutions from SuccessFactors, an SAP company.

The People Connection: And finally, it appears that China DataCom can answer “yes” to the question about having a corporate strategy to bring out the best in its young workforce. “China DataCom’s vision is to provide mobile Web services with excellent efficiency,” says Xi Li, director of the human resources department at China DataCom, in a recentvideo. “We aim to realize that strategic goal through human resources that match people to needs, effective recruitment, training, and career planning.” (When you watch that video, notice how many young faces you see.)

And as you have probably already guessed by now, China DataCom is using an integrated suite of cloud-based SuccessFactors solutions to help keep its employees engaged and working toward that common goal.

More than a Simple Game

Connecting the dots at China DataCom might seem like a silly exercise. But there’s a serious point to be made here.

Tech turns, business trends, and social transformation don’t happen in a vacuum. They are all interconnected.

Executives everywhere must continue to carefully identify and manage the intersection points of change in their companies. The appropriate response is likely to affect multiple aspects of the business such as financial planning, IT strategy, go-to-market planning, and human capital management.

Business change is a global phenomenon. But it might be of particular interest these days to pay attention to how transformation is being managed in China. Not that long ago, The International Monetary Fund announced that China has surpassed the United States to become the world’s largest economy.

Please join me on Twitter at @JohnGWard3.

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This story originally appeared on SAP Business Trends.

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