As companies accelerate their migration to the cloud, they\u2019re gaining more than efficiency and collaboration tools. In this new era of cloud adoption, it\u2019s now possible to add powerful capabilities to the enterprise cloud, such as AI, blockchain, advanced analytics and IoT management.\nThese new tools can transform businesses, but unlike migrating a database or enterprise resource planning (ERP) function to the cloud, for example, there\u2019s no plug-and-play solution for adding these capabilities. They\u2019re too new. And we\u2019re still exploring how to use them to solve old business problems.\nEach year, I look forward to seeing advancements in cloud technology at SAP SAPPHIRE NOW, and this year I\u2019m excited to explore all the new ways emerging technologies are being adapted to cloud capabilities to build the business of tomorrow. But it\u2019s also made me think about how companies are actually adopting and using emerging technologies \u2013 or failing to.\nAs technologists will tell you, it\u2019s possible today to build a truly intelligent enterprise in the cloud, but from a business perspective, I can tell you that adopting technology to create an intelligent enterprise won\u2019t do anything for your bottom line unless the technology makes jobs more streamlined and efficient for your people.\nBut if deployed strategically, emerging technologies can deliver what we call intelligent digital, business transformation in the cloud that is guided by human needs and human insights.\nInvesting in the right technology\nA competitive advantage doesn\u2019t come from blindly throwing new technologies at your company simply to be cutting edge. It comes from using the right technology to solve the right business problems.\nEach emerging technology has a different set of capabilities suited to solve different kinds of business problems. Blockchain authenticates transactions and adds trust to decentralized, arms-length interactions. Machine learning automates redundant processes, reveals new insights and makes predictions. IoT adds data and interactivity to objects and physical spaces that were previously \u201cinert\u201d to other digital tools.\nThese are powerful tools, that can make powerful solutions possible, but how do you know what problems to solve? Start with problems so old, they\u2019ve almost faded into the background of daily work. Look to your organization\u2019s pain points. Try to answer the following questions before deciding to invest in emerging technology.\n\nWhere are your employees spending their time (especially on work they don\u2019t enjoy or that does not directly impact the bottom line)? Paperwork? Scheduling? Customer service?\nWhere are your physical spaces, products or resources lagging behind your existing digital capabilities in the cloud?\nWhat frustrations do your customers or suppliers have? How can these frustrations be relieved?\nWhere are you held back from partnering, collaborating or sharing information by security risks and other trust issues? Or where are you spending heavily on trust and security?\n\nThese questions will help you discover your organization\u2019s needs and strategically decide on which technologies to invest in to assure they will help employees do their jobs better and create a better experience for customers.\nFor example, if your employees are bogged down in manual tasks, machine learning can automate repetitive tasks to free them up for more rewarding work. Or if employees spend hours each day authenticating paperwork, invest in blockchain to handle paperwork without human oversight. Launch a small-scale experiment with smart contracts or tokens.\nCreating a competitive advantage\nOnce you have a better understanding of the pain points within your organization, it\u2019s easier to determine how the cloud can become more intelligent to enhance the power of your employees.\nAt SAPPHIRE Now, I\u2019m excited to see how other companies have been using the cloud to gain a competitive advantage. I have personally seen how companies who adopt cloud-based analytics technology have benefitted, including a Fortune 50 consumer business, footwear brand and healthcare manufacturing company.\nThese companies used cloud capabilities paired with other technologies to analyze their organization\u2019s data and improve efficiencies while also lowering costs and reducing risk. As a result, these companies have seen a reduction in costly and time-consuming human errors, improvement in leadership\u2019s ability to make smart business decisions, and stronger allocation of resources and capital based on insights from data.\nArming business leaders with the insights needed to invest in the right technologies to solve problems will ultimately allow employees to shift their focus from redundant tasks to activities that generate value for the company. The ability to be agile and simplify work through cloud-based analytics is key to enabling success and gaining a competitive advantage.\nAs the use of enterprise cloud evolves, we will continue to learn how to enhance the way we work through analytics and insights. I expect a common theme at SAPPHIRE NOW this year will be adapting emerging technologies to the cloud. Every company is imagining new solutions using the powerful tools we now have in the cloud. In this new era, we can learn from each other, taking the inspiration to solve old problems in unexpected ways. Humans, not data, know these problems best. We know them intimately, and we\u2019ll create the solutions of the future.