For over 20 years, most organizations never really thought about changing their existing ERP infrastructure - it is not a very common practice, and certainly not undertaken unless the situation calls for an emergency. But the present world is all about dealing with unforeseen changes brought about by the coronavirus pandemic and adapting to emerging trends.
There are plenty of trends that are going to show up in the upcoming days due to major disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And these trends are expected to gather momentum as businesses transform to overcome newer challenges and accommodate the changing needs to survive in these trying times.
Shifting to the cloud-based system will provide users with regular updates and extensions, ensuring that they are always at the top of their game.
One can take for example SAP S/4HANA, the newest launch by the system that is revitalizing the SAP system everywhere, with its cloud forum offering a plethora of new variations to its users.
With that being said, let us take a look at some of the most mention-worthy SAP trends that will rule the world in 2020 and beyond.
Trend 1 - The SAP S/4HANA uptake will pick up speed to sustain businesses during the pandemic
The wave of digitization had long begun and many organizations across industries had started evolving by adopting SAP S/4HANA. And with the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, now every organization is aiming for this digital transformation.
Employing SAP S/4HANA by supply chain businesses can help them optimize daily operations, transform and reorganize data models and align them more with the latest technologies that facilitate automation. Enforcing automation is the key to eliminate the need for direct human intervention, something that can make a huge difference in sustaining business processes during this global crisis.
The S4 adoption has picked up in many different parts of the world as a result. The customers that do not have a business case, or can build one for them, will definitely make a move from ECC to S4 in this year. This presents the need for more people to be integrated into the S4 system and learn the basics of SAP. As the adoption of the S4 process intensifies over the next decade, there will arise the need to take up partners with the right skills.
Trend 2 – Adoption of core SAP ERP platforms will gain increased significance
Adjusting to the new normal and going digital due to the coronavirus outbreak has become essential to save the global economy from receding. The first instance that comes to the mind is about protecting the massive network of supply chain companies on which countless businesses are dependent. Major manufacturing companies have faced serious disruption in their supply chain operations, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which prompts them to overcome new challenges in inventory management, sourcing, replenishing stock and stock visibility.
To recover from the deep impact that this crisis has had, businesses like supply chains have started adopting core ERP technologies. For instance, offerings like SAP Ariba Discovery can help businesses overcome new hurdles and smoothen hiccups in remote working models, by connecting customers and suppliers for immediate sourcing-delivering needs. ABI Research has predicted that investment in ERP software by companies is expected to reach $14 billion by the year 2024. (Source)
Trend 3 - Increased adoption of the cloud system to banish distance and enforce flexibility
Cloud technologies form the center point of all business and education-related activities in this post-pandemic world. Whether it involves managing transactions, documents, or any kind of information safely over the internet, it is impossible to bypass the cloud.
One can look forward to a widespread acceptance of SAP applications that run on an IaaS system. There will be increased consumption of the acquired SaaS provisions in 2020, but they will not pertain to the S/4HANA edition. SAP has already announced a partnership with Microsoft Azure, along with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, apart from offering its own cloud-based data centers. This is good news for SAP users out there, since the entire customer base will become much easier to manipulate in the future. Besides, companies can also ensure absolute compliance to governance and security practices among their remote workforces, a working model that is going to rule the foreseeable future as of now.
With the predominance of remote working, cloud-based Learning Management Systems like SAP Litmos can also be leveraged to facilitate remote learning in corporate environments for cross-skilling, up-skilling, and engaging remote employees to make them more adaptable to the new and changed working styles in the pandemic-hit world.
Some of the other long-term trends in SAP
The increased use of smartphones in the workplace has prompted SAP to develop the Fiori UX, Lumira, and Screen Personas that will help consumers develop an experience in the form of apps that they use on their tablets and phones all the time. This helps when there is a need to capture the orders on site-eradicating the need to take down and record orders manually.
Blockchain is going to have a further impact on the economy in the upcoming years. Very soon, businesses may use the Blockchain technology for digital international operations such as authenticating documents, contracts, and the like. Blockchain as a Service, or BaaS, focuses on some primary aspects like the public sector, supply chain, financial provisions, and utilization of energy resources. With Blockchain, the total time required to transfer money will be reduced to a mere 20 seconds.
Business services are set to become more optimized in the near future. SAP S/4HANA will enable business enterprises to become empowered and cope with the changing business needs and the demands of the day. Its in-memory facility can speed up business processes by a significant amount to adapt quickly to changing demands as the world grapples to fight off the coronavirus pandemic. It can also be used to perform complex functions using data that is available in real-time.
These are some of the most significant trends that are set to take the SAP world by storm in the near future. Linear development on these new discoveries and implementations can revolutionize how we perceive and interact with data on the SAP interface. The trends that we have listed will eventually help businesses to run and function in a quicker and much more efficient way, and drive innovations as we collectively fight back this pandemic.