Technology’s Impact on the Workplace in 2020

SAP executives share their insights into the technology impact on the workplace you can expect in 2020.

Technology disruption occurs faster and faster, continually changing the way businesses manage their operations and their workforces and providing new tools that employees use to do their jobs.

To provide you with a preview of what lies ahead, SAP executives share their insights into the technology impact on the workplace you can expect in 2020. 

IBPM Becomes a Must-Have, Not a Nice-to-Have

Gunther Rothermel, EVP SAP Cloud Platform, SAP SE, says, “Demand for intelligent business process management (IBPM) will grow in 2020 as organizations realize they won’t be successful without integration capabilities. Similar to how every home chef wants that one mixer with multiple attachments, that does anything from making bread to spiralizing vegetables, organizations will want to reap the benefits of multi-functional platforms across the enterprise. By being able to integrate across different parts of the business, organizations will experience more success.”

He adds that advances in IBPM will create improved experiences and innovative processes across the board for customers and partners. “In the new year, businesses will innovate in new areas and experiment with added smart technologies, like robotic process automation (RPA), across applications. Implementing such technology will not only be for added efficiency, but for experience management: an area where organizations will either thrive or die,” he says.

Say Goodbye to Horizontal Tools and Hello to the Digital Workplace Experience

Rothermel says, “In the past, we’ve seen the use of horizontal tools that allow organizations to get only one task done at a time and don’t create a common workspace or allow for collaboration. In the upcoming year, we will see businesses taking hold of their options and adopting unique collaboration models that match their goals. We will see the rise of customizable collaboration, where tools host capabilities that are tailored to business needs. The days of going from one platform to the next are gone. To enhance the digital workplace, we’ll see a move to doing every task in one common place, bringing the customizable experience economy to the workplace.”

AI and ML Are No Longer Outsiders but Are Embedded Directly Into Business Process Flow

In 2020, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will become more embedded into applications as a core component of business process flow,” says Rothermel. “We’ll see a transformation from business process management of the past to IBPM. With conversational AI (CAI) and robotic process automation (RPA) embedded directly into business process flow, all users will look at processes and be empowered to modify them to become more efficient. As a result, we can expect simplified workflows and an overall increase in productivity.”

The First Wave of 5G Creates Historic Change and Opportunity

John McGee, Managing Director for the West Market Unit, SAP North America, says, “Since the rise and adoption of the Internet back in the 90s, we have been waiting for another technology to disrupt and advance competitive advantage in scale globally. According to Gartner, 66 percent of the Fortune 1000 will invest in 5G in 2020 as they try to figure out the low hanging fruit use cases.”

“Industries such as retail, entertainment, automotive, manufacturing and logistics will most likely be the early adopters; the result will be the rapid advancement of connected cars, robotics for healthcare almost making patient location irrelevant, moving blockchain into more ‘legal’ applications, and the vision of a smart factory becoming a reality,” says McGee.

Data Science Experiences a Metamorphosis

Gerrit Kazmaier, EVP, SAP HANA & Analytics, SAP SE, predicts, “In 2020, a new type of data platform will arise that interprets data as part of a larger value chain comprised of data management, quality, and storage, built upon the utilization of analytics. This model places increased emphasis on data connectivity vs. individual functions, and businesses will start to pivot from isolated custom applications that address specific points of the data journey through integrated solutions that cover the full data value chain.” He says that while these solutions may come from one or many vendors, it will be critical that each element of the chain is optimized to harness the maximum value of the data.

Kazmaier adds, “Next year, companies will view the value of data in different, new ways. We will see more enterprises take a broader approach to data science, inviting other areas of the business and subject-matter experts into the process.”

“By democratizing the technology, businesses will notice more impactful results of data-driven projects throughout the year. For example, we have already seen newly established no-code technologies automate advanced data science processes, making data science tools an asset for non-technical users,” he says. “In 2020, we expect to see growth in the availability and versatility of tools that help business users with everything from modeling a scenario, to understanding the algorithms.” 


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Mike Monocello
The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of DevPro Journal.