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SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2018 Predictions: A Forward Look at AI, Machine Learning and Digital Assistants

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual series exclusive.

Contributed by Christian Pedersen, Chief Product Officer and SVP, SAP S/4HANA Cloud

A forward look at AI, machine learning and digital assistants

In 2017, the rapid growth and uptake of machine learning within enterprise software was impressive to say the least, with adoption accelerating in speed from initial research to implementation. Even as machine learning was predicted by many to be impactful this year, the speed of innovation is what was surprising. As we move into 2018, we will continue to see rapid growth in machine learning and AI as well as bigger investments in big data and analytics, with voice-activated digital assistants surfacing as a core user front-end for these technologies.  

AI will Demonstrate ROI:

IDC says that by 2019, 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) services. In 2018, AI will be the fuel for new value creation, as it will free up resources by automating monotonous tasks through end-to-end process automation. By enabling employees to spend their time on the tasks that create the most value, organizations will begin truly reaping the benefits of things like improved customer service.

Voice-activated Assistants will be the New Norm:  

In 2018, we will see voice-activated assistants, normally a consumer experience with the likes of Google's Home and Amazon's Echo, expand into the enterprise. Gartner predicts that by 2020, 30 percent of web browsing sessions will be done without a screen, eliminating the need to use ones' hand and eyes for browsing but using voice to extend the utility of web sessions. In 2018, companies will leverage the capabilities of natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to offer both a cognitive and conversational user experience. Digital assistants will be used to help employees with everything from recognizing and learning situations, to providing insights and suggestions for next steps, to guiding complex workflows.

Big Data & Analytics Investment will Grow:

A top priority for any company embarking on their digital transformation journey in 2018 will be quality data, and more specifically, access to real-time data in which end-users can pull actionable results from. There will be more focus on the data-driven organization, where internal, external, structured or unstructured data will provide crucial insights for new innovations and strategies. Data-driven analytics will prove to be advantageous in 2018, so companies will need the tools to manage, govern, analyze and harvest data accordingly.

As we look ahead into 2018, AI and machine learning will play a growing role in not just automating tasks, but using deep learning to take on activities that free-up workers time to focus on more complex projects that require human intervention. Additionally, digital assistant devices will start to take on a completely new role in supporting the next generation workforce. As companies continue breaking down the barriers to IT - specifically when looking at actionable data insights across organizations -  these digital assistants serve as a powerful tool to simplify access and analysis for the digital workforce, helping work to be completed more efficiently and intelligently.


About the Author

Christian Pedersen 

Christian Pedersen is a technology and business executive with a solid track record in setting vision and driving development. A multiple award winner in executive briefings and internal presentations Christian has a proven ability to stimulate technology enabled business innovation, via clear and simple communication. Christian brings more than 30 years of experience to his position as Chief Product Officer for Cloud ERP in SAP.

Christian is driving technical vision and roadmap for SAP's cloud ERP efforts, working closely with R&D and align technical plans and directions with business and GTM strategies.

Christian has more than 30 years of experience with business applications. He was part of Navision Software that got acquired by Microsoft in 2002, forming the foundation for Microsoft Dynamics. Christian joined SAP in 2016 and brings with him experience and background from establishing multiple Cloud and SaaS initiatives.

Originally from Denmark, Christian brings many years of international technology and business leadership to SAP, which he also leverages serving multiple non-profit organizations around the world.

Published Thursday, December 28, 2017 7:42 AM by David Marshall
SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2018 Predictions: A Forward Look at AI, Machine Learning and Digital Assistants | EMC VMAX - (Author's Link) - December 28, 2017 2:19 PM
A forward look at AI, machine learning and digital assistants | SAP Online Portal - (Author's Link) - December 28, 2017 3:01 PM
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