Experts at SAP Predict Trends for 2017

As 2016 comes to a close, experts at SAP are looking ahead at what 2017 may offer. Ken Tsai, vice president, head of cloud platform and data management, product marketing, at SAP, and David Jonker, senior director, product marketing, at SAP, foresee several trends on the horizon that the company will tackle moving forward.

According to Tsai, he sees the digital transformation path becoming tailored and prescriptive.

“SAP will expand focus from IT-enabled business process (back office) transformation to help IT become the digital transformation agent itself within our customers’ product/services offerings,” Tsai said. “This includes some of the critical must-do’s in data and process integration and on the data governance side to help customers prepare for this journey.”

Jonker said there’s movement around machine learning, artificial intelligence and, predictive analytics, and how all three relate to each other.

“We’ve been tracking that and looking to address that very specifically in our product lines and you’ll hear more from SAP on that front next year,” Jonker said.

Jonker and Tsai both agree there will be an evolution of data platform architecture (on premise and cloud) into a converged + unified + flexible data platform architecture to enable 2-speed IT - accommodate existing, new best of breed + open source data platform innovations, operating in both hybrid or pure cloud environments.

“In the past a lot of the on premise tools have been fairly separated,” Jonker said.”Cloud is enabling an opportunity to bring those functions together in one system.”

The new year will also see the acceleration of applied big + IoT data to help businesses make big data signals even more relevant and actionable in scenarios such as enterprise applications, data warehousing, IoT, Cloud Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).

“SAP will continue to make investments, both organic product development (e.g. Vora) and inorganic product enhancements (e.g. Altiscale acquisition) to continue lowering the adoption barrier of Big Data technologies,” Tsai said. “The next phase of product investment will be in orchestration of data processing pipelines across multiple data zones within enterprise (enterprise app zone, data warehouse zone, candidate data/data lake zone) to make big data signal even more consumable in its context setting. This includes computation of unstructured data types (e.g. Images, videos, machine logs and sensors).”

Additionally, the incoming year will bring more disruptive technology innovation into relevant business context.

According to Tsai, an example might include Blockchain support on SAP ASE++  to address next generation data processing requirements in the capital markets and beyond.