President of SAP North America Provides His Predictions for 2023

As we gear up for another year, Lloyd Adams, president at SAP North America, offers his predictions for what’s on the horizon including trends in sustainability, cloud, AI, and more.

  • The “Green Tsunami” will hit and the path to sustainability will travel through the cloud: Companies of all industries—including oil and gas and utilities—will chase zero and decarbonize. Business leaders have traditionally focused on top and bottom-line performance indicators. But as changing consumer demands—coupled with stricter government regulations around ESG reporting among other laws—push companies toward greener practices, organizations will increasingly consider their green line as the leading indicator of long-term, sustainable business success. As a result, more companies will leverage the efficiency of the cloud to meet their sustainability goals in 2023, with a focus on achieving not just financial performance but also steering positive environmental and social impact through their sustainability metrics. Particularly in retail, customer demand for sustainable business practices is strongest. Decision makers will have to address the shifts in demand in order to win over consumers. There is a real opportunity for CIOs to lead the change in sustainability for their companies in 2023. This is a pivotal year.  
  • Multi-cloud will become table stakes for enterprises: 2023 will be the year that businesses realize the advantages of diversifying their services across several cloud providers. With economists predicting a recession next year, business leaders will look to multi-cloud for scalability and capability to open the door to growth and real competitive advantage. With this shift, will also come increased investment in learning and development, as businesses look to develop comprehensive training programs to upskill, reskill and train employees on multiple cloud technologies.  
  • AI will be brought more heavily into the low-code equation: Artificial intelligence will increasingly enable software development processes that are more proactively guided and written by other software. This will allow business users to create new applications using text prompts with the assistance of the application development tools. While this prospect may cause professional developers to feel anxious, the shift promises to create new opportunities within IT, rather than eliminate old ones. Software developers will become adept at enabling this evolution by learning how to provide the right prompts to an AI tool to generate the code that a no-code application developer will need. Low-code options have created a new persona in the workplace: the business technologist—also known as “citizen developer”—who can participate in the application development process. As of now, the IT department still does the heavy lifting of application development, but in 2023 and beyond, business users will increasingly be able to create applications end-to-end with relatively little intervention from developers. This shift will allow developers to focus on maintaining large-scale strategic projects, while monitoring the long tail of the applications being built by business technologists. 
  • Security will continue to be top of mind: There will be escalating security issues and increased cyber attacks that will cement the notion that security is not just a technical risk, but a business risk. Companies must align security spending with business objectives, with most time and assets spent on protecting the most important business outcomes. Customer trust continues to be critical. People demand that companies protect their personal information, and they expect to see value in return for the data companies collect and use. CIOs must also consider supply chain risks and understand potential risks introduced through their partners (and partners’ partners). Data sovereignty will become a greater priority for businesses more than ever before.  Due to geopolitical developments, we are witnessing governments tightening their national security regulations with a specific focus on technology.  Highly regulated industries will be challenged by looking for ways to balance compliance with the need to innovate and accelerate cloud transformations. They will look to partner with best-in-class sovereign cloud solutions.  
  • More robots will enter daily life: Many countries will need robots to survive the future, especially China, with its aging population. Already we have robo-vacuums, washing machines, etc. A humanoid form will enter factory assembly lines to alleviate labor shortages in certain areas. Robots will be tightly integrated in bringing parts from the warehouses to assembly lines. Data centers already are efficient, but disk replacements will see large involvement of humanoid/non-humanoid robots.  (US-Centric) Also, given the instability around the world, we may see more military related innovations and spending with the Federal Government and the Department of Defense. Robotics for the military will be the first real-world use case of machines.