Visions of the Future: Experts at SAP Give Their 2020 Predictions

The next decade is just around the corner and enterprises in and around the big data space are preparing to pounce upon the next set of trends the new year will bring.

The cloud is primed to continue making waves, along with other digital disruptions to improve user experiences. Several industry experts from SAP have offered up what they see as the top trends for 2020. 

“The macro environment related to global trade – specifically how it’s impacting supply chains and financial planning – is a significant factor impacting large, multi-national companies and growing brands as they recalibrate operations and global supply chains,” said Lloyd Adams, SVP and managing director, SAP. “For the cloud computing market in 2020, look to more customer engagements stemming from companies navigating global trends, looking to cloud providers to support their plans to reroute channels and invest in new geographic markets.”

Adams believes that the key differentiator for cloud success in 2020 will be a customer-first approach.

“Look for more granular features that help customers continually improve their cloud products – in SAP’s case, Qualtrics will continue being incorporated across our suite to find improvement points,” said Adams.

2020 will be a year of significant market pressure and general disruption across industries on a global level, predicts Gregory Petraetis, SVP and general manager, SAP.

“I expect the lines between industries will continue to blur.  We’ve seen it already with consumer products and direct to consumer companies disrupting the traditional retail business model, in the automotive industry with the rise of electric vehicle start-ups, and in financial services with investment advisers and asset managers being disrupted by index funds. This is only the beginning,” said Petraetis. “And companies that operate efficiently, in particular midmarket companies, with less technical debt and greater agility will be in a position to leapfrog their competitors. This is where technology can play a huge role.”

The new year will be all about digital urgency, said Rocky Subramanian, SVP and managing director, SAP.

“As the calendar turns over and leaders assess how their business and technology projects have progressed – or shifted – there will be a scramble to get timelines back on track to meet EOY deadlines,” Subramanian said. “What we’re going to see is an accelerated focus on improving user experience to grow revenue with a heavy emphasis on efficiency and process optimization as a means of managing spend – balancing their digital objectives with the day-to-day pressures of remaining competitive.”

John McGee, SVP and Managing Director, SAP said 5G will be the great disrupter to the industry as it accelerates AI and machine learning.

“Since the rise and adoption of the Internet back in the 90’s, we have been waiting for another technology to disrupt and advance competitive advantage in scale globally. 2020 will be the first wave of 5G that will create historic change and opportunity, McGee said. “According to Gartner, 66% of the Fortune 1000 will invest in 5G next year 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.”