In today’s fast-paced world, AI-powered personal assistants have become ubiquitous in helping us navigate our daily lives. From suggesting the fastest route to work to recommending our favorite movies, these virtual companions have seamlessly integrated into our routines.

See how you can benefit from SAP Business AI built into your core business processes

But what about a personal guide to navigate the complex realm of enterprise technology? The future of process optimization is closer than you might think, and it’s being powered by AI.

Leading business software providers are making significant strides in embedding personalized guidance and strategies for enhancing business processes directly into the enterprise solutions that companies already use.

Looking to grow your business? Streamline specific processes? Or maybe derisk your supply chain? Imagine the future where the software itself could tell you how to best use it to achieve your specific business goals. In fact, software providers are hard at work embedding personalized guidance and strategies for improving business processes directly into the enterprise solutions you already use. And they’re putting AI up to the task.

Realizing the Art of the AI Possible

Your phone can tell you how much time you spend using it, providing insight into how often you tap into specific apps. But capabilities like these leave you to analyze and act on that usage data all by yourself. For example, if you’re scrolling for three hours a day on a social media site, your phone probably is not going to tell you that’s too much time, let alone suggest steps for taking a social media detox.

Future enterprise software will be much more intelligent than this. Right now, you can likely tap into that same sort of data on how often employees use individual enterprise software solutions, or even how much time they spend on specific processes. However, it is hard to know what to do with these data insights other than wonder why your workers are spending so long processing invoices, onboarding new employees, or completing any number of other tasks.

By combining your software usage data, existing processes, and business goals, AI will be able provide you with actionable steps toward better business processes that help achieve those goals. All this, embedded right into the solutions you already use. It’s this combination of human and artificial intelligence that adds the most value and enables your organization to become an intelligent enterprise.

Creating the Intelligent Enterprise

Say your company implemented SAP Concur solutions to help employees book and expense business travel. For many businesses, processing travel expense documentation is not a core competency so the opportunity to streamline the process creates efficiencies for the business. Using AI and machine learning, SAP Concur taps years of expense user data that helps identify hard-to-detect spend issues and anomalies. That same technology powers Verify, a self-serve audit function within the solution, that is then augmented with a team of human auditors to create great accuracy.

The same can said about generative AI use cases that enable leaders and recruiters to create job descriptions and find ideal candidates or help employees find personalized learning recommendations to fuel their career progression. These efforts help organizations hire and develop employees at scale, creating a future-ready workforce.

Or perhaps you need to anticipate supply chain issues impacted by incoming weather — AI can enhance supply chain efficiency by predicting demand, optimizing inventory levels, and identifying potential disruptions before they occur. According to McKinsey, implementing AI-enabled supply chain management solutions has already allowed those early adopters to improve their logistics costs by 15%, their inventory levels by 35%, and their service levels by 65% compared to those who do not use them. No matter the business problem you are trying to solve, the potential for process optimization with AI is endless and, combined with human intelligence, can deliver better results than either could independently. 

Unlocking an AI Guide to the Cloud

The future of process optimization in enterprises is an exciting landscape, and AI is at its core. Often, the first step for businesses on the path to digital excellence is embarking on cloud transformation. The futures of the cloud and AI are intrinsically linked. As business software providers embed the power of AI — such as our generative-AI copilot Joule — into their offerings, it allows for data-driven insights that are relevant, reliable, and responsible. 

If you have already begun a digital transformation in the cloud, AI can equip you to optimize your processes for cloud-based operations. Modern core business technology, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, serves as an innovation engine that enables you to take advantage of next-generation technology virtually without limits. In the future, when you integrate AI-enhanced software solutions with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you will ideally be able to optimize processes from end to end across your entire software landscape.

It’s akin to the way modern luxury vehicles can tell you how to drive in more fuel-efficient ways by analyzing all the parts — and their individual functions — that come together to move you forward. But good business practices shouldn’t be a luxury. As AI technology continues to advance, it promises to revolutionize various aspects of enterprise technology, creating a more connected, intelligent, and optimized business environment.

The AI-powered guide to the world of enterprise technology is already here, and it’s taking businesses to new heights.

Claudio Muruzabal is president of Cloud Success Services at SAP.

Sign up to get the latest SAP news and stories delivered to your inbox weekly