2023 Trends in the Automation of SAP Processes
SAP offers some of the most robust enterprise software products on the market. That’s obviously very important for anyone in charge of operating a complex global business with many moving parts. SAP does a great job managing all of that complexity, but it takes many resources to maintain master data, update SAP information on a timely basis, and keep everything running smoothly.
That’s where automation tools come into play. As companies across the globe struggle to do more with less, software automation drives cost savings, efficiency, and agility. In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled “How Companies Can Build Value in a Downturn,” thought leaders from Deloitte highlighted this continuing trend, noting: “Eighty-five percent of CEO respondents to a 2021 Deloitte and Fortune survey indicated they have accelerated digital initiatives during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to increased workflow automation and improvements in how enterprises interact with their customers and their own workforce.”
As this drive toward increased efficiency and agility continues, here are the trends that we see unfolding in 2023 for automating SAP processes.
Trend 1. Business Agility Remains in Focus
In its 2019 CEO Outlook report, KPMG found that over two-thirds of executives agreed with the statement that “Acting with agility is the new currency of business; if we are too slow, we will be bankrupt.”
It’s worth noting that this KPMG finding predates the emergence of the COVID-19 virus. Today, this statement about agility would likely elicit agreement from a higher percentage of respondents. Given the urgent need to adapt to the new normal brought on by the pandemic, as well as the volatile economic environment that has ensued, it’s no surprise that C-level executives are doubling down on agility. Supply-chain uncertainty, labor shortages, inflation, and political volatility all exert pressure on decision-makers. Consequently, speed of execution is a greater virtue than ever before.
Order processing, equipment maintenance, product launches, and supply chain operations are only as fast and efficient as the master data procedures behind them. By automating bulk updates to SAP master data, businesses can reduce cycle times by 50% or more. Using familiar tools like Microsoft Excel or self-service web forms, your staff can eliminate tedious data entry tasks that rely on the SAP GUI.
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How to Start and Build a Successful SAP Data Management Program
With Precisely, SAP customers can solve many of their most common data management challenges – accelerating processes, improving collaboration, and maintaining high data quality. Finding the right technology solution and partner for your SAP automation projects is critical. To learn more about how Precisely can help you with your SAP digital transformation projects, read our free ebook today.
Trend 2. More Than Ever, Technology Is the Answer
When KPMG surveyed top executives during the pandemic, the company found that 80% are accelerating digital transformation initiatives. Many are finding that within that category of investments, automation is the best way overall to drive value. About two-thirds of CEOs see themselves investing more in technology than in people, because it’s a leading indicator for increased business agility.
That doesn’t mean companies are replacing people with technology, though. By eliminating tedious manual effort, organizations free up their most valuable assets to focus on higher-value activities. With automation, they are also reducing errors and executing faster than ever before.
For companies that run SAP, automation makes a huge difference. Philippe Freychet, General Manager at Alpina Savoie, describes his experience with Precisely Automate: “For companies like ours without extensive IT departments, it’s indispensable to have something so intuitive and reliable for executing large-scale transactions.”
Trend 3. Automation Enhances Collaboration
SAP automation offers intuitive, familiar self-service tools. That’s especially important when different groups across your organization are called upon to collaborate on a specific business process. Creating a new vendor in SAP, for example, typically requires input from multiple people and departments throughout the organization.
Precisely Automate allows those multiple participants to provide their input for SAP at just the right stage of the process. Moreover, it presents them with exactly the information their department needs, rather than drowning users in details irrelevant to them. This aligns with best practices in user interface design; when people must sift through too much unnecessary detail, efficiency suffers. Precisely Automate makes collaboration easier.
Precisely Automate also provides greater visibility to all of the other stakeholders by tracking the various stages of a business process, managing workflows and approvals automatically. As a result, employees can focus on the work before them rather than circling back to check on tasks in progress. You can even configure Automate to post the resulting data to SAP immediately, once after all approvals are in place. This provides a “set it and forget it” approach to getting things done, which leads to highly efficient collaboration.
Trend 4. Process Standardization Drives Better Data Quality
Automation isn’t simply about eliminating manual effort; it also allows for greater control over data standards. A significant percentage of SAP processes are performed manually. That means they’re not governed, so they can vary greatly, depending on who is performing the task, and when.
Using automation tools, data owners can easily apply business and data stewardship rules to self-service applications and Excel templates. The data is fully validated before it ever gets to SAP. That eliminates errors and the usual error-checking and troubleshooting processes that inevitably accompany master data updates. Instead of fixing data quality issues after they enter the system, automation tools for SAP, like Precisely Automate, offer a means of preventing data quality problems from happening in the first place, providing long-term efficiencies and eliminating errors at scale.
With Precisely, SAP customers can solve many of their most common data management challenges – accelerating processes, improving collaboration, and maintaining high data quality. Finding the right technology solution and partner for your SAP automation projects is critical. To learn more about how Precisely can help you with your SAP digital transformation projects, read our free ebook today, How to Start and Build a Successful SAP Data Management Program.