Switzerland. Alps. Matterhorn.
If 2023 is the year that generative artificial intelligence (AI) finally becomes a consumer reality, this year will be the year that AI in the business context takes a big step forward.
There is no doubt that this year more and more companies will adopt business AI as a key part of their digital transformation and to future-proof their operations. But looking only at AI misses the bigger picture of this generational shift in enterprise technology.
AI may be getting all the attention, but we're actually at a moment where two technologies are converging to be transformative for business. However, the incredible power of the cloud allows businesses to break down silos and give teams access to the data they need to innovate faster and in a more secure environment. On the other end is generative AI for business, which can do everything from generating content and code to automating time-consuming tasks and discovering new insights.
But behind the hype and headlines about generative AI is a fundamental truth that IT professionals know all too well. In other words, new technology is only valuable if it can be seamlessly integrated across systems and processes and allows organizations to do things they couldn't do before.
In other words, it's never about the new technology itself. What really matters is what new technology can do to move your business forward.
CIOs are increasingly aware of the challenges to successfully leveraging generative business AI. According to CITI's Q2 2023 CIO Survey, 86% of respondents are directly funding generative AI projects. However, there is a lot of confusion about where to best direct these investments to drive business growth and customer value.
In my role at SAP, I'm constantly talking to CIOs about how to get the most out of their technology investments. And my message to IT professionals, whether it's cloud or generative AI, is simple. Industry experience and system-wide integration are more important than ever. Working with an experienced partner like SAP is also the only way to harness the power of responsible, reliable, and relevant AI for your business.
The potential for AI-powered ERP systems is huge. This has the potential to more intelligently automate mundane tasks and free up teams to tackle more strategic challenges. Data from AI algorithms can be used to identify trends and patterns long before they become apparent, potentially making analytics even more predictive. It also uses data about preferences combined with real-time data on the supply chain to help companies provide more personalized recommendations, while also showing where and when people are ready to buy. You can improve the customer experience by ensuring that those products are available.
For decades, SAP has been helping companies leverage technology to solve these types of challenges, starting with ERP and expanding across the enterprise. The idea of powering cloud solutions with AI may seem new, but in reality, we're already incorporating AI into our use cases. Today, more than 24,000 companies are already leveraging and benefiting from SAP Business AI capabilities with impressive results.
For example, American Sugar Refining, Inc., which has been providing sugarcane products for more than 150 years, is now using AI built into SAP Business Technology Platform to more accurately predict the cost of transported freight. Predictions, which used to be a painstaking process, are now automatically generated in seconds. As a result, the company was able to generate 2,200 predictions with 95% accuracy for 628 trucking lanes sampled from six states in the United States using six months of data. It's done.
Or consider the example of the Motor Oil Group. The company needs to monitor the condition of its refinery equipment to minimize downtime and reduce maintenance costs. By employing SAP machine learning and predictive analytics, the company was able to build predictive models of abnormal events based on sensor data and feed them into easy-to-use dashboards and email notifications. The results were able to explain abnormal events with 77% accuracy and predict future sensor measurements with 70% accuracy.
These are just two examples of what is already happening when AI is incorporated into cloud solutions. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of what's to come.
But to reap the benefits of business AI, businesses must first move to the cloud. This raises important questions for IT professionals. What are you doing now to prepare for the plethora of business AI solutions that will be available to you and your competitors?
This race has already begun. Companies that team with partners with the right mix of experience and integration will win.
Scott Russell is Head of Customer Success and a member of the Board of Directors of SAP SE.