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Businesses ‘must embrace the cloud to take advantage of AI and data’

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Regional businesses will need to adopt cloud platforms that will enable them to leverage artificial intelligence, data and automation solutions to thrive amidst disruptive challenges, according to experts on SAP’s business transformation journey in Dubai.

Organized by global technology company SAP in partnership with Intel, the event was held at the Museum of the Future under the theme “Riding the Winds of Change in a Digital First World”.

The event showcased how embedding automation, data, and AI capabilities into technology can improve resilience, proactive rather than reactive strategic decision-making, a more cohesive workforce, and better customer service enabled by natural language processing.

Commenting on current and forecast IT trends in the region, guest speaker Harish Dunakhe, Senior Research Director (Software and Cloud), International Data Corporation (IDC), said: “The convergence of AI, data and automation – with the cloud as the underlying platform – is driving current digital initiatives in the market. In fact, automation and analytics solutions are accelerating adoption of cloud-based deployments compared to on-premises.”

According to Dunakhe, between 2021 and 2026, AI adoption in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and other Gulf countries is expected to grow by more than 20% year-over-year. Additionally, IDC research indicates that big data and analytics will grow by more than 20 percent in public cloud deployments between 2021 and 2026. Dunakhe emphasized that these technologies can help create digital innovation programs and help business leaders build resilient organizations that can withstand the headwinds of a global economic slowdown, currency fluctuations and geopolitical developments affecting the Gulf region.

“Today’s business leaders are under more pressure than ever before, with many predicting a significant slowdown in global economic activity,” said Irfan Khan, president, SAP HANA Database and Analytics, SAP. Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and solutions such as S/4HANA, we want to demonstrate the important role technology can play in addressing these challenges.”

Khan added: “To achieve business resilience while encouraging innovation to spur growth and capitalize on new opportunities, SAP is leading the way in building the SAP Business Data Fabric to harmonize all critical enterprise data and embedding AI technologies into all of its solutions and partnerships Medium. Collaborate with other leaders in AI to ensure we stay ahead.”

The democratization of AI in business
Among the recently announced AI partners, SAP’s new Datasphere solution is built on SAP BTP. SAP is strategically collaborating with industry-leading data and AI companies (Collibra NV, Confluent Inc, Databricks Inc and DataRobot Inc) to enrich SAP Datasphere and enable organizations to create a unified data architecture that securely combines SAP software data and non- SAP data. SAP Datasphere, the next-generation SAP data warehouse cloud, enables data professionals to integrate and provide scalable access to mission-critical business data across an organization’s data environment while preserving business context and logic.

Similarly, SAP last month announced a partnership with IBM Watson to provide customers with new AI-driven insights and automation to help accelerate innovation and create more efficient and effective user experiences. Additionally, SAP is integrating Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service into solutions such as SAP SuccessFactors to access powerful language models for analyzing and generating natural language.

Commenting on the importance of embedding AI into existing SAP solutions rather than developing separate AI products, guest speaker Pavlos Panagiotidis, SAP Global Vice President, Artificial Intelligence and Hyperautomation, noted that this is a way to gain access to the power of AI. Ways to democratize business use. This is important, he added, given the shortage of skills in the IT sector, especially in artificial intelligence technology.

According to Panagiotidis, SAP is at the forefront of research and development, combining AI with ERP, big data and related technologies, and has already embedded AI capabilities in its SaaS solutions, including S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Fieldglass, SAP Concur, SuccessFactors and SAP CX solution stack. “By embedding AI and creating AI-enabled modules to extend the existing SAP landscape in SAP BTP—such as conversational AI and intelligent robotic process automation—SAP is helping SMBs compete,” he said.

Panagiotidis added that SAP and its partners are focusing on developing responsible AI solutions that benefit businesses and individuals: “We keep in mind multiple ethical considerations when embedding AI solutions, such as controlling the use of customer data, Counteracts bias in algorithms, and justifies transparency in the way interpretations and conclusions are drawn. If AI is approached responsibly, it has enormous potential to improve the lives of employees and business performance. For example, algorithms can perform repetitive and manual processes , freeing employees to work on more complex, creative and value-added tasks.”

Echoing IDC’s findings on rising cloud adoption, Panagiotidis concludes: “The growth of artificial intelligence goes hand in hand with the global transition to the cloud, and it is transforming SAP services for the better.” Companies will also miss out on the power of AI. The potential benefits of AI technologies in business and industry are virtually limitless.” – trade arab news agency

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