There are five main technology trends, according to Shai Agassi, president of SAP’s Product & Technology Group.
"Today we're shifting from different drivers for why businesses are building their fabric-the infrastructure," said Agassi. "Whereas before it was about management of resources, then it shifted to management of information and now we're shifting into management of business events.
"We believe that forIT to deliver the flexibility organisations need, it must create a single, unified platform that provides a repository of coherent services. One of the things we're doing right now is opening up our technology platform to partners, including developers and integrators, which allow them to build their unique apps on top of our platform."
He added that the market has shifted from point solutions to
industry-focused suites. "The days of buying point products are long behind us," said Agassi. "Five years from now, customers will only buy suites. You won't purchase individual point products such as ERP, CRM, supply chain management or HR applications that will ship to you as separate entities and that will end up as a collection of services that you need to manage. Customers are looking to drive a higher level of value out of their industry flavored, enterprise software solutions and they are doing this through deploying application suites."
Agassi also spoke about the need for the user experience to have business process content as part of it. "The goal is to provide business workers and information workers with the data they need in order to make informed and intelligent decisions quickly," he said. "Our customers want basic, simple and powerful solutions, and this can be achieved through delivering an easy-to-use interface and hiding complexity in the background.
"SAP's strategy is to help customers empower their people to leverage the skills they already have and embed in all the user experiences they already are comfortable with. So whether it is a portal, desktop productivity tools or alternative interfaces-mobile devices, RSS, RFID, analytics, embedded devices-the focus is around bringing relevant business context to that preferred user interface.
“These employees can leverage the skills they already have, like working in Microsoft Office. We teamed up with Microsoft to jointly deliver 'Project Mendocino,' which brings the best of desktop productivity and best enterprise applications without cost of integration."
Agassi also talked about the need for an ecosystem of suppliers. "The SAP Developer Network has more than a half million uniquevisitors a month, including 1,000 ISVs developing on our platform, and these numbers are growing quickly," he said. "SAP's platform ecosystem is critical to our success as we continue to deliver more solutions to more customers in more industries.”
Finally he concluded that IT will become strategic to the business as the pace of process innovation accelerates. "The industry has changed more in the past five years than in the previous two decades," said Agassi. "And we don't see the pace of innovation slowing anytime soon. As we approach this next wave, businesses will be challenged to adapt faster to changes in their competitive landscape in order to serve their customers' ever-changing needs. The companies that have invested properly in IT infrastructure will have the ability to handle the market changes; the companies that invest in enterprise services architecture will accelerate ahead of competitors."