2020 was an unprecedented year that will mark history and become a subject of study for economics. At the same time, however, it was a year that tested the ability of many people to find solutions in order to overcome current issues, from switching to telework, to reorganizing distribution chains. 2021 will not allow a complete reset, but will navigate the path created by the pandemic.

From a technological perspective, ERP solutions will remain equally relevant for supporting business innovation and aligning with market requirements.

In the SAP world, some discreetly trends outlined last year will take on an increasingly obvious outline in 2021.

  • Technology matters, but the way it is implemented and managed makes the difference. In 2020, the success of many companies was based on technology and the ability to overcome the limitations imposed by quarantine and social distancing. In 2021, the difference will be the way digital solutions are exploited and transformed into competitive advantages. In short, the ability of human resources to use these tools will become increasingly important, and many campaigns will focus on retaining or recruiting employees capable of leveraging existing technological investments.
  • SAP HANA becomes the standard choice for SAP Business One implementations. There are two main reasons: the high performance of in-memory databases and SAP announcement that from 2027 it will only support HANA-based systems. In 2021, companies mainly aim to process data as quickly as possible (real time analytics), but also to increase data visibility and the quality of management reports. Customers who opt for SQL will become exceptions.

Read also What exactly is SAP HANA and why is it a better option than SQL – (sysinconsult.ro)

  • Chief Data Officer, an increasingly sought-after specialist. Many companies already have a high volume of data in their operating systems and in 2021 they will look for solutions to exploit them. There is already pressure to obtain intelligent data analysis and perspectives, but such an approach requires both the right technologies and the right qualifications.
  • Focus on eCommerce. More and more companies have discovered in 2020 that they need to trade their products and services online. Seemingly simple, this process involves numerous integrations and automations to deliver the desired results. 2021 will be the year of analyzing the way of online interaction with customers and business partners and identifying optimization solutions.
  • Growing interest in Automation. The need for efficiency is growing and the use of Artificial Intelligence and software robots will become a common element in solving this requirement. Smart automation will find its place in the most diverse departments, from warehousing and finance to customer support. Wherever there are repetitive operations, Robotic Process Automation Robotic Process Automation (RPA) – System Innovation Romania (sysinconsult.ro) (RPA) will be a viable option.
  • Mobile interaction is on the rise. The reduction of the pandemic will exacerbate the desire of employees everywhere to return to a dynamic professional life with visits to clients, travel and field work. Mobility will reach maximum levels and the demand for solutions that will allow the activity to take place anytime and from anywhere will be appropriate. In this sense, SAP Business One users have at their disposal both a general mobile application and dedicated applications for Sales (Mobile App Sales) and Customer Service (Mobile App Support). More details in the article How to work smarter when you have field work? – SAP Business One Service (sysinconsult.ro)
  • Hybrid cloud orientation. In 2021, companies will want to balance the need to reduce costs and focus on operational spending with data security and confidentiality requirements. The hybrid cloud responds optimally to these challenges, offering the possibility of integrating niche solutions (accessed from the cloud) with ERP systems (managed on premises). A similar scenario is feasible on the headquarters-branch relationship.

Making predictions about how business will evolve in 2021 would be a complicated task even for Nostradamus. There are many uncertainties, but we could bet that it will be a more mobile and digital year. It is important to set clear but ambitious goals and to trust people and technology. Success!

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