MSPs Using AI and Automation to Help U.S. Businesses Deploy SAP S/4HANA

MSPs Using AI and Automation to Help U.S. Businesses Deploy SAP S/4HANA

By Laura Stotler

In an encouraging sign for the post-COVID-19 economy, U.S. businesses are once again adopting SAP S/4HANA to ease the pain points of digital transformation and minimize business disruption. Adoption of the popular enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution had slowed for most of 2020 but more businesses are now working with managed service providers (MSPs) to deploy the offering.

According to a new report from Information Services Group, more businesses are turning to SAP S/4HANA and making use of its built-in AI, analytics and interactive interface to aid their digital transformations. The Group's 2021 ISG Provider Lens SAP HANA Ecosystem Services report also found that (MSPs) are continuing to develop AI-powered tools and accelerators to aid in SAP rollout. The tools are designed to help with tasks like assessment, code reconciliation, data management and testing, enabling safer and quicker digital transformations.

"U.S. companies are looking to the cloud to cut costs and increase agility, especially since the pandemic sharpened their focus on these areas, but many want to ease into transformation," said Jan Erik Aase, partner and global leader, ISG Provider Lens Research. "SAP and its ecosystem partners allow organizations to carry out staggered implementations of S/4HANA that minimize business disruption."

MSPs are also integrating Agile and DevOps methodologies into their frameworks as well as using proprietary tools, in an effort to increase efficiency and deliver quicker results. According to the ISG report, service providers are deploying hybrid Agile and DevOps approaches like Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to enable rapid development, deployment and release, prototyping and Agile sprints. Some MSPs have created dedicated centers of excellence to foster these approaches as well.

Service providers offering managed S/4HANA solutions are also relying more on automation to reduce costs and speed delivery. Specific tools include AI-based conversation bots and robotic process automation (RPA). These may be used to streamline incident management, improve efficiencies and offer a host of additional benefits.

MSPs are also partnering with hyperscale cloud providers to provide platform application services like archiving, backup, security, disaster recovery, compliance and monitoring. Many providers are also building ready-to-use offerings based on technologies like blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT) to more efficiently handle supply chain processes and other specialized needs for industries like manufacturing, utilities and retail.

Edited by Luke Bellos
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MSPToday Contributing Editor

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