Can SAP Leonardo Help CIOs Digitize Operations?


Leonardo as a name perfectly suits SAP’s digital innovation platform of integrated technologies. Leonardo-da-Vinci was an artist, sculptor, scientist, all rolled into one. Similarly, SAP converges transformational and emerging technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Machine Learning, Blockchains, and Analytics to one platform. Previously, the tech was available a-la-carte—as different technologies operated in silos. Now, it has been integrated—a need long felt by industry and tech aficionados. Leonardo integrates the whole gamut of technologies into a seamless whole as each component complements and fuses into the other. The innovation can be advantageous for chief information officers (CIOs) who are looking for digitization of operations.

IoT, Analytics, Big Data, Blockchains and Machine Learning: All on one platform

Leonardo is a one-stop shop for digital technology including IoT, Analytics, Big Data, Blockchains, and Machine Learning. Assessing and provisioning of new technology becomes easier and planned. Enterprises could reduce capital costs accrued for technology acquisition. It also translates into reduced time for rapid decision-making. Data is sent for processing to cloud as the integration is cloud-based. However, not all data is processed and stored on the cloud since there are decisions that have to be taken rapidly. This is important to aid the development of high-level analytics that act in time and avoid crucial decisions from getting delayed.

Data processing according to an organization’s requirements

This technology makes it easier to segregate data-processing into two categories: staggered and real-time. Real time processing for leveraging local systems, particularly those in manufacturing (for instance, manufacturing consolidation systems or applications). The digital tool takes several decisions locally, without sending data to the cloud or the Enterprise Resource Planning that is the ERP systems. Supply chains, in the manufacturing and retail industries where turnaround time is low, are optimized to meet real-time demands of customers.

IoT and Data Analytics enable rare insights into structured and unstructured data

Data insights combine with Analytics and IoT. There was always a need to integrate the two technologies. Many IoT deployments have failed in the past due to non-availability of application integration. Once data is connected with IoT systems, it is integrated with an organization’s system of records as well as engagements to create actionable insights. For example, the CIO of a cold supply chain needs to align IoT data, including humidity and temperature with his Analytics applications to ensure that the conditions needed for the health of a biotech or low-shelf life product is maintained throughout distribution.

Decreased security concerns for IoT systems

In a study by Lopez Research, data security is the top concern for enterprises trying to leverage IoT for 2017. Companies need to adopt a data security strategy to include IoT-enabled devices. This typically requires application of different software solutions. There are however times when endpoint devices can’t run security features like embedded encryption due to a technical mismatch. Leonardo will provide companies the gateway that can act as security intermediary.

Several digital transformative technologies woven into one

With the provision of blockchain, an integrated platform could be embedded in enterprise applications. This increases visibility, trust and security while at the same time it speeds up transactions. Availability of predictive algorithms and analytical dashboards become easier and interfaces get user-friendly (with sophisticated algorithms for analysis).

Other innovative technologies like image and video processing, time-series processing, natural language processing, leveraging of unstructured data aid improved user friendliness and smoother interfaces.

Improved business intelligence processes

A number of business processes depend on human agency, involving repetitive tasks such as checking invoices, travel expenses, or going through résumés for an advertised position. Self-learning algorithms could detect patterns and solutions in data, thus, allowing business processes to attain a new level of intelligence and efficiency. The platform offers design thinking to help the growth of new capabilities and business models, thus, accelerating digital transformation.

Will the innovative integration find favor with clients and customers?

SAP has put a lot of things in the bag in order to attract organizations. However, in the rapidly evolving space of technology, it’s very difficult to predict its success. But the company is optimistic about the reception of its product Leonardo.

Raphael Perez, Vice President, SAP, says organizations have benefited from SAP Leonardo and seen outcomes ranging from improved employee productivity with procurement to development of front-end chatbots for procurement to reduced labor costs to the ability to compete for talent through aggregated workforce data.

SAP has rolled out the red carpet for organizations. It remains to be seen however whether it is able to persuade organizations of the usability and benefits.