This blog features commentary from Jan Devereux, Head of Customer Value for Zag part of Accenture, on Accenture’s 2021 Technology Vision for SAP Solutions Driving Change Leading with the SAP Ecosystem.

Can you imagine building a website just by describing it? In July 2020, a developer testing GPT-3 did exactly that.

GPT-3 is OpenAI’s third-generation deep learning language model that can generate human-like text, and the company had asked for help testing its capabilities.

Developers started using it to generate short stories, articles, guitar tabs, and in one case, code.

The tester would give GPT-3 written prompts like “a blue button that says subscribe” and the model would build it.

This got people thinking – could something like GPT-3 make programming more accessible? Could anyone be a developer?

Low-code platforms and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) are also putting powerful technology capabilities into people’s hands without specialised skills.

These tools are what we’re calling democratised technology, and they’re driving a shift in organisational innovation.

Summary of what’s happening:

•       Today’s advanced digital technologies are far more accessible than in the past.

•       It’s now possible to spark “grassroots innovation” across the business by enabling people to build technology solutions at the point of need.

89% of executives agree

“Organisations equipping their people with tools of technology democratisation are building the foundation for greater agility now and in the future.”

When asked which tools for technology democratisation they have invested in for use by your non-IT/Technical workforce, executives replied:

Technologies:                                               Global   ANZ

SaaS                                                          66%       64%

Secure Sandbox Environments                 46%       52%

RPA                                                            49%       49%

Low Code/No Code Platform                     36%       41%

*Source: Accenture Technology Vision 2021 Business and IT Executive Survey. Global N=6,241. ANZ N=360

The democratisation of technology tools gives any employee the power to take action and create technology solutions themselves.

However, for all you technologists out there nervously twitching in your seats, there’s a little way to go before GPT-3 becomes mainstream, and it doesn’t remove IT from the equation – IT will still be needed for implementations, scaling successful programs, and working with the most cutting-edge technologies.

Of course, giving people access to these tools is only part of the equation. Organisations that want to empower their people to build technology-driven solutions will also need to train them to think like technologists.

This doesn’t mean turning everyone into an expert coder – but it does mean increasing technology literacy, teaching people about the benefits and risks of different decisions, and potentially setting up guardrails to help avoid accidental security risks.

So in an SAP context, what does this mean for organisations like yours?

When used right, democratised technology tools such as SAP’s RPA can have a positive impact on a company’s innovation strategies and digital transformations, infusing automation and intelligence in business processes long before we’re all using GPT-3!

Focus on:

  • Breaking down barriers between business and technology – make everyone a core part of digital transformation.
  • Building consumer-grade workplace experiences – starting with modern interfaces.
  • Infuse automation and intelligence into business processes – augment and accelerate repetitive business processes.

Today companies are looking to speed up their digital transformations and reorient themselves as the world continues to change. Spreading the power to create technology solutions across the organisation adds a grassroots layer to those transformation strategies. It makes every employee a core part of the digital transformation effort.

What to do first?

Enable your people to think like technologists.

Increase technology literacy and set up guardrails e.g. avoiding security risks.

Evaluate how to enable a new generation of “developers” with SAP tools and solutions on the Business Technology Platform (BTP), including SAP Analytics Cloud.

Examine how SAP Intelligent RPA and AI solutions could help employees infuse more intelligence into their business processes.

Get in touch at info@zag.team or with your Zag Account Manager if you would like support.