Interweaving AI with SAP

March 2023
3 min read

Artificial intelligence (AI) has rapidly emerged as one of the most transformative technologies of the 21st century, revolutionizing everything – from healthcare and transportation to finance and entertainment.

Late last year, ChatGPT emerged online as the next phase in this fast-growing and exciting technological space. Many of us tried it out already, and I have yet to meet anyone who is not left amazed by its capacity in such an infant stage. Where to from here though? And how will this type of technology interweave with the systems we use today, such as SAP?

Artificial Intelligence versus Machine Learning

Anyone familiar with the functionalities of SAP is aware of its intelligent ’machine learning’ capabilities. This system looks for patterns in the user’s behavior and creates recommendations and shortcuts to optimize the experience and relieve labour-intensive and repetitive clearing processes. Artificial Intelligence, however, would revolutionize the experience entirely. For example, Microsoft is currently developing AI integrated with Excel which will negate the requirement for users to remember different formulas or spend hours putting together various graphs. Soon, it will be possible to input a request to the application; it will know where to source data from and will create the analysis automatically.

If we were to translate this to SAP, we could be looking at a world where T-Codes are no longer needed and where the user can ask the system a question or request a task to be performed. For example, instead of going about creating an invoice or needing to explain to management why a forecast isn’t aligned, we can ask the system to do it for us. Answering the questions will become more efficient, if the right questions are asked…

The future of analysis and development

Technologies like ChatGPT and future AI systems are set to transform the typical workflow of treasury professionals as well as wider business analysis across the world. Predictive analysis will allow businesses to make even more informed and intelligent decisions through improved models. While SAP already utilizes data upload from market sources such as Reuters and Bloomberg, we can expect to see a more intelligent system providing users with risk models, investment recommendations and better-informed risk models.

These help treasurers and companies at large make more accurate and strategic decisions regarding cash management and borrowing. There’s also less capacity for error through the assistance of AI; treasurers will be able to utilize automated next level financial reporting tools, saving organizations time and also ensuring regulatory requirements are abided by. Finally, treasurers will get to work with greater cash management optimization, a fundamental part of their roles; allowing businesses to keep borrowing to a minimum and ensuring cash is available when its needed.

A better experience for clients

This additional reduction in repetitive tasks will provide more time for solving complex tasks and establishing better relationships with clients. It should also provide the space for more innovative and expanded analysis. The social experience between consultants and clients will also become even more important; whereas computers will explain things very directly, the empathetic and open-minded consultant will be able to provide solutions in a manner that will be easier to digest. Trust in new technology, particularly among the ever-prudent treasury community, will also remain pivotal. It’s hard to foresee a future where a Head of Treasury will take a response from a computer that they do not agree with and just move on.

Where are we right now with ChatGPT and SAP?

It is without a doubt that the future of treasury technology and SAP in particular is exciting. It will be up to the leaders of organizations to work collaboratively with consultants to ensure such benefits afforded by advancements in AI will be taken advantage of.

For now, though, we are still in the infant stages of what is an exponentially growing piece of tech. The limitations of ChatGPT and its potential for collaboration with SAP focus on privacy and trust. OpenAI is quite open (excuse the pun) about the fact that one should not enter delicate data into the system as it cannot guarantee that such information’s integrity and privacy can be maintained. Furthermore, it is based on the data from the internet of 2021 – so therefore, it is somewhat out of date.

This is a developing story, not a settled one. The future has not happened, rather it is happening and as many are saying: We will not be replaced by AI – we will be replaced by those that embrace AI.


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