My Five Favorite Digital Predictions For 2019

Bertram Schulte

Fall 2018 is nearly in the books, with all the usual traditions upheld: Oktoberfest in Germany, Thanksgiving in the United States, and dozens of 2019 digital transformation prediction pieces written by industry analysts.

But instead of writing yet another 2019 digital predictions post, I am going to pick my five favorite 2019 digital predictions from veteran analysts. I’ve done the legwork, so you don’t have to. After all, the holidays are nearly here, and this is my gift to you. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy my favorite digital predictions for 2019!

1. Data to analytics to machine learning to artificial intelligence (Dan Newman, Forbes)

Dan Newman writes in Forbes: “At the center of all of these technological trends and in the center of this list falls the linchpin to so many of these trends and to digital transformation as a whole. Data is key to companies being able to make good decisions about products, services, employees, strategy, and more. We won’t see a slowdown anytime soon.” I couldn’t agree more.

2. Consumption-based IT services for the win (Dan Newman, Forbes)

Dan Newman adds in the same predictions piece: “With the as-a-Service industry growing, companies are becoming more sophisticated in choosing ‘a la carte’ IT services to fit their needs. This allows for … scalability, the latest technology (without the latest tech price tag), shorter procurement cycles, and increased agility.” Amen, Dan!

The development pace is accelerating in 2019, and customers require the flexibility to use any and all available technical or business services without the need to place orders for specific services.

3. Delivering on digital customer experience faster and better (Dion Hinchcliffe, ZDNet)

Dion Hinchcliffe writes in ZDNet: “Perhaps the topmost priority of most major digital transformation efforts is to improve the customer experience, which is the leading discriminator today when it comes to successful growth and customer retention. However, organizations have a long way to go when it comes to scaling up their digital experience factories.” This is absolutely true!

Customer experience is a driving force behind SAP’s own digital transformation efforts and is one of the highest priorities for success in building a seamless digital journey for our customers.

4. The rise of the B2B platform and commerce (Clint Boulton, CIO)

Clint Boulton, in a piece for, notes: “The enterprise sector has long known that the economy is becoming platform-centric, thanks to the proliferation of APIs and cloud technologies … companies will double down here, looking to scale platforms.” Again, this rings true to me.

I think this also shows that non-technology companies are essentially becoming “platform companies,” too. This means all successful companies are unifying all the assets beyond the actual limits of the organization so a customer can solve a problem as easily and simply as possible.

The scaling of platform and commerce is vitally important in 2019 as well. For example, the ability to represent our ecosystem offerings side-by-side with related SAP intellectual property on is powered by the SAP App Center.

5. A renewed focus on change management to ensure scalability and sustainability (AIM Consulting)

AIM Consulting writes: “Companies are becoming more aware of the need to focus on the critical role that their people play in implementing their digital vision …[and] to complicate matters, rapid technological advances are forcing large companies to adapt quickly.”

This seems almost too obvious to include, but I think it’s worth mentioning anyway. To drive true change, companies need great ideas, but they also need great people. Digital transformation requires buy-in both from the top down with executives and from the bottom up with users. Companies can only scale when they get complete buy-in from everyone within an organization. To do that, companies need top talent and great employees.

These types of digital predictions have never been more relevant to our SAP colleagues, customers, partners. I hope my favorite predictions offer a starting point on your digital journey and help prioritize what matters most in 2019.

Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Don’t miss another important predictions piece – The Internet Of Things: Get Ready For Big Changes Ahead In 2019.

Bertram Schulte

About Bertram Schulte

Bertram Schulte serves as SAP’s chief digital officer (CDO), running the digital business, overseeing digital customer strategy, and helping provide customers one seamless, digital experience.