61% of SAP user organisations in the UK and Ireland say data management challenges are slowing business process automation efforts

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London, U.K. – 30 March 2022 – Research from the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), the independent not-for-profit organisation representing all users of SAP software, has today revealed that 61% of organisations believe data management challenges have slowed or will slow the automation of their business processes. In addition, two thirds state that data management is a challenge when moving from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA.

“Many organisations see moving to SAP S/4HANA or their wider digital transformation as an opportunity to automate more of their business processes. Yet, as our survey shows, data management challenges are slowing progress,” said Paul Cooper, Chairman, UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “When moving to SAP S/4HANA, organisations need to consider whether they need their previous transactional data on the new system. For many, this could lead them to re-platforming their current ERP data or using data retention solutions. Data quality is also a very important consideration, as organisations will fail to realise maximum value from implementing SAP S/4HANA, if their existing data hasn’t been cleansed first.”

Growing data demands

The survey of 116 SAP user organisations reveals that more than three-quarters (76%) say their business intelligence / data analytics needs have increased in the last 12 months. When respondents were asked about their most pressing business intelligence needs, data accuracy and consistency (26%), dashboards/visualisation (23%) and data governance (18%) were the most commonly cited.

Most (92%) of the organisations surveyed say they have or plan to have a data strategy – nearly half (46%) say it is being developed in-house, 42% say it is done with a partner, and 12% say they are developing their data strategy with SAP.

The research also reveals that the majority of organisations have realised additional value from their operational (84%) and customer data (68%) over the last 12 months. However, the survey does highlight challenges do remain:

  • 69% face challenges in gaining business intelligence from data because it is spread across their environment on multiple platforms
  • 64% face challenges around data accuracy and consistency
  • 30% say they have so much data they don’t know where to start in terms of gaining additional value from it
  • 27% say they are unable to process and analyse data fast enough

Many organisations point to a lack of the necessary skills (41%) and technologies (41%) preventing them from effectively using of all their data. With data demands continuing to grow, more than half (57%) of organisations said they are using or planning to use SAP Analytics Cloud in the future.

“Increasingly, when it comes to data, the challenge is less about how much you have, but rather what you can do with it. SAP systems are a treasure trove of operational and customer insight, so it’s vital organisations invest in the necessary skills and technology. Our Analytics Symposium, will showcase the latest best-practice and demonstrate how products, such as SAP Analytics Cloud, can help organisations maximise their data to drive additional business value.”

The User Group will be hosting its annual Analytics Symposium on Tuesday, 5th April 2022.

Can't attend? Don't worry, the Document & Data Management SIG on Thursday, 7th April 2022, takes a deep dive into Data Management and the opportunity and obstacle it brings.

About the UK & Ireland SAP User Group

Founded in 1988, The UK & Ireland SAP User Group is an independent 'not for profit' organisation. Over the years we have grown and now comprise of over 600 organisations and 7,500 professionals. Our aims are to facilitate networking, knowledge exchange and best practice amongst SAP users.

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