UK and Ireland SAP User Group Study System Optimization Data Management Woes Slowing Innovation

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They named rapidly increasing amounts of data as a key culprit, with 65 percent of respondents facing at least a 40 percent rise in data during the last three years.

What are SAP customers doing with all that information? Greater than half said they were archiving or storing it, but at the same time, a majority indicated that storing data in multiple places creates concerns over its quality and governance.

Furthermore, many respondents are dealing with a resources shortfall—60 percent say they lack the budget to properly optimize their SAP system. About half cited lack of time and/or lack of skills as an issue. (The latter result matches up with the results of a recent Michael Management study that indicated a large SAP skills gap remains at companies.)

Adopting the New

In the face of growing data and limited resources, a significant number of respondents still plan to move in step with SAP, albeit at a measured pace.

Sixty-three percent of organizations surveyed have either moved or plan to move to HANA, with half of that group intending to do so within three years. Another two-thirds predicted that their SAP system infrastructure would combine on-premises and cloud within three years.

 “It is clear that many users are looking to move to SAP HANA and run SAP on a hybrid infrastructure. However, in order to ensure a smooth transition and fully realise the benefits, users need to optimise their existing SAP landscape,” Vice Chairman of the UK & Ireland Paul Cooper said in a release. “The findings of our survey show that optimisation remains a challenge for the majority of users, both from a resources and technological perspective.”

Help Wanted

SAP customers aren’t seeking to optimize systems on their own. In fact, a majority of survey respondents say they use SAP services or SAP partners for help. But finding the right type of help is a barrier for many, with 91 percent saying SAP could do a better job making customers aware of products and services that are geared towards system optimization.

SAP also has some work to do on its big-picture messaging, the survey suggests.

“As SAP’s product offerings continue to evolve, users need to understand how they will impact on their business. Nearly three quarters (72%) of users stated they didn’t know if S/4HANA would help them ‘run simpler’ in the future,” added Cooper. “While this is understandable considering it is a recently launched product, it highlights a knowledge gap that will need filling.”

In a statement for the release, SAP outlined what it is doing to address the need for better optimization:

“We are committed to building long-term, strategic partnerships that help our customers maximise their SAP landscape, from traditional ERP to new innovations like S/4HANA,” said Cormac Watters, Managing Director, SAP UK & Ireland. “We are working closely with the User Group to provide details of the SAP Service and Support portfolio in a way that it is accessible and easy use, and are focused on simplifying our offering to further aid the customer journey.”

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