UK & Ireland SAP User Group survey reveals almost 9 in 10 organisations are using or planning to use SAP S/4HANA

Published on
UKISUG Connect 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 almost 9 in 10 (89%) organisations are either using or planning to use SAP S/4HANA; compared with 74% in 2021. Of those organisations planning to move to SAP S/4HANA, 70% say they will move in the next 36 months; the 2027 maintenance deadline for Business Suite 7 / SAP ECC 6 (70%), new functionality (49%), and part of a wider business transformation (47%) were cited as the main drivers.

The survey of 114 SAP user organisations revealed that a quarter are currently using SAP S/4HANA. However, the UKISUG research highlights concerns remain around the skills and training required to implement and manage SAP S/4HANA. Of those organisations yet to move to SAP S/4HANA, 92% were concerned a lack of available skills will slow their migration (an increase from 71% in 2021). Almost a third of organisations (32%) rated the level of training provided by their partner during the implementation process as poor or very poor (compared to 34% in 2021).  A further 36% said SAP doesn’t provide customers with enough technical resources and training to help them manage SAP S/4HANA (compared to 38% in 2021).

“As our survey indicates, for many organisations it is a case of when rather than if they move to SAP S/4HANA,” said Paul Cooper, Chairman, UK & Ireland SAP User Group. “However, with rising concerns about the lack of available skills to implement SAP S/4HANA, there is a risk that the speed and quality of projects will suffer. Schemes such as SAP’s Partner Talent Initiative are a step in the right direction, but it’s apparent more needs to be done to address the skills shortfall and ensure organisations are set up for SAP S/4HANA success.”

Almost three-quarters (72%) of organisations say existing customisations present a challenge when moving to SAP S/4HANA, which is a notable decrease from 92% a year ago. Nearly a quarter (24%) of organisations plan to remove customisations entirely (replacing them with standard functionality) compared to 12% in 2021. Of those organisations that have moved to SAP S/4HANA, almost two-thirds (64%) said integrations were a challenge. More than a quarter (28%) said they used SAP Business Technology Platform to help with their integrations.

From the respondents that stated they had heard of RISE with SAP, 73% said their understanding of the service had improved over the last 12 months. More than a quarter of these respondents (28%) said that they were using or planning to use RISE with SAP. Simplifying and accelerating the cloud journey (21%) and accelerating the journey to SAP S/4HANA (19%) were cited as their main reasons for selecting RISE with SAP.

“It’s clear that organisations have a much better understanding of RISE with SAP than compared to 12 months ago. As a result, more are seeing it as a viable option to accelerate their journey to the cloud and SAP S/4HANA. However, organisations still need to weigh up the overall impact of moving to the cloud (using RISE with SAP) on their overall SAP running costs. Will they need to upskill or acquire new skills to manage their new SAP environment? These are some of the key questions we hope to address during CONNECT,” added Paul Cooper.

“It’s really encouraging to see such a wholesale shift to SAP S/4HANA among our customers – a sign that, despite macroeconomic headwinds, digital transformation is still a priority for organisations. With a big uptick in the number of businesses understanding the benefits of RISE with SAP too, it’s clear that many are looking to the scalability, flexibility and speed offered by the cloud to navigate such a temperamental period for the economy, said James Bates, UK & Ireland Head of S/4HANA Cloud, RISE with SAP. “We want to make sure our customers are maximising the business value of our services and, through RISE with SAP, we take on many of the technical activities associated with the move to the cloud. This allows our customers to focus their teams and skills on the higher value activities associated with business transformation.”

UKISUG is hosted its annual CONNECT conference on the 27th - 29th November 2022, at the ICC Birmingham.

Listen to Season 9, Episode 6 of 'SUGTalks': 'Getting the most from your UK & Ireland SAP User Group'. Craig is joined by UKISUG board members Ian Mallinson, IT Director at Warburtons and Costa Petrosellini, SAP Technical Services Manager at Dunelm to discuss how members can get the most from UKISUG.

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