According to the recently published investment report 2021 by the German-speaking SAP user group e. V. (DSAG), Austrian companies are planning to continue investing in SAP software in 2021 despite the corona crisis. The switch to S / 4HANA is also being pursued, but is not planned for many companies in the next three years. […]
In 2020, the corona epidemic presented companies with great challenges and efforts to make things better remote work and digitization. Companies had to react quickly and flexibly to changed framework conditions.
The situation has not changed significantly for 2021, which is why Austrian companies want to invest in IT again this year. In 38 percent of Austrian companies (39 percent in the entire DACH region) of those surveyed in the DSAG Investment Report 2021, the budget increases – and in 45 percent of them (DACH: 31 percent) even between ten and twenty percent. “
The y are more experienced in dealing with the situation and in many cases they seem to have recognized how important IT is to keep business running even in times of crisis, ”explains Walter Schinnerer, DSAG Board Member Austria.
The Austrians are still willing to invest with regard to SAP. At 52 percent (DACH: 43 percent) of companies, SAP investments increase and at 24 percent (DACH: 35 percent) they remain the same. While in the previous year’s investment report 15 percent of Austrians (DACH: 35 percent) stated that the budget would increase between ten and 20 percent, this time it was 40 percent (DACH: 38 percent). “In the manufacturing industry in particular, the SAP investment budgets are increasing for 53 percent of those surveyed, compared to only 25 percent in the previous year,” said Walter Schinnerer. He classifies this increase in such a way that there are a particularly large number of SAP-related processes in this sector that have not yet been digitized in many companies.
Trend towards S / 4HANA still recognizable
The DSAG Investment Report 2020 already showed that the Austrian companies consider S / 4HANA to be set with regard to ERP solutions. This is also confirmed by this year’s survey. According to this, 41 percent (DACH: 56 percent) of those surveyed are planning high and medium investments in S / 4HANA (cloud and on-premise). 31 percent want to invest medium and high in the Business Suite (DACH: 25 percent). With S / 4HANA, companies prefer on-premise. “This shows the concerns of companies about transferring company-relevant data to the cloud. On the one hand, the European mentality is likely to play a role. On the other hand, topics such as the EU General Data Protection Regulation and data protection in general are becoming an obstacle to the cloud, ”Walter Schinnerer is certain.
Compared to 2020, however, there is an overall decline of five percentage points in terms of the planned investments in S / 4HANA. “On the one hand, this could be an indication that companies are not yet sure whether an S / 4HANA project will be possible in 2021 either. On the other hand, the maintenance extension achieved by DSAG for the core applications of Business Suite 7 and thus ERP 6.0 with subsequent optional maintenance until 2030 can also have an impact on the company, ”says Walter Schinnerer.
Corona effects on S / 4HANA transfers
Last year, four percent of those surveyed (DACH: 13 percent) had not yet made a decision regarding S / 4HANA. This year, 14 percent (DACH: 13 percent) are undecided. A total of ten percent (DACH: 14 percent) are already using the solution. That is two percentage points (DACH: four percentage points) more than 2020. In the next three years, 52 percent (DACH: 39 percent) want to switch to S / 4HANA. Last year it was 58 percent (DACH: 40 percent). “
The effects of the corona can be felt here. Our survey on DSAGLIVE from the summer has already shown that almost 60 percent of Austrian companies are postponing S / 4HANA projects or roadmaps or even postponing them in principle, ”the regional board describes the situation. Overall, DSAG and SAP have already provided a lot of and well-informed information about S / 4HANA, but the S / 4HANA world is complex. It is therefore still necessary for SAP to support companies with the changeover.
License strategy when switching to S / 4HANA
This year, the DSAG companies were asked for the first time about their license strategy when switching to S / 4HANA. 18 percent (DACH: 22 percent) stated that they would remain in the existing license model, i.e. carry out a product conversion. 23 percent (DACH: 12 percent) initially want to stay in the existing license model and switch to the S / 4HANA license model at a later date, i.e. carry out a contract conversion. Only nine percent (DACH: 13 percent) switch directly to the S / 4HANA license model. “It is essential that 41 percent of the Austrian respondents and 39 percent in the entire DACH region have not yet made a decision and obviously do not know what is possible,” Walter Schinnerer classifies and adds: “When switching to S / 4HANA -World is changing the product and license metrics. A license conversion is inevitable and the customers are faced with several challenges. ”More flexibility in licensing would therefore be desirable.
Demand for cloud solutions remains weak
In the past, SAP has emphasized its intended cloud-first strategy many times. To date, however, Austrian companies have not shown great willingness to invest in SAP cloud solutions. According to the investment report, Austrian companies are planning “high and medium-sized” investments in the following SAP cloud solutions:
- SuccessFactors: 20 percent (DACH: 15 percent)
- Ariba: 7 percent (DACH: 8 percent)
- Concur: 3 percent (DACH: 6 percent)
- Qualtrics: 3 percent (DACH: 2 percent)
- SAP Customer Experience (CX – formerly C / 4HANA): 3 percent (DACH: 8 percent)
None of the Austrian companies surveyed are planning investments in Industry Cloud (DACH: 2 percent), Fieldglass (DACH: 1 percent) or in the SAP Analytics Cloud (DACH: 14 percent).
SuccessFactors in particular seems to be generating interest among companies. This is remarkable in that, from 2022, customers can also operate the human capital management solution SAP Human Capital Management (SAP HCM) integrated in S / 4HANA. This is an alternative for those who do not want to switch directly to SuccessFactors in the cloud. “As DSAG, it is important to us that all customers can benefit from the advantages of cloud solutions such as SuccessFactors – in accordance with the legal requirements relating to IT security and data protection as well as procedural requirements. As of today, however, the public service at SuccessFactors cannot do this. We are working on this together with SAP, ”explains Walter Schinnerer.
The latter in particular is becoming more important, because Corona has shown that companies need to plan more flexibly and with more foresight, ”said Walter Schinnerer. As for the lack of interest in SAP Customer Experience (CX), he’s not surprised.
The re was still a lack of transparency about the scope of functions and services, as well as extensive optimizations for the actual application.
Pole position for Microsoft Azure
When asked about the relevance of various application platforms as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions, it turns out that in Austria, Microsoft Azure in particular has the edge. 17 percent of those surveyed (DACH: 27 percent) are planning medium and high investments for the Azure platform. For the SAP Business Technology Platform and Amazon Web Services, three percent of the respondents each plan for medium investments. In the DACH region, the SAP Business Technology Platform scores better with 17 percent for high and medium investments.
Advances in digital transformation
In addition to individual product areas, the survey also records the status quo of companies in terms of digital transformation – incidentally, independently of and without direct reference to SAP. Overall, 55 percent (DACH: 41 percent) rate their company’s status with regard to digital transformation as “far / very far”. That is an increase of 20 percentage points (DACH: 9 percentage points) compared to the DSAG investment report of the previous year. “
The corona crisis practically forced companies to digitize. Companies not only had to switch to the home office, they also had to rethink their business models and in most cases it seems to have worked well, ”said the DSAG regional board.
When asked about the relevance of investments in relation to digitization in the SAP context in 2021, the picture changed compared to the survey from the summer of DSAGLIVE barely changed. 55 percent of the Austrian respondents (DACH: 63 percent) find increasing the efficiency of existing processes particularly relevant for medium and high investments. 48 percent (DACH: 47 percent) of those surveyed consider it important to make information transparent. In the summer, 33 percent (DACH: 28 percent) saw a need for action here. Investments in order to make customer and partner relationships more flexible are seen by 24 percent (DACH: 26 percent) as relevant. In summer it was 27 percent (DACH: 24 percent) who saw a need for action here.
The development of new digital business models and services is also seen as relevant for investments. 17 percent (DACH: 34 percent) plan medium and high investments here. “Unfortunately, this shows that companies are more interested in optimizing what they already have than in innovatively promoting new topics,” says Walter Schinnerer. Austrian companies want to invest the most in the innovation topics of big data and data intelligence in 2021.
Although the corona crisis has become the driver of digital transformation in many companies, IT managers still have to ensure that the IT in their companies is adapted to the changed business processes and models. “Adaptation to the ‘new normal’ should also take place in such a way that they deal with the topic of cloud use. Using the example of SAP, this means dealing with the question of which products or components the company will work with in the future and where they will be operated, ”Walter Schinnerer describes the upcoming tasks. In addition, it is time to align internal SAP strategies to the future. But for this to be successful, SAP must also make its contribution – for example with an intelligent license model that does justice to SAP’s increasingly integrated product policy.