2014 DSAG Annual Conference: Results of the latest DSAG study on cloud and HANA solutions unveiled
Demand for innovation potential to be demonstrated
The 15th DSAG Annual Conference is taking place at the Congress Center Leipzig from October 14–16 and focuses on the theme “Customers first – in search of future-oriented solutions and sustainability”. This reflects the situation in which companies find themselves today. They are confronted with a huge number of innovative products such as cloud and HANA-powered solutions, which are intended to improve or simplify processes or tasks in the future. But do these offerings fit companies’ needs and existing IT landscapes? A survey conducted by DSAG in July/August has revealed what members currently make of these innovations, with a total of 524 members taking part. The key results are that, although DSAG members are implementing cloud solutions, ERP systems entirely moved to the cloud, will remain an exception in the companies in the next five years. 16 percent of those who responded to the survey are interested in the SAP Business Suite powered by HANA. However, the overwhelming majority (80 percent) are extremely wary, as its innovation potential for companies is not yet clear. It should be SAP’s job to provide examples and case studies that demonstrate how HANA can improve standard business processes. DSAG is available for further discussion on any of these topics.
Software-as-a-Service is reality for 34 percent of the member companies. This is a result of DSAG´s investment survey 2014, which referred to the use of cloud software solutions in general. But the majority employ it for subsidiary processes such as staff development or supplier management. And when it comes to entire ERP systems, the survey paints a different picture. Just five percent of respondents consider moving their ERP system to the cloud in the next five years as a realistic option. However, 18 percent of CIOs surveyed are contemplating hybrid models. Marco Lenck, Chairman of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) explains: “For most companies, ERP systems are among the most complex IT solutions. They’re therefore extremely cautious when making any changes at all in this environment.”
Pros and cons of a cloud-based ERP system
When it comes to moving ERP systems to the cloud, all those surveyed identify benefits such as lower total cost of ownership. They also expect a positive impact in terms of internationalization and faster access to new functions. On the other hand, they see potential problems with regard to in-house developments, the necessary interfaces, and increased dependence on service providers. The protection of a firm’s in-house expertise must also be clarified in the case of large cloud deployments. Survey respondents expect either little or no impact on user friendliness, modelling new processes, or on testing and training for updates. Overall, the following questions must be cleared up before a business is ready to move its ERP to the cloud: How does SAP handle modifications and in-house developments, and what does it offer for interface integration? More generally, there must also be protection for a company’s information and intellectual property. Marco Lenck summarizes the expectations of users: “When moving business-critical processes to the cloud, the parameters have to be right. As long as the risks outweigh the opportunities, SAP customers will only transfer individual, non-critical processes.”
Low demand for Business Suite on HANA
A further topic addressed by the online survey was Business Suite on HANA and its adaptation. Despite the benefits gained by the DSAG in terms of licenses for Business Suite on HANA, member companies remain reluctant to invest in this product. Consolidation and rollout projects still take priority. Nevertheless, some businesses have had initial experiences with it: Around five percent of those surveyed are currently making or have already completed the transition to Business Suite on HANA. A further 11 percent are planning to deploy it. However, more than 80 percent admit that they are not considering it. And the DSAG survey also revealed why – as Marco Lenck explains: “It’s not necessarily the costs or technical knowledge. The basic problem is that, for many customers, there is no obvious business case. They simply don’t see the innovation potential for their business processes at this time.” This finding by the DSAG is also consistent with that of other countries – a survey by Americas' SAP Users' Group in summer 2014 revealed very similar results.
From the perspective of DSAG, SAP’s task is clear. As Marco Lenck looks ahead: “SAP has to work on the value proposition for Business Suite on HANA. It needs to provide concrete examples of how HANA can help innovatively improve standard business processes or reduce costs by simplifying IT structures. We’ll work together with SAP on this.”
Besides specific requirements regarding new products, DSAG is also calling on SAP to focus more on the customer, highlight innovation potential and create a genuine user experience. That's because, at the end of the day, future-oriented and customer-focused solutions paired with sustainable change result in successful, satisfied customers.
Background to the survey
The DSAG survey was conducted in July/August 2014 among IT managers, CC managers and other representatives from DSAG member companies. In total, 524 businesses in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, across all industries and company sizes, participated in the survey – including 157 CIOs.
About the DSAG Annual Conference
Around 4,000 visitors will attend this three-day event hosted by the DSAG at the Congress Center Leipzig. As Europe’s largest gathering of SAP users, it features almost 200 lectures in 54 seminars and 175 partners will exhibit across an area of 14,000 m2.
The German-speaking SAP User Group (Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe) e. V. of Walldorf, Germany, is an independent special interest group that represents all SAP users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The group’s mission is to encourage the realization of SAP solutions that meet members’ needs and to promote the exchange of experiences and information both among SAP customers as well as with SAP. Founded in 1997, DSAG is a registered association (eingetragener Verein) with more than 2,900 companies with more than 50,000 registered DSAG-members. DSAG is currently one of the largest SAP user groups and influencing channels worldwide.
Die Deutschsprachige SAP-Anwendergruppe e. V. (DSAG) in Walldorf versteht sich als eine unabhängige Interessenvertretung aller SAP-Anwender in Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz. Ziel der DSAG ist es, darauf hinzuwirken, dass bedarfsgerechte SAP-Lösungen geschaffen werden sowie den Erfahrungs- und Informationsaustausch sowohl der SAP-Kunden untereinander als auch mit SAP zu fördern. Die 1997 als eingetragener Verein gegründete DSAG zählt heute über 3.200 Mitgliedsunternehmen mit 60.000 Mitgliedspersonen und hat sich als eine der größten SAP-Anwendergruppen weltweit etabliert. Weitere Informationen finden Sie unter: www.dsag.de, www.dsag.at, www.dsag-ev.ch.