SAP provides the technology needed for businesses to transform into intelligent companies
2020 techconsult study “Becoming an intelligent company with SAP – dream or reality?”

With the help of innovative products, intelligent companies are accelerating their digital transformation and automating their work procedures across all departments and beyond. According to the study “Becoming an intelligent company with SAP – dream or reality?”, the majority of companies surveyed already plan to make use of relevant technologies on their way to becoming intelligent companies. These technologies include flexible cloud infrastructures, real-time corporate applications, comprehensive analytical tools and modern technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Vast majority planning steps to transition to an intelligent company

Although the vast majority of companies surveyed in the aforementioned study are already planning to make the transition to become an intelligent company, they usually fail due to obsolete technologies and infrastructures, and because their data silos are not linked to each other. However, making informed decisions about how to quickly and flexibly introduce new business models requires well-founded data and cross-company cooperation. SAP Intelligent Enterprise supports companies with this transformation. The concept is based on the key elements of experience, intelligence and operations. As regards operations, SAP S/4HANA enables quick and integrated data analysis. Various SaaS solutions such as C/4HANA address the customer and employee experience. Intelligence is brought into the equation by SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), which links the fields of experience and operations.

The concept has struck the right note with decision makers: Almost 90 percent consider the integration of all business applications in the company to be relevant, with just under 80 percent deeming an improvement of the customer experience to be essential. Meanwhile, 82 percent of business decision makers in particular are hopeful that this will have a positive impact on the experiences of employees and thus on the perception of them as an attractive employer among potential applicants.

The 2020 techconsult study: “Becoming an intelligent company with SAP – dream or reality?” can be downloaded in full as a PDF, free of charge (only available in German).

The study looks at:

  • What sets intelligent companies apart
  • What is behind the “SAP Intelligent Enterprise” concept
  • The challenges facing companies today and the “new SAP world” solutions they are using to plan for the future
  • The strategies being employed to accomplish the changeover to S/4HANA
  • How businesses aim to profit from innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things applications
  • The benefits and uses of new technologies such as SCP, S/4HANA, Customer Centricity and other SAP-SaaS solutions

2020 techconsult study: “Becoming an intelligent company with SAP – dream or reality?”

Here you will find everything you need to know about becoming an intelligent company with the help of SAP software solutions.

The study was carried out in March and April 2020 by analytical firm techconsult on behalf of Lufthansa Industry Solutions (LHIND). Those surveyed included IT and business decision makers from 307 companies with over 500 employees in Germany who already use SAP solutions or are planning to use them in future. The questions highlight the existing situation and planned use of SAP solutions, the expectations and fears of the companies, as well as their requirements for specialist SAP service providers.

The overall findings and the benefits and uses of SAP technologies such as SCP, S/4HANA, Customer Centricity and other SaaS solutions are presented in the study. The study is available as a free download. Some of the most important findings are listed below.

Which challenges slow companies down when it comes to the changeover to S/4HANA? (Top-5 challenges facing IT decision makers. Based on: 156 IT decision makers, multiple answers possible)

Migration to S/4HANA presents a major challenge for companies

Hardly any companies possess the know-how to independently migrate to S/4HANA . Half of the companies who are planning to use it do not have the requisite expertise within the company to do this. They are apprehensive about the S/4HANA transformation: On the one hand, they are anxious about the long changeover time (42 percent). On the other hand, after the transformation they will not have enough employees with sufficient skillsets to use the new functions (41 percent). Cost is also a decisive factor for 42 percent of respondents. Having said this, SAP expects a major increase in the use of S/4HANA in the coming years. As a result, companies are worried that there will be a lack of qualified SAP consultants (29 percent).

The levels of use of important solutions for intelligent companies vary. What is already being used and what is being planned? Based on: 250 IT decision makers

S/4HANA already used extensively or planned, analytics still in background

The willingness of companies to tread the path towards becoming intelligent companies using SAP solutions over the next few years is already very much in evidence. Certain solutions will continue to occupy a niche, although others are showing increased use. So, for example, SAP S/4HANA is already being used in practice by 39 percent of large companies and almost a fifth of smaller companies. This is expected to increase significantly over the coming years – to 76 percent for smaller companies and 69 percent for larger companies. The uptake of analytics solutions has been less widespread: Only 18 percent of small companies use SAP’s Business Warehouse solution, 39 percent plan to use it in future, and 26 percent have no interest in using it whatsoever.

Greenfield, Brownfield, Bluefield: Which migration strategy is favored by companies who already have S/4HANA or plan to use it? (Based on: 156 IT decision makers)

Greenfield solutions: Which strategies dominate when it comes to migration

The right strategy is crucial when it comes to migrating to S/4HANA. This is where Greenfield, Brownfield and Bluefield (a mixture of Greenfield and Brownfield) pathways come in. 37 percent of companies who plan to use S/4HANA, are opting for a Greenfield approach, giving them a new future-proof system, free of any legacy issues. 34 percent choose the mixed format, despite its comparatively higher levels of complexity. The strategy that entails the lowest risk for the changeover, as well as for the retention of historical data, is the Brownfield strategy, which is chosen by 18 percent of companies.

Dealing with SAP applications presents challenges for companies of all sizes. (Based on: 250 IT decision makers, number of those who responded with “very big” or “big” challenges)

Companies find high level of customization and modification challenging

The linking of devices (IoT) and the transition from classic IT infrastructures to cloud infrastructures are obstacles that companies need to overcome during the transformation. 53 percent of respondents are bothered by the high level of modification and customization required for SAP systems. As well as this, they find it difficult to part with previous data silos in favor of a standardized database and data management (50 percent), and thus to allow cross-company collaboration (50 percent).

Further study results on this and other topics can be found in the 2020 techconsult study: “Becoming an intelligent company with SAP – dream or reality?” The full study is available here in PDF format as a free download (only in German).