15 Jul 2021
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Changing SAP landscape causing challenges for business - report

By Shannon Williams

A new report from Tricentis has revealed disruption in the SAP environment poses risks for businesses.

Tricentis announced the release of its SAP Business Assurance Report: State of Worldwide SAP Testing, in conjunction with Capgemini and Sogeti. The report explores current SAP adoption and implementation trends and organisations’ preparedness to deal with the challenges emerging from the changing SAP landscape.

The report, backed by case studies and testimonials, assesses the existing methods organisations use for SAP business assurance, the departments responsible for SAP business assurance quality and the use of specialist service providers, as well as their future plans around it.

“SAP’s ERP system acts as the backbone of business processes across departments for organisations globally," says Wolfgang Platz, founder and chief strategy Officer at Tricentis.

"While businesses continue to benefit from it, the overall SAP environment has undergone rapid disruption in recent years,” he says. 

“These disruptions pose new business process risks, implementation challenges, cost impact, and, most importantly, increased level of complexity for enterprises. In our latest report, we set out to explore how prepared businesses were to address these challenges, and the steps they were taking to do so.”

More than 750 respondents from organisations with revenue over 1 billion USD in 17 countries from a multitude of verticals were surveyed for the report. 

Among the surveyed companies ECC is still the most common platform, ahead of S/4HANA, though most companies are moving or planning to do so. 

ECC is the most popular SAP version, used by 43.2% of the surveyed organisations. S/4HANA’s adoption rate is 33.1%.

The report found 91.9% of those organisations that have not upgraded to S/4HANA have either already begun the migration or plan to do it in the next 24 months.

Data migration (43.5%) and data security (42.8%) are the two most prominent challenges that organisations face while moving to advanced versions/updates. 

According to the report, most organisations (~91%) realise the importance of engaging a specialised service provider to overcome the challenges faced in implementing advanced SAP versions/updates.

There is a strong prevalence of specialist testing service providers, and 36.2% of respondents rely on them for SAP business assurance. 

The report also found 27.4% use a hybrid model, which includes both an in-house team and a specialist testing service provider, and 45.1% of respondents use a specialist testing service provider for API testing/component testing, while 43.7% use one for performance testing.

The need for faster implementation, growing complexity, and lack of skilled resources have influenced organisations’ shift towards the use of automation in SAP testing. Around a quarter of surveyed organisations have an automated SAP testing system in place, and 29.9% organisations still rely on a manual approach. The report found 43.5% organisations use a combination of manual and automated SAP testing.

“The report reveals that many organisations are planning to increase the use of testing across all stages of project lifecycle in the coming months,” says Mark Buenen, global leader of digital assurance and quality engineering services at Capgemini Group. 

“They are also exploring the use of automation for SAP testing and agree that it can deliver more than 50% efficiency gains," he says. 

"Advanced technologies such as AI and ML are also likely to gain more traction in this space in the future.”

Platz commented on the report’s findings: “The changing times have created a pressing need for organisations to take a more focused and structured approach to run end-to-end SAP testing processes to reduce or eliminate any business risks that might emerge from the implementation of SAP updates," he says.

“However, while most organisations now realise the importance of a robust business assurance process in ensuring the success and efficiency of SAP system, the study found that their level of maturity, approach, use of technology, and readiness for automation still seem to be evolving.”

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