The findings of the report, which have been detailed in a white paper titled ‘How Automation Accelerates Innovation for SAP Operations Teams’, concluded that an overwhelming 87 percent of IT professionals indicated they experience system complexity at their organizations, with reasons for these difficulties varying, depending on a combination of SAP-driven, internal, or external factors.
Driving this complexity is the integration of SAP and non-SAP systems, with 59 percent of respondents citing this as an issue. In addition, the report found that the top challenges for teams in running SAP projects are a lack of resources (52 percent); high costs (45 percent); a lack of consistency in managing, configuring, and onboarding IT systems (35 percent); and human error (32 percent).
“SAP implementations once signified wholesale business transformation. We now see more and more businesses integrating unmanageable levels of complexity and teams are beginning to suffer,” says John Appleby, CEO of Avantra. “The challenges mentioned in the research create the conditions that lead to the vicious cycle some SAP operations teams are experiencing today. They are so busy keeping up with the growing complexity of their existing systems that they are struggling to innovate.”
While SAP project teams struggle to stay on top of integrations and the introductions of new applications, the need for effective automation has never been more important. Growing complexity and tighter budgets brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic mean businesses must act fast.
Appleby added, “With 34 percent of businesses in the process of planning to implement S/4 Hana, organizations must determine a plan to manage their new SAP systems to continue to benefit from the promised innovations long after the consultants finish the implementation. Given the current economic conditions, it’s unlikely that IT teams will be able to hire more team members or increase their budgets. Increasingly strained team members are likely to approach projects inconsistently or make more errors than normal. Automating the delivery and maintenance of these important SAP projects may be the only way for IT operations teams to solve these challenges now.”