In 2017, one-third of members of the German-speaking SAP user group DSAG said they would switch to S/4 Hana in the next three years (Investment Survey 2018). By the end of 2018, only ten percent were already using S/4 Hana. In 2018 (Investment Survey 2019), almost 40 percent of members thought that the switch should happen within the next three years. In the latest DSAG investment survey for 2021, however, only 14 percent state that they have a productive S/4 Hana system.
Obviously, customers are willing to switch, but implementation is failing. The hesitant commitment of SAP partners hints at numerous still unresolved organizational, technical, and licensing problems. While SAP has invested time and money into marketing S/4 Hana, it doesn’t seem to have improved its next gen ERP system as much as its customers and partners would like.
Enthusiasm is also high for the coming three-year period in the latest DSAG Investment Report, with almost 40 percent saying they will now start to tackle the release change. However, 35 percent also said that they would only start in three years’ time, that they would stay with SAP ERP/ECC 6.0 altogether, or that they hadn’t made a decision yet. The absolute deadline in 2030 is still a long way off, but who knows what will happen in the meantime? The evolution of IT could produce a new, potent SAP competitor. If switching to another ERP system becomes as expensive or cheaper than an S/4 release change, SAP will be in for trouble – at least based on the DSAG figures.