Cloud Digital Transformation Press Release Security

DSAG Report 2023: Budget Growth and Industry Criticism Part 2

According to findings from the Investment Report 2023 published by the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), the Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) continues to gain approval. SAP’s pricing policy in the cloud environment and its industry strategy are criticized. If you missed part one of this two-part report, you can find it here.

BTP relevant for data and analytics

In the Business Technology Platform, the area of data and analytics (e.g., Hana Cloud, Analytics Cloud) with 38 percent high and medium investments (2022: 39 percent) is ahead of application development and automation and integration with 17 percent each for high and medium investments. Artificial intelligence brings up the rear with three percent for high and medium investments.

„The importance of data and analytics remains at the previous year’s level and underscores the importance of agile action in fast-moving times. Real-time analyses, forecasts, and concrete planning play a major role,“ says Jens Hungershausen, DSAG Chairman.

 SAP’s Datasphere product, which is designed to make it easier for business customers to process and analyze critical business information, fits into this context. It addresses DSAG’s long-standing demand for the consolidation of SAP and non-SAP data.

Cloud pricing policy put to the test

This investment report also asked for the first time for an assessment of SAP’s pricing policy in the cloud environment. Five percent describe themselves as satisfied. Twenty percent rate their status as neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 26 percent of respondents did not provide any information.

“Of course, this result does not hide the fact that almost half of the respondents do not like SAP’s pricing policy. But I see this as a fundamental problem that customer companies have with all providers of cloud solutions,” says Jens Hungershausen, summing up the results. And he adds: “The planned annual price increase for SAP cloud services has caused a lot of criticism among DSAG members. We are convinced that reliable mechanisms for price development are needed. This is another reason why these values are like an echo of a reaction from SAP customers already shown last year. A recurring annual increase in prices makes it more difficult for companies to move to the cloud.”

No across-the-board price increases

DSAG has communicated its expectations to SAP in this regard—namely, a holistic regulation that benefits all user companies and is not based on across-the-board annual increases. During the DSAG keynote speech at the 2023 Technology Days Conference in Germany, the interest group called on SAP to refrain from applying the 3.3 percent price increase to cloud services that have been put into maintenance mode or discontinued.

“If customers are asked to pay even more for cloud solutions that have already been discontinued or are no longer maintained, this creates a negative impression of the manufacturer—and from DSAG’s point of view, that cannot be SAP’s goal,” says Jens Hungershausen.

Agreement with SAP industry strategy could be improved

As far as the satisfaction of the survey participants with the SAP strategy for their respective industry is concerned, 22 percent are satisfied, 39 percent are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 23 percent are dissatisfied. 10 percent said they were very dissatisfied. 6 percent did not provide any information. Among those who are satisfied are, for example, the high-tech and electronics industries, the public sector, and the consumer goods industry. Among the dissatisfied are the health care sector, the metal, wood, and paper industry, and the chemical industry.

From DSAG’s point of view, satisfaction in the public sector in particular was due to SAP’s announcement last year that it would operate cloud sites exclusively for public administration in the future. Dissatisfaction with the industry strategy can be observed, for example, in the healthcare sector. This is in part because SAP has announced that there will be no successor solution to the SAP industry solution SAP Patient Management in the S/4 Hana ERP world, thus presenting clinics and hospitals with major challenges. A DSAG survey in the healthcare field confirms the results of the investment report and states: the SAP strategy does not fit the reality hospitals are facing.

Companies invest in further training

When it comes to training, companies provide each employee with a certain budget. For 21 percent of respondents, this budget for 2023 is between 1,000 and 1,999 EUR, for 18 percent between 500 and 999 EUR, and for 17 percent between 2,000 and 4,999 EUR. Four percent have 5,000 EUR and more available, and 12 percent less than 500 EUR.

“For projects such as the introduction of the SAP Business Technology Platform or other cloud solutions, experience and specific know-how are needed. If this has to be built up first, a training budget makes perfect sense. The fact that a wide range is covered here shows how different the knowledge is in the respective areas,” summarizes Jens Hungershausen.

Cybersecurity continues to gain relevance

Among the overarching topics with relevance for investment planning, cybersecurity is clearly in first place at 88 percent (2022: 78 percent) with high and medium relevance. It is followed by the automation of processes, which has a high and medium relevance of 68 percent. The importance of cybersecurity in particular is not unexpected.

“Preventing a hacker attack is indeed impossible. But there are a number of measures that companies and users can take to prepare themselves,” says Jens Hungershausen. Among other things, DSAG considers a security dashboard that has been on the list of demands for some time to be an important element in anticipating security-related attacks. Together with SAP, DSAG is working on a corresponding solution that automatically shows which security-relevant settings need to be made and where security gaps exist in the company’s respective SAP landscape.

This report has been split into two parts. To read the first part, click here.

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