SAP has accumulated a great deal of flaws over time. The company’s disruptive cloud attempts have resulted in a heterogeneous company. SAP CEO Christian Klein is now trying to fix the emerging construction site by spackling over any holes and developing a more far-reaching strategy.
Currently, however, the SAP CEO is trying to prevent the company from collapsing under the weight of cloud computing. In this he has had some success; he is holding back the flood. Cloud computing could become not only an operational success, but also a financial one. Profits are still lacking at the moment, but financial analysts have confidence, and the stock price is rising.
In his effort to avert disaster, to plug and spackle over all the cracks and leaks in his company, Christian Klein is losing his strategic vision. He is a prisoner of his operational challenges. SAP would not survive a flood breaching through the cracks Klein has so judiciously spackled over. The dam must hold.
Cracks in the facade
Christian Klein has in SAP CFO Dominik Asam an experienced comrade-in-arms. The other board members are no less talented, but they lack experience and commitment. In terms of technology and applications, there is no doubt that interest ideas have been put forward. However, there is a lack of feeling for SAP’s customers and the company’s own history, something essential to creating a proper roadmap for the company. Marketing activities are currently nowhere to be seen at SAP.
Holding back the flood
The human resources department is in shambles. The member of the Executive Board responsible for that situation is leaving the company at the end of the year. That’s not all, however. In a graph published in the German “Manager Magazin”, which list the employers Germany’s young engineers prefer, SAP comes in a distant 39th place, even lower than their 37th place last year. This puts SAP far behind the German railway (Deutsche Bahn) and the army (Bundeswehr). Accordingly, there is a good deal that requires maintenance at SAP. What is currently missing is an analysis of why the dam is leaking. Desperate times call for desperate measures. If danger is imminent, help must be provided, action must be taken, and repairs must be made, and quickly. Christian Klein does an excellent job in this respect. He keeps an eye on critical construction sites and, because of his experience, knows how to avert disasters.
But this successful maintenance work will not be enough. The SAP community demands more. The SAP community needs a strategic perspective, an ERP roadmap, not an S/4 maintenance promise. Customers need the trust and assurance that SAP is actively working towards the future.
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