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Enterprise Update: SAP

The importance of having the right enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for your company couldn’t be clearer. While these systems are highly advanced, they need talented technology experts and projects solutions to support their ever-changing needs, implementations, or upgrades. Today, we will focus on the SAP Hiring Trends, navigating the transition to S/4 HANA, the scarcity of qualified SAP talent, and insights.

The Essential Transition to SAP’s S/4 HANA Platform

In the dynamic landscape of SAP, a critical development is unfolding that demands immediate attention from businesses: the impending transition to the S/4 HANA platform. As we find ourselves in 2024, it’s crucial to acknowledge that the clock is ticking for companies still navigating this shift.

Originally, the deadline for SAP customers to migrate to S/4 HANA was set for the end of 2025. This timeline was later extended to 2027, and it appears unlikely that SAP will postpone this deadline further. This extension provides a narrow window for a smooth, well-planned migration or implementation, which is rapidly closing.

The Challenge: Scarcity of Qualified SAP Talent

The primary challenge in this transition is unmistakable: the scarcity of qualified resources with authentic expertise in S/4 HANA. The demand for these specialized skills is escalating, leading to a fiercely competitive race for talent. The number of top-tier professionals, capable of ensuring a successful transformation from SAP ECC to S/4 HANA, is limited. Companies that embark on their S/4 transformation sooner will have the advantage of securing and retaining these invaluable experts.

It’s essential to recognize that the journey to S/4 HANA is not a quick sprint but a meticulous marathon. This transformation requires extensive evaluation to confirm its suitability for your business. Following this, businesses face the formidable tasks of securing budget approval, developing robust project plans, and aligning resource strategies for successful implementation. It also cannot be understated how important change management will be as decades old processes and habits will need to be changed inline with the move in systems.

Insights on the Evolving ERP Landscape

A recent Forbes article by Ryan Craig highlights the severity of the talent challenge, with research from the Americas SAP User Group showing that 25% of users view the talent gap as a significant barrier, and 49% report a specific shortage of S/4HANA expertise. This issue affects both clients and SAP systems integrators.

ERP systems like SAP and Oracle, established in the 1970s, have been pivotal in handling a full suite of business functions. With the rise of cloud technology and influences from companies like Salesforce, the way businesses acquire and use software has transformed dramatically. SAP is leading this shift by migrating clients to the cloud through its S/4HANA platform, offering advantages like scalability, security, and cost savings. However, transitioning an entire ERP system to the cloud is a complex task that requires specialized talent.

In other news from an article by Acceleration Economy SAP’s Q4 and annual cloud results have shown impressive growth, with a 39% increase in the total cloud backlog reaching nearly $50 billion, signaling a significant shift towards ERP cloud migrations among global corporations. This trend underscores SAP’s successful push under CEO Christian Klein’s leadership to move over 20,000 on-prem ERP customers to the cloud to enhance agility and competitiveness in an AI-driven economy. Despite this cloud-centric transition, it’s noteworthy that moving from ECC to S/4 does not necessarily mean a cloud deployment, offering flexibility in adoption strategies. SAP’s strategic workforce restructuring aims to align with emerging customer needs, highlighting its focus on innovation and market expansion in response to evolving digital landscapes.

Key SAP Findings:

  • 86% of SAP placements were remote, while 14% were in-office.
  • While the majority of placements were contract over the past year at 86%, 2% were contract to hire, and 12% were permanent placements.
  • A quick survey of our network revealed some insight into what is swaying candidates’ decisions when considering a new job: The top 5 were compensation, working remotely, growth potential, company culture, and having a flexible schedule.

The Top 5 Job Titles Requested Over the Past Year:

  • IT Operations Lead – Supply Chain: This role oversees the IT infrastructure supporting supply chain management, ensuring systems alignment with business goals and supply chain efficiency. The lead manages technological implementations, optimizes processes, and maintains the smooth operation of supply chain-related IT systems.
  • SAP Finance Resource: An SAP Finance Resource advises on and implements SAP Financial Accounting and Controlling (FICO) modules to enhance financial processes and reporting. They work closely with clients to tailor the SAP system to specific financial operations and compliance requirements.
  • SAP HCM Payroll Resource: SAP HCM Payroll Resources specialize in configuring and maintaining the SAP Human Capital Management (HCM) Payroll module, ensuring accurate payroll processing and compliance with tax laws and regulations. They assist with the integration of payroll systems and the implementation of updates and improvements.
  • SAP MM Analyst: An SAP MM Analyst focuses on the Material Management module in SAP, analyzing and optimizing inventory, procurement processes, and supply chain logistics. They support the configuration, deployment, and ongoing management of the SAP MM module within an organization.
  • SAP S/4 CO PC Resource: SAP S/4 CO PC Resources are experts in the Costing (CO) and Profitability Analysis (PC) components of SAP S/4HANA, providing solutions for cost management and financial reporting. They assist in customizing and leveraging the SAP S/4HANA platform for enhanced business financial performance analysis.

In the face of a demanding transition to SAP’s S/4 HANA, the SAP Jobs Report underscores the importance of specialized talent in driving our digital transformation. As we push forward, securing the right expertise is more than a necessity—it’s a strategic differentiator that ensures we remain at the forefront of innovation and operational excellence.

Christine Belmonte, Executive Vice President

Given these insights, our advice to companies is unequivocal: do not delay any longer. The pivotal moment for businesses is now as they navigate the complex journey toward SAP’s S/4 HANA platform. The report not only reflects the critical need for specialized SAP talent but also underscores the urgency with which companies must act to bridge the talent gap. This proactive approach is not just about keeping pace—it’s about seizing the opportunity to redefine and future-proof business operations in an increasingly digital world.

If you find yourself in need of guidance or support during this transition, we are here to assist. Contact us at your earliest convenience to begin your journey towards a successful S/4 HANA transformation.

About Planet Technology

Planet Technology, part of The Planet Group, is an award-winning Technology search and staffing firm. Our Enterprise Systems practice has the technology experts for your projects including SAP, Workday, EHR, ERP, Oracle, Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Cloud, and LIMS. We help systems integrators and end users find the right people for the right projects – every time. We recruit full Enterprise teams to help companies upgrade systems or expedite projects. Whether you are hiring for a specific individual role or need a team to accomplish a project, Planet Technology is your single source solution to fulfill your Enterprise System talent needs.

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