SAPinsider Report: CIO's 2022 SAP Agenda - Part 2
Part 2: The Challenges
September 12, 2022

David Lees
Basis Technologies

SAPinsider surveyed nearly 200 CIOs to get first-hand insight into their key challenges for 2022.

Start with: SAPinsider Report: CIO's 2022 SAP Agenda - Part 1

Keeping up with the latest technology

The number one challenge cited by CIOs was keeping up with the latest technology. For SAP users, adopting new technology in today's environment means moving to S/4HANA and unsurprisingly, nearly 60% of respondents said S/4HANA is the top strategic investment for them this year. And while the true number of organizations who have fully embraced the new platform may be up for debate, SAPinsider found that across the board, companies were farther along in their S/4HANA journey than they were last year, indicating adoption is indeed on the rise.

One of the most important factors to consider when moving to S/4HANA is the role automation can play. Here are some of the biggest challenges I hear from customers and how automation can help:

Managing multiple landscapes: SAP Automation allows companies to automatically keep S/4HANA landscapes in sync with legacy systems to avoid change freezes, accelerate S/4 migration and support regular S/4 upgrades.

Remediating custom code: Automation can support the entire process of SAP custom code analysis and remediation, cutting down on the time and budget it would take to do so manually.

Synchronizing deployments: Automatically deploy change throughout the landscape of choice (legacy or S/4) and then selectively apply those changes to the other as required to keep both in sync.

Keeping up with technology also means adopting and implementing new tools quickly so they begin to deliver value as soon as possible.

Hiring and retaining staff

Hiring and retaining staff was the second greatest challenge cited by CIOs as firms across the globe have been impacted by "The Great Resignation." Research shows nearly half of professionals are anticipating moving jobs in the next 6 months while two-thirds of employers are actively recruiting. So, while you're looking for top-notch talent, other firms are trying to hire yours away.

I recently wrote a blog about the hiring challenges facing SAP businesses in the current market, specifically how to insulate yours from the potential risks. One such risk is that change and release processes tend to be manual, so when an employee leaves they take all of their valuable knowledge and skills with them. Alternatively, companies who automate these processes won't skip a beat if someone leaves the team. All workflows are fully documented, including the appropriate approvals, checks and analysis.

Automation can also help keep people from leaving in the first place by reducing stress and demand to deliver more, faster. Without having to focus so much on daily mundane tasks, employees are freed up to focus on more strategic projects which is better for the business and gives them a greater sense of value and contribution to the team.

And, learning that your organization uses best-in-class automation tools can be a draw for new talent when it is time hire.

Aligning with business objectives

31% of respondents listed aligning with business objectives as their top challenge. Often these objectives include driving growth through internal transformation or product innovation.
With SAP powering so many vital operations, the business can't afford to wait when they're trying to meet strategic growth goals. Organizations need to innovate quickly across their IT landscape to stay ahead of the competition and exceed customer expectations. SAP must be as agile, flexible and responsive as the rest of the IT stack.

DevOps automation for SAP closes the gap between the development of business requirements and the delivery of innovation through safe, on-demand, continuous change. Deployment of functionality as soon as it's ready, rather than waiting for the next release cycle, reduces time to market for products and services that provide a competitive edge.

A DevOps approach also breaks down silos, enabling SAP teams to collaborate more effectively with the business. Now, IT and business teams can effectively build and deliver customer value faster and more effectively.

Conclusion

There's a lot on CIO's plates today with the need to determine key priorities and focus areas for their teams while working to overcome the challenges of the new business environment. Overall, the speed of modern business is faster than ever before and firms that can't keep up will be left behind. The right tools can empower companies with the agility, flexibility and stability needed to thrive, this year and beyond.

David Lees is CTO at Basis Technologies
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