With the impending ECC maintenance deadline looming on the horizon, the crucial switch to S/4HANA is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.
Nothing has caused as much commotion, confusion, and uncertainty for SAP customers as the launch and implementation of SAP S/4HANA, and it’s a ticking time bomb for those businesses who have not yet made the transition.
The upcoming ECC maintenance deadline has been imposed by SAP for the end of 2027, encouraging organisations worldwide to take the plunge and move away from their ageing systems – but with 92% of users concerned about a lack of S/4HANA skills, there’s a compelling demand for training and education around the SAP systems.
If businesses fail to make the transition promptly, competition for S/4HANA skills will become increasingly acute the closer we get to the 2027 deadline. Even now, with four years to go, experienced candidates have the choice of multiple offers, and the best contractors have the luxury to pick between several clients.
It’s been eight years since the launch of S/4HANA and one thing remains the same – significant skills shortages are preventing businesses worldwide from transitioning to S/4HANA and reaping the business benefits that come with it.
SAP S/4HANA Adoption: Next-Generation Technology
SAP has made it clear that the time for a migration is now. And with two-thirds (69 per cent) of ECC clients yet to make the switch, companies worldwide need to ramp up their plans to move away from ECC and begin their journey towards S/4HANA.
“There will definitely be no maintenance extension for SAP ECC beyond 2027”, Juergen Mueller announced at the #DSAGT 23. He recommends that “all companies make the switch to S/4HANA in good time”
The statement was expected by many, as SAP S/4HANA accumulated more than 20,000 customer sales, with around 60 per cent net new customers in the last quarter – not including ECC customers.
But even with ample notice, companies should be aware that switching to a new SAP system is not a simple task. It requires comprehensive planning, proper preparation, and the right resources to ensure their business processes are aligned with the latest industry- standard technologies.
With access to real-time data analysis, the transition enables organisations to manage their business processes more efficiently and cost-effectively. However, whilst recent findings indicate that S/4HANA has become a predominant player in the SAP industry, this is only possible if organisations have sufficient S/4HANA skilled resources and training to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Solutions to the SAP S/4 Skill Shortage Gap
Upskill and Retrain Current IT/SAP Team
It’s time for your employees to move from an ECC to an S/4HANA mindset – but how can you achieve this?
Consider engaging with independent advisory S/4 experts on a contract basis to upskill, advise and guide your current IT/SAP team through the SAP lifecycle from start to finish. With specialist support and knowledge transfer, you’ll be able to bridge the skill gap regarding your transition to S/4HANA.
Becoming an SAP expert gives individuals the edge they need to advance their careers. To get started, SAP learning journeys provide the essential knowledge and skills needed to flourish and succeed. SAP Certification opens up a whole world of new opportunities, ensuring certified individuals stay on top of the latest SAP technologies and trends to become an invaluable asset to any organisation.
Find the best advice from experienced professionals who have travelled a successful path through the SAP ecosystem at Career Corner. SAP experts help beginners to assess their goals and ambitions, determine which certifications to pursue, and identify roles that will benefit their career objectives. Whether you’re aiming for a leadership position or looking to expand your technical skill set, Career Corner and SAP Certification will help to provide the resources you need to get there.
Attract New Talent
Let’s face it, implementing S/4HANA is a complex process. Setting up the right foundation in-house is essential to ensure that your transmission is successful. But even with an internal team of experts, you’ll need some external help and oversight to get everything running smoothly.
When companies use independent contractors and include third-party professionals in their SAP System Integration and migration to S/4HANA, effective knowledge transfer from SAP experts becomes embedded as a robust future business strategy.
It also pays to have that extra helping hand when it comes to recruiting the right SAP talent. That’s why you should trust the expertise of SAP recruitment specialists to get you the best candidates possible amongst the huge competition for S/4HANA skills.
With the right long-term recruitment strategy, you can accelerate your transition to S/4HANA with access to qualified SAP professionals.
Apprenticeship-style programs bridge the gap between formal education and real-world experience, providing a platform for employees to get the necessary training and hands-on experience they need with little or no financial risk.
With access to talented people who may have yet to have had access to traditional educational pathways, apprenticeship programs have the power to expand opportunities with a diverse range of employees. And because apprentices are paid from day one, employees can benefit from a steady income while gaining valuable experience.
With the growing demand for S/4HANA skills, apprenticeships are a valuable asset for any business looking to expand or stay ahead in the competitive SAP landscape.
The SAP industry is undergoing a rapid transformation, and employers increasingly recognise the value of having neurodiverse teams. After all, who better to solve complex problems than those with unique perspectives?
Neurodiversity refers to a variety of neurological conditions such as autism, dyslexia and ADHD which can bring distinctive talents to any workplace. People who are neurodiverse often have unique abilities such as problem-solving skills, creative thinking and the ability to hyper-focus on certain tasks. This can be invaluable in navigating the ever-evolving SAP industry where new innovative solutions are required to solve complex issues.
By embracing diversity, SAP employers can unlock a wealth of potential from neurodiverse individuals, allowing them to make a positive contribution to every workplace.
With that, hiring neurodivergent SAP specialists could not only help employers turn the tide on their current skills shortages but also bring different and valuable ways of thinking that could give companies a competitive advantage.
The SAP Autism Inclusion Pledge initiative is dedicated to creating thriving workplaces with staff on the autism spectrum. This commitment is specifically designed to “help candidates on the spectrum break through preconceptions and stereotypes”, creating more inclusive and supportive structures for neurodivergent employees.
Women in SAP
With consistent advancements in technology, the industry evolves rapidly, yet it remains a male-dominated space – and SAP programmes are no different. Unfortunately, this has created an environment where there’s a real lack of diversity, with only 21% of women believing technology is somewhere they can grow as a professional.
Despite this, our research found that 1 in 4 of our placements in 2022 were women; however, whilst we are proud to be ahead of the industry average, we know there is still work to be done. bluewaveSELECT is proud to support the UK & Ireland SAP User Group and their ‘Women in SAP’ initiative, as well as advising SAP Users on diversity and inclusion best practices.
The initiative aims to encourage and promote gender diversity in the field of SAP technology, both within UKISUG and the wider tech industry. The Special Interest Group provides a forum for women to come together and share experiences, challenges and insights that can help shape the future direction of Women in SAP.
And so, global tech organisations need to consider how we can encourage the next generation of women in SAP to thrive in the industry.
Strong Retention Strategy
The post-pandemic era has changed the way we all work – and the SAP world is no different.
With 54% of candidates seeking remote and hybrid working models, employers must ensure that these new ways of working are not only productive but fulfilling as well – a strong retention strategy can help make your company the place to be!
The 2022 SAP User Group Connect Conference offered an invaluable opportunity to explore the newest trends in the SAP landscape and connect with thought leaders from around the world.
The findings from the annual Connect Conference reinforced that S/4HANA is unsurprisingly a major force in the SAP industry, with 25% of surveyed users already moved to this platform. This number increased to 89% when including those currently planning the move from a previous 74% in 2021.
However, almost a third of companies rated the training they received from partners as poor or very poor whilst 36% said SAP itself does not provide customers with the technical resources or training they need to help them bring S/4HANA into their organisation.
Attract the Best SAP Talent with bluewaveSELECT
Are you looking to attract, secure and engage experienced S/4HANA professionals? Look no further than bluewaveSELECT.
We understand that transitioning to S/4HANA is a daunting task. From placing over 5,000 SAP professionals worldwide to maintaining a 100% rete1ntion rate, we’re well-equipped to make the process as pain-free as possible – facilitating your business’s future growth and competitive advantage.
We are specialists strategically focused on S/4HANA since 2015, making us uniquely positioned to help you with any challenge that comes your way. With fully compliant and cost-effective solutions for sourcing, screening and hiring SAP S/4HANA experts, alongside ad hoc advisory services, companies can make the impactful transition with confidence.
Our team of S/4HANA experts at bluewaveSELECT have worked diligently to ensure that our talent pool of consultants is as deep and diverse as possible. With a wide range of skills and experience across all areas of SAP technology, we are confident that our customers looking to migrate to S/4HANA will find the right consultant to meet their needs.