Companies Anticipate 30% Cost Savings with AI, Favor Cloud for SAP S/4HANA

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DateJul 3, 2024

A recent study commissioned by NTT DATA Business Solutions reveals a significant shift in priorities among SAP and IT managers across Europe and the USA. The study reveals companies expect up to 30% cost savings through AI. The increasing IT landscape complexity emphasizes the need for seamless SAP and non-SAP integration. Over 70% of companies prefer the latest SAP S/4HANA version, predominantly cloud-based.

The study conducted by the analyst firm PAC, commissioned by NTT DATA Business Solutions, surveyed 200 SAP and IT managers in Europe and the USA to gauge the current state and future trends in SAP operations. The study, titled SAP Application Management in Europe and the USA and conducted between January and March 2024, reveals significant impacts and opportunities brought about by innovative technologies. It offers a deep dive into how companies manage their software and the challenges they face, particularly with SAP S/4HANA, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other emerging technologies.

The survey highlights that over 70% of respondents have adopted the latest version of SAP S/4HANA, with a preference for cloud-based solutions. Notably, 67% have chosen the RISE with SAP public Cloud option. Beyond Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), SAP applications are widely used in areas such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Human Capital Management (HCM), and Supplier Relationship Management (SRM). The Software as a Service (SaaS) model is predominantly employed, with 72% utilizing it for specific business processes, exemplified by SAP SuccessFactors in HCM for comprehensive employee lifecycle management.

Additionally, many organizations integrate other software from leading platform providers, such as Microsoft (35%), Salesforce (30%), and Adobe (26%). This diverse array of applications alongside core SAP systems introduces new integration challenges.

Orchestration Solutions

Ulrich Kreitz, Executive Manager at NTT DATA Business Solutions Germany and Head of Managed Services, emphasizes the necessity of seamless integration between SAP and non-SAP applications. This often requires special interfaces, data integration strategies, and tools, as well as solutions for managing user identities and access rights.

Effective orchestration solutions are essential for monitoring and controlling the performance, availability, and security of both on-premise and Cloud-based resources.

As system complexity grows, collaboration with external partners in SAP consulting and system integration becomes increasingly important. The survey indicates that 77% of respondents prioritize expertise in SAP system security and smooth operations when selecting an SAP partner. IT partners like NTT DATA Business Solutions provide critical support in implementing, managing, and optimizing SAP systems in the Cloud.

Mr. Kreitz adds, “We know the best practices, tools, and methods that support, automate, and accelerate Cloud migration. Additionally, we offer frameworks that can automate tasks such as system monitoring, troubleshooting, or patch management.”

The study also highlights the growing role of Automation and AI in SAP AM. Automation is most prevalent in Service Desk (31%), Security (37%), and Testing (46%) areas, enhancing efficiency and reducing errors. Manufacturing companies, in particular, benefit from minimized operational interruptions and ensured production continuity. Furthermore, the integration of AI into AM is expected to yield efficiency gains and cost savings of up to 30%, especially in Monitoring (71%), Documentation (79%), and System Administration (76%).

S/4HANA Innovations

SAP BTP is set to underpin all SAP Cloud products and S/4HANA innovations, providing a unified data model for developing, extending, and integrating solutions. This platform facilitates faster innovation through traditional tools, no-code/low-code solutions, preconfigured analysis models, and self-service analytics. As more companies transition to the cloud-based S/4HANA edition, the demand for SAP BTP grows, driven by the need for custom extensions.

NTT DATA Business Solutions, together with its subsidiary Natuvion GmbH, also released the Transformation Study 2024, which involved 1,200 CEOs, CIOs, and IT decision-makers from 15 countries. This study further underscores the complexities and challenges of digital transformation, highlighting the critical role of innovative technologies and strategic partnerships in navigating this evolving landscape.

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