In coordination with Onapsis, the Americas SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) recently conducted a research project to better understand how SAP customers are thinking about major transformation and cloud migration projects, the decision-makers involved and how they are moving their businesses forward. A key focus of the survey was to determine the role cybersecurity plays in these projects, who are the key security decision-makers and what challenges organizations face to ensure SAP mission-critical applications are protected whether they are hosted in cloud, hybrid or on-premises environments.
SAP Transformation and Cloud Migration
As highlighted in the survey, almost half of the respondents’ organizations have a specific strategy in place today for SAP digital transformation. These digital transformation strategies include:
- Using a best-of-breed approach to build a single digital core with strategic integrations
- Migrating mission-critical applications to the cloud in order to take advantage of machine learning, artificial intelligence or big data analytics
- Migrating to SAP S/4HANA
To get a better idea about what transformation and cloud migration projects are currently in the works or planned, survey respondents stated that SAP S/4HANA (57%) and migrating business applications to the cloud (48%) were the priority projects. For SAP S/4HANA projects, 78% of respondents are either live now, in process or planning their transformation project.
The top reason for respondents’ organizations to take on a digital transformation project is that going digital is key to their business strategy. Other reasons to take on a digital transformation include the need to optimize business processes and to enhance the customer experience.
Assessing the Role of Security SAP S/4HANA Projects
91% of respondents stated that they feel security plays an extremely important role for SAP S/4HANA projects. The top security challenge related to SAP systems was the complexity of putting security measures in place and the effort related to controls, integrations and maintaining compliance. When asked who is responsible for determining the role in SAP S/4HANA transformation projects, 51% of respondents stated C-level executives with 78% stating that the IT staff was responsible for maintaining the security of SAP systems.
Cloud Plans and Impacts on Security
Within the next year, analytics, ERP and HR functions will be the top SAP applications respondents will be moving to the cloud. 39% of respondents felt their organizations’ approach to security has also changed because of using the cloud. As more workloads are migrated, customers may expect security to become more standardized, increased use of multi-factor authentication rules, or more monitoring of business systems in general with cloud use. When looking at how respondents handle cloud migrations, organizations will likely be relying on permanent staff learning cloud skills as they go (56%) while experiencing one of the top complexities with cloud use, security challenges (32%).
The results of the survey showed that most organizations are in the process of a large SAP transformation or cloud migration project. It is not surprising that many organizations are working on or planning an SAP S/4HANA project as the deadline to move legacy systems to SAP S/4HANA is coming in 2027. Also highlighted in the survey is that cybersecurity is top of mind with these projects but is also a significant challenge. No matter what stage of your S/4HANA implementation you are in, there are tools to help you successfully migrate through the critical stage of adoption. Onapsis will be speaking at the ASUG SAP S/4HANA virtual experience March 9th - 11th to help you with planning and prep for a frictionless end-to-end SAP S/4HANA implementation.