A Look Ahead: SAP insight into 2021

Posted on March 2021 By Speller International
Sap Insights

There’s no shortage of articles about how the pandemic changed businesses in 2020, however in this blog we discuss this in context to the SAP market.

It is likely if you are looking to hire candidates in 2021, you’ll find some unexpected challenges in the market. If you’re a contractor, you’ll probably find a rapid increase of in demand roles.

So, what were the challenges faced by the SAP market in 2020? We take a deep dive into the aspects of SAP that have been most affected by COVID-19 and the changes that you can expect to see implemented in 2021.

2020 What Happened & What Didn't?

S4 HANA was running full steam ahead with multiple implementations in stream, and many due to start in early to mid 2020. What we saw was projects that were quite advanced and had completed the business requirements, continued to build momentum, and a few even went live remotely.

Yet projects that were scheduled to start, were placed on hold and almost all work stopped. The reason? We believe there were too many variables surrounding how the business interaction would work, and how to deliver remotely. This theme carried across the broader SAP landscape not just S4, and lead to a quiet market.

In our opinion, the majority of these projects will come back online in 2021. The need for these changes is still there and we feel that this will lead to a high demand in SAP resources where S4 and cloud skills will come at a premium.

Lockdown Disasters or an Opportunity?

Australia responded well to our strict lockdowns, with almost all SAP companies being able to setup remotely and continue operations from the comfort of our own living room, dining room, home offices... anywhere really!

What was not predicted was the impact lockdown had on other countries like India where a lot of our offshore support is. They were not as effective at moving their workforce from the office to remotely and this led to numerous issues with clients that have come to rely on them for support.

We believe this will lead some companies to have a look at the reliance on offshore support and look at how they can structure their local teams or create a more Hybrid option. Again, we feel this will have a positive impact on the SAP market locally.

Offshore Support & Delivery

Australia has always relied on expert resources from abroad who have worked on the emerging product suite SAP provides, to bring these new skills and technologies to Australia. As we know immigration is non-existent at the moment so this will not be possible for the foreseeable future. We believe this will lead to more Australian resources being required to complete the implementations, and as mentioned before, this will come at a premium.

Government Spending, Stimulus & Incentives

As we all know, the government provided a lot of stimulus to assist in combatting the financial affects of COVID, such as job keeper and tax concessions to name a couple.

Now that we seem to be getting back to 'normal' the government has provided further incentives to encourage spending amongst large corporates. Things like immediate capitalisation of depreciation and recouping of losses against tax paid in previous years should provide many companies with the funding to continue to spend on their IT roadmap.

In addition to private companies, we have seen a large push towards SAP from both State and Federal governments. We don’t see this trend changing and feel a number of Government departments will continue their spend in this space. This is a great opportunity for Australian SAP resources, as they have strict security requirements, which means most of this spend will stay domestic. All companies were impacted differently, and their spending will look very different to what was forecast for the year, but we believe these incentives will strengthen the case for further spending.

Niche Skills & New Products

Everyone is moving to the cloud, which means the S4HANA suite will become much more prevalent, and we will see a large uptake in the coming 12-24 months. What this means for contractors is if you have experience and understand the nuances between ECC and S4 you will be in demand. For companies looking to implement S4HANA, you will be fighting for the top talent. If you are not willing to pay and do not move quickly it is likely some one else will.

With 2021 well underway, it is likely we will start to get a full understanding of the SAP market movement over the next few months. In the meanwhile, let us know what you believe the challenges and changes for 2021 will be.

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