A ‘Skills Crunch’ Is Heading for SAP S/4 HANA – Here’s What to Expect

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If you work in any industry that relies on SAP software, you’re probably well aware that the ERP system’s ECC (Enterprise Core Component) technologies are finally coming to the end of their cycle. Despite providing the foundations of the systems for over 15 years, a shift towards SAP S/4 HANA is already underway.

Companies will be expected to implement the new SAP S/4 HANA skills before 2025, when the migration to the new solutions will be complete. The clock is ticking for SAP workers as well as recruiters. Here’s what all users should know ahead of the biggest shift since the late 1990s.

Educational development will be required

In just over five years’ time, it won’t matter how much experience an SAP employee has. IT professionals, cloud computing consultants, customer project team members – everyone, both new employees and veterans with years of experience – will be in the same boat. After 2025, further education will be required to develop the skills needed for S/4 HANA implementations. This is where SAP Learning Journeys come in.

The SAP Learning Journeys programme allows users to focus on the skills needed for their area of expertise. This covers all areas including (but not limited to) finance, manufacturing, procurement, professional services, enterprise asset management, sales, extensibility, and analytics.

While workers in the industry still have several years to develop the skills, the fact that companies are already feeling the pressure to make the transition means that now is the time to start preparing for the change.

SaaS to offer the simplest solution

SAP S/4 HANA can be adopted in several ways, but a growing number of businesses will be expected to utilise the Software as a Service (SaaS) version of the system. In doing so, some of the technical elements and responsibilities can be passed on to the service providers.

The new streamlined version is a slightly less mature solution than its predecessor, but will provide companies with a simpler approach to unlocking the benefits of SAP software for the ongoing operations, data management, and Enterprise Resource Planning of their ventures.

Using the SaaS version of S/4 HANA may also enable experts to explain things to colleagues and bosses (who do not possess the necessary skills) with far greater ease.

SAP S/4 HANA is on the horizon (but isn’t the only option)

The ERP crunch has been a long time coming, and its implementation reflects the increased popularity and adoption of cloud, artificial intelligence, and digital transformation strategies. But while SAP states that S/4 HANA is the future, cloud and mobile apps ensure that companies are no longer restricted to ERP.

While S/4 HANA supports several key components that are already in place, such as the ABAP application programming language, it may be easier for an ECC specialist to learn S/4 from scratch rather than migrate from another ERP system. It will provide a smoother process when learning the best practices for using newer tools.

Meanwhile, users should know that the simplified and streamlined versions of the software will reduce the opportunities for customization and personalisation. Therefore, those with more advanced needs may find that the cloud and apps are their better solution.

How to fight the crunch

If you want to skill up and fight the crunch, you need to do it sooner rather than later. Check out our candidate page to see how we can find you a role in S/4 HANA, and ensure that you don’t get left behind when the migration is over.

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