Why SAP could become the decade’s most sought after IT skill
We’ve all heard of the term ‘business critical’. It can sound rather a cliché but in the case of SAP, the term is justified. It is a business critical application because it handles data transactions across the entire business – from sales and marketing to finance, from manufacturing to HR. It enables the real-time exchange of data and now that many organisations are migrating to digital operating models, it lies at the heart of future competitiveness.
SAP is consistently listed as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant reviews, a competitive overview of different technology companies. This positions IT vendors according to their status as a Leader, Visionary, Challenger and Niche player. It is used by CTOs considering which vendors to invest in. Leaders are considered to execute well against their current vision and are well positioned for tomorrow – they are a safe bet. This article explains why SAP is a safe bet when it comes to planning your future career in IT too.
SAP, the largest ERP vendor in the world
In July 2021, Microsoft reported that SAP was its top IT vendor and this software accounted for the majority of its IT installations. In particular, SAP FICO, SAP CRM and SAP HR were among SAP’s top products installed by Microsoft. Estimates suggest that over three quarters of all business transactions undertaken globally come into contact with SAP software at one point.
It is the largest ERP vendor and 12th largest technology company in the world, used by more than 404,000 businesses across 180 different countries. This position is not surprising, SAP was one of the original software vendors in the ERP space and has continued to lead the industry and its development.
Today, this takes the form of SAP’s S/4 HANA. Aimed at large multinational companies, this is SAP’s flagship ERP offering and it powers some of the world’s largest companies. Coca Cola, Heineken, Audi, Burger King, Atos, Huawei, Tata – all these brands and thousands more rely on SAP. SAP S/4 HANA is used on-premise, in the cloud, or as a hybrid option for companies that want to mix cloud and on-premise systems.
In spite of this track record, it would be a mistake to think of SAP as being just for large enterprises. 80 percent of SAP’s customer base is actually made up of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These organisations use either SAP Business One of SAP Business by Design.
If you are considering a career in the IT industry then developing your SAP skills, and especially in relation to SAP data volume management, will be a safe bet. This trend is true regardless of where you are located.
A worldwide installed customer base
SAP has traditionally had a very strong existing installed base in Europe and this is now expanding globally to other continents as multinationals acquire new businesses to expand their footprints. Typically, when one part of an organisation is already using SAP, this becomes the standard, creating excellent career opportunities for IT professionals with the right skill sets.
India in particular is expected to be among the top cloud markets in the world by 2020 according to SAP’s S/4 Hana leadership team and the country already has a large installed base in excess of 10,000 companies.
Career opportunities within SAP environment
Career opportunities with organisations who are migrating to SAP S/4 HANA will be especially widespread. There are also opportunities for IT professionals who can add value to the thousands of organisations migrating from an earlier version of SAP, ECC, to S4/HANA. This is being driven because support for ECC will cease in 2027 and all users will need to upgrade, either to SAP or another ERP.
The Skill set for the future
If you are considering how to develop your SAP skills, think how your knowledge can enhance your career opportunities. Below are examples of just some of the IT career opportunities available with TJC Group:
- Data management – understanding how to extract data from SAP in the right formats for compliance reporting
- Pre-migration data volume management – readying an organisation for a cost efficient and compliant SAP migration from ECC by removing legacy data
- Data Archiving – understanding how to manage the growth of data within SAP to avoid unnecessary costs and compliance risks
- SAP application development – building SAP-certified applications to enhance the SAP user experience and extract more value from an organisation’s investment
- Business 2 Government compliance consultancy – helping international organisations to protect their reputations by ensuring mandatory fiscal and compliance reporting is completed accurately.