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November 2, 2009updated 23 Aug 2016 3:02pm

SAP users wary upgrading

User group warns of competitive dangers of delays

By Janine Milne



UK SAP customers ‘short-termism’ attitude to delaying software upgrades could jeopardise their long-term competitiveness.


A survey by SAP UK & Ireland revealed that more than half (54%) of SAP users plan to upgrade in the next 12 months, but most felt the cost of upgrading was too high.


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While he understood the current pressures on costs, forcing many companies to put upgrades on the back-burner, Alan Bowling, chairman of the SAP UK & Ireland User Group, warned of the dangers of delaying. “People are very much in short-termism mode and therein lies a sorry tale in terms of the UK, because it’s not the same story in the rest of the world. We have to be careful we’re not stuck because we’re not taking a strategic view,” said Bowling.


The strategic view, according to Bowling, would be to upgrade to the latest release, which is a step-change in technology from previous versions that will future-proof companies for the next seven or eight years. It would also change the way the company works and the kind of IT professionals required for the job. “New versions of the software are more business process-oriented and need less technical experts,” he said.


Only 35% of the organisations interviewed were using the latest SAP version (ECC 6.0). Those planning to upgrade were doing so because they were coming to the end of their current maintenance period (62%), followed by new application functionality (26%).



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