The SAP IT Talent Shortage Means Turning to PIPs

It’s no secret that hiring IT talent is harder than ever. And SAP manufacturers have always been challenged to find the unique skill set that can connect to, configure, and maintain their SAP ERP. In fact, research from the Americas’ SAP User’s Group (ASUG) confirms that 26% of organizations say their #1 challenge working with SAP is finding skills to support, develop, and upgrade their SAP system. Further, more than a quarter of SAP users said skill challenges were holding up projects. You’re not alone in your SAP IT talent challenges.


S/4HANA is Just Part of the Challenge

The need to migrate SAP ECC systems to S/4HANA is a clear and present challenge to IT departments. And with just 14% of SAP ERP customers live on S/4HANA  currently, that means the vast majority are delaying, or only part way through this critical upgrade. Nearly half of respondents said the IT skill shortage was directly impacting their ability to migrate to the new platform. For those looking to outsource, integration partners and consultants are equally taxed.

Further, ongoing business needs don’t stop just because the IT department has a major upgrade on their plate. Sales and customer service still need CRM improvements, new functionality like CPQ is business-critical, customer service needs to streamline data access.


The Downstream Impact of an SAP IT Talent Shortage

Staff turnover and loss of institutional knowledge can have significant impact–especially when a complex system like SAP has so many configurations and customizations made over years and even decades. Further, homegrown SAP integrations often aren’t documented and process mapped like off-the-shelf software, potentially creating cascading issues if something breaks or fails. 

The ASUG research showed that over a quarter of organizations said integration problems were causing data errors to spread, nearly 20% said compatibility between SAP and other applications were being impacts, and nearly 20% admitted it prevented them from keeping up with new technologies.

One respondent said, “Changes made in SAP and Salesforce that do not get reflected in the other system are causing data inconsistencies.”


Leveraging PIPs Simplify Integrations and Reduce IT Staff Loads

Integration with SAP is challenging. Building, and maintaining an integration requires:

  • Architects and developers with a working knowledge of the SAP business context and SAP R/3 and S/4HANA Business Suite
  • Understanding of SAP NetWeaver Platform (from an administrative perspective)
  • Proficiency in the ABAP language and SAP system APIs
  • Navigating SAP rights and access to required SAP libraries

Packaged Integration Processes (PIPs) enable plug-and-play integrations without requiring coding or deep understanding of SAP libraries and nomenclature. They are the future of integrations and Gartner predicts, “By 2023, use of [PIPs] will grow from less than 30% in 2020 to above 65% for new integration processes.”

The adoptions of PIPs can powerfully reduce demands on technology staff–allowing them to focus on business-critical applications and projects. Think of PIPs as the last mile of real-time SAP integration that middleware isn’t designed to achieve. Without PIPs, this can be one of the hardest integration points to solve and from a staffing perspective because it requires not just SAP skills but deep development knowledge of your front-end system, like Salesforce, as well. 


The enosix purpose-built framework brings PIP-level simplicity to connect SAP to front-end systems. Real-time SAP data can be presented in any Salesforce cloud in just days or weeks, not months. See how enosix connects SAP and Salesforce, or SAP and other front-end systems. If you’re ready to talk about how to lighten the SAP integration load on your IT team, schedule a short conversation!

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