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SAP users see scattered clouds on the horizon

User group's views are at odds with the software giant's direction

SAP users are putting more emphasis on on-premises solutions than the cloud when it comes to future workloads, according to a survey among the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG), which represents users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Despite the software giant's core strategic plan to get customers on the cloud, results revealed that when members consider their future SAP landscapes, 85 percent place a high or medium importance on on-premises solutions while 77 percent put the same importance on the cloud.

The survey – which considered responses from 434 DSAG members – shows users want both, with the balance still tilted in favor of on-prem for their SAP business application portfolio.

The view stands in stark contrast to SAP's strategy, which is an all-out push to get users on the cloud, either by lift-and-shift or application upgrade.

In January 2021, it launched the RISE with SAP integration partner and hyperscaler program after a 23 percent share price crash and reset of investor expectations.

Last year, DSAG issued a strongly worded statement in response to SAP's lack of clarity on its RISE cloud upgrade at the annual Sapphire Now event while the program struggled for recognition among UK users.

The vision SAP has of the future does not quite align with that of its users. Of DSAG members surveyed, 93 percent said SAP on-premises solutions were of high or medium importance while 42 percent said the same of SAP cloud solutions. For non-SAP solutions, the view differed. Three-quarters placed high or medium importance on on-premises solutions while 61 percent put the same emphasis on the cloud, much higher than for SAP software.

DSAG has called on SAP to offer transparent, flexible, and scalable cloud agreements with the corresponding metrics, as well as binding statements and roadmaps for product strategies for cloud and on-premise solutions.

The influential group also called for clear integration and operation models in hybrid application landscapes including collaboration between SAP's Customer Center of Expertise and hyperscalers.

"There cannot be a process vacuum between new SAP solutions and hybrid approaches. It's critical that SAP plays a part in preventing one from forming," said Jens Hungershausen, DSAG chairman.

"In our view, 'RISE with SAP' still has lots of potential. Ultimately, we want SAP to provide better, more effective bespoke support to customers from the very beginning of the complex transformation process. And this also means including partners more effectively and at an earlier stage."

The Register has asked SAP to comment. ®

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