This month marks three years since the WHO first declared COVID-19 a pandemic and countries all over the world began taking measures to curb its spread. From supply chain shortages and the tight labor market to rapid inflation and potential recession, no one could have predicted what came next. As the public health emergency winds down, many enterprises find themselves in flight on critical digital transformation initiatives like SAP S/4HANA implementations but are facing new challenges due to budget constraints. For these companies, a more cost-effective model for finding and hiring experienced talent is a strong solution for maintaining momentum and realizing the full potential of their investments.
Prior to the pandemic, the commercial adoption of SAP S/4HANA was just beginning to hit its stride. As 2020 came to a close, early adopter momentum began to gain traction, and by early 2021, it had reached a tipping point. For CIOs, the sudden, massive scale of the shift in the way people worked highlighted the need to modernize systems to not only withstand pandemic disruption, but also to gain the agility to thrive in the future, no matter what it might hold. Enterprises went into hyper-acceleration mode, but with a limited pool of talent who understood the technology and demand at an all-time high, competition for the best, most experienced resources, was fierce.
As the pandemic progressed, enterprises faced ongoing economic uncertainty. Although the economy grew by more than 2% in 2022, the year also brought inflation rates of 6.5%, one of the highest rates we have seen since the 1980s. In response, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates a whopping seven times, closing out the year with highest rates since 2007. The outlook for 2023 remains uncertain. The Fed has already raised interest rates once and has signaled its willingness to continue down this path to curb ongoing inflation. Given these economic conditions, loans to finance large-scale transformation are more costly, boards are reluctant to approve budgets, CFOs are cautious about spending, and CIOs are being asked to rein in budgets—while continuing to position their companies for long-term growth.
It’s a difficult spot to be in, especially since SAP S/4HANA transformations are often multi-year efforts. To address budget concerns, some companies are slowing down the pace of their investment, while others are completing key milestones before pressing pause. Still others that are further along in their journeys are postponing rollout of the technology to additional geographic or functional areas of the business. While these are effective strategies in the short term, enterprises would also be well served by driving more cost-effective models for finding and hiring the right talent to staff to keep these critical infrastructure projects moving forward.
Regardless of where you are in your SAP S/4HANA transformation journey—in the planning stages, in flight with a greenfield or brownfield implementation, or scaling the technology to other areas of your business—putting the right people in place is critical to ensuring the right outcomes. Now more than ever, enterprises need people with sufficient, hands-on experience with these mission-critical tools who can provide the right guidance around best practices, have the tactical know-how, and who understand and can mitigate risks.
In the end, the companies that can maintain and build momentum needed to complete their transformation initiatives will achieve faster time to value, realize better business performance, and be better positioned to weather future disruption.
At Baer, we help our clients, which include both leading systems integrators and large, global enterprises, realize the full potential of their enterprise technology investments to drive stronger business performance. As a capacity service partner, we understand how to deliver the right resources, at the right time, and at the right price. Our expert teams have deep domain expertise in SAP S/4Hana and bring industry best practices to the table. They can work at the speed and scale you need to effectively see your transformation initiative through to completion. Sourcing the best talent through a capacity resource partner like Baer is efficient, cost-effective, and will help you realize the full potential of your investment in SAP S/4Hana.
To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your SAP S/4HANA Cloud transformation, please reach out directly to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my colleague, John Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, at email@example.com. We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your specific challenges.