How SAP’s 2024 Restructuring Is Impacting S/4HANA Transformations—and What You Can Do to Minimize Risk

Brian Trout, Executive Vice President, Sales, Baer
Brian Trout
Executive Vice President, Sales
31 May 2024

Earlier this year, SAP announced an organization-wide transformation that includes a strategic restructuring affecting more than 8,000 jobs. The move is designed to better position the company to support its’ growing private and public cloud customer base. It also allows for expansion of investment in strategic growth areas, including targeted industry application solutions, enterprise infrastructure COE services, and of course, advancement of AI empowered applications. In my opinion, it’s a smart move in the long term, and one that bodes well for its customers. But in the short term, I’m hearing from our clients and seeing in our Baer hiring data that it is causing disruptions to some in-flight S/4HANA digital transformation efforts.

How SAP Customers Report Being Impacted

According to SAP, most of the affected positions are covered by voluntary leave programs or internal efforts to reskill employees. The company expects to end this year with roughly the same number of employees they started it with, just better positioned to accelerate around AI. Still, the move is not without customer impact. Some Baer clients that are currently engaged in their S/4HANA migration initiatives are reporting that the people within SAP who were guiding and serving as subject matter experts for their transformations, or people they regularly interact with, like account reps, are no longer there or have been assigned new roles. For some, replacements have not yet been identified, and they don’t know where to turn for help.

Both customers and the systems integrators tell us they rely on are reeling from the impact—they need proven experts to fill the void as soon as possible, but the SAP labor market is growing increasingly competitive. It’s putting schedules and outcomes in jeopardy—and even those who find the expertise they are looking for risk things falling through the gaps as new team members get up to speed. Adding to the complexity of the situation, the Federal government investing in parallel with the enterprise—an unprecedented occurrence—and an already tight labor market is growing even more so.

As SAP’s cloud momentum grows, and they drive more enterprises making the move to meet the 2027 end of support for ECC, it’s hard to fathom why they would disrupt these processes in this way. I don’t have answers, but if you find yourself in this challenging situation, I do have some ideas about what to do next.

A Smart Way to Mitigate Risk as Partner Priorities Evolve

At the outset of every S/4HANA transformation, most companies come together with SAP and their systems integrator to determine who will bring what expertise to the table and when. At Baer, we refer to this as a strategic resource plan. But S/4 transformations are measured in years, and in the course of that time, SAP’s strategic direction, your own company, and the labor market are all likely to change. To achieve your goals, you’ll have to adapt along the way.

In developing a strategic resource plan, it pays off in the long run to bring a fourth partner to the table—an enterprise performance partner. An enterprise performance partner differs from a traditional IT staffing company in that they understand complex technology ecosystems like SAP, will work hand-in-hand with you to staff the program and maintain key skills throughout its duration. They can also partner across stakeholders—SAP, SAP’s customer, and systems integrators—to ensure everyone can meet their resource commitments.

That way, when one entity changes direction or is unable to fulfill their resource plan commitments, there is someone with a seat at the table whose job it is to ensure you have the right expertise, at the right time to support the success and continuity of your transformation.

At Baer, we’re hard at work helping our clients—both enterprises and systems integrators—navigate the impact of SAP’s transformation and restructuring. We have a deep understanding of the technology and the skillsets needed to implement it, and we proactively identify and build relationships with proven expertise through our Baer Opportunity Edge network, so we’re able to move fast.

About Baer

Unlike typical technology staffing companies, Baer is a true enterprise performance partner. We have a deep understanding of the scope of enterprise digital transformation and the highly specialized skillsets you will need at different stages of the process.

To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your enterprise transformation, please reach out to Brian Trout, Executive Vice President, Sales, at, or John Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, at

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