Photo by Tianyi Ma

Syniti, a global leader in enterprise data management, today announced the results of a UK and Ireland-wide survey of SAP users, delving into data challenges ahead of a crucial time for many organisations as they prepare to migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

The survey, carried out by Syniti and the UK & Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG), asked senior IT decision makers at 52 SAP-based organisations to detail their approach to data management, their top data challenges and levels of confidence in their data. The key findings reveal untapped data strategy potential that, left unchecked, could impact the success of major data migrations and technology adoption, including:

  • Although 79% of respondents reported that their use of data analytics has increased over the last 12 months, only 12% have a comprehensive data strategy covering their entire organisation,
  • Just 7% of those questioned are very confident when it comes to the quality and accessibility of their organisation’s data,
  • 73% say compliance is their main data management concern,

●  77% think data management presents a challenge when moving to SAP S/4HANA, and

82% say data management challenges will slow their organisation’s adoption of AI technologies

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More in-depth findings suggest that although the growing importance of data management and its impact on business outcomes is well documented, data strategy still tends to sit with the IT team (62%) with low C-suite ownership (3%). This lack of buy-in from senior leaders could explain the low numbers reporting comprehensive data strategies, the high levels of data challenge and compliance concerns.

The knock-on effect of not putting Data First is that there are increased challenges especially during data migration. Overall, the organisations questioned say that the quality and accessibility of their data remains an issue. The challenges are wide-ranging and with real-life implications not only for migration and adoption of new technologies. Data silos stifle real-time decision-making according to 89% of respondents, and data duplication is also listed as a top challenge (80%).

Syniti EMEA MD and SVP Chris Gorton said: “Recognising the importance of data is not new, but with that in mind, the results of this survey could be surprising. From the small percentage of respondents with a comprehensive data strategy, to the reported lack of skills needed to make effective use of data, there’s a clear disconnect between understanding how vital data is and looking after it properly. The results of this can directly impact the bottom line: stifled decision making, increased costs, and barriers to AI adoption are listed among others in this report.

“To make sure we tap into data’s potential, taking a Data First approach, that is prioritising data quality, and developing strategies and governance, will be crucial. Putting your Data First, rather than hoping you’ll have time to clean it up after your S/4HANA migration, makes for a smoother data transformation journey and better long-term results.”

Paul Cooper, Chair, UKISUG, said: “Data and analytics is a big focus for many of our members. SAP systems remain a business-critical source of operational and customer insight, at a time when organisations want to derive more value from their data and experiment using Generative AI.  With a growing number of organisations embarking on their journey to SAP S/4HANA, it’s imperative they have a robust data archiving and management strategy in place.  Without one, they risk creating unnecessary migration delays and will fail to realise the full value of moving to a new platform.”

SAP and other SAP products and services mentioned herein as well as their respective logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP SE in Germany and other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

Syniti solves the world’s most complex data challenges by uniquely combining intelligent software and vast data expertise to yield certain and superior business outcomes. For over 15 years, Syniti has partnered with the Fortune 2000 to unlock valuable insights that ignite growth, reduce risk and increase their competitive advantage. Syniti’s silo-free enterprise data management platform supports data migration, data quality, data replication, master data management, analytics, data governance, and data strategy in a single, unified solution. Syniti is a portfolio company of private equity firm Bridge Growth Partners LLC.

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