Since RISE with SAP was first announced earlier this year, one of the main questions SAP customers, partners, and prognosticators have been asking is what sort of traction the solution will have. Billed as “business transformation as a service,” RISE with SAP represents a concentrated effort by SAP to encourage its customers to migrate to the cloud and adopt SAP S/4HANA, two actions the software company has made clear are at the center of its notion of the “intelligent enterprise”—and represent the forward trajectory of SAP.

Earlier this week, ASUG and DSAG came together for a webcast to discuss the results of the research the two organizations conducted in April, four months after RISE with SAP was unveiled and made available to SAP customers. Consisting of 443 total respondents from across North America and Germany, the survey focused on SAP customers’ attitudes on cloud adoption, SAP S/4HANA, and RISE with SAP.

“This research collaboration with DSAG was incredibly insightful,” said Marissa Gilbert, research director at ASUG. “It was great to work with DSAG to measure the attitudes our two organizations’ members have on cloud adoption and RISE with SAP, and understand the hurdles and challenges our members see when it comes to understanding the value of these tools.”

Here are three key highlights from the research.

The State of SAP S/4HANA

The best place to start is to examine where ASUG and DSAG members are in their adoption of SAP S/4HANA. During the Q2 earnings call a few weeks ago, SAP reported that over 17,000 customers are currently live on SAP S/4HANA. According to the research conducted by ASUG and DSAG, over half of the organizations surveyed are either live on SAP S/4HANA, are somewhere in the process of their migration, or have plans to move. 24 percent of both ASUG and DSAG respondents reported that they are currently live on the ERP platform, with 21 percent of ASUG and 20 percent of DSAG members in the process of moving. 30 percent of ASUG members and 37 percent of DSAG members reported that they are planning to move but haven't started. SAP customers are adopting SAP S/4HANA or are seriously considering their move to the ERP platform. This is a positive trend, especially when considering that organizations have until 2027 before SAP ceases supporting some of its legacy solutions including SAP ERP 6.0 and SAP Business Suite.

ASUG and DSAG also examined the types of environments that their members are using. On the whole, DSAG members seem to be far warier of cloud environments than ASUG members. On-premises ecosystems still seem to be the most popular, with 27 percent of ASUG members and 57 percent of DSAG members reporting to still be using on-premises environments. When it comes to the cloud, 24 percent of ASUG members and 23 percent of DSAG members are on a private cloud environment, while 22 percent of ASUG members and two percent of DSAG members are using a hybrid cloud model. Only nine percent of ASUG members and 6 percent of DSAG members reported using a public cloud environment.

Attitudes on the Cloud

Part of the research focused on respondents’ perspectives on the cloud. On the whole, the two user groups’ attitudes on the cloud were positive, with 74 percent of ASUG members and 46 percent of DSAG members indicating they had extremely positive or somewhat positive perceptions. Yet, DSAG members seem to be warier of cloud solutions than ASUG members. 26 percent of DSAG respondents have neither positive nor negative feelings, while 27 percent reported having negative feelings (compared to ASUG members, who reported 26 percent and three percent in the respective categories.

“In my perspective, SAP comes from the on-prem world and our members have had a positive experience from exactly these kinds of systems,” Jens Hungershausen told attendees during the webcast. He further noted that integration issues with cloud solutions and data and security concerns have influenced this perception of DSAG members. Geoff Scott, CEO of ASUG, noted that one factor that may be influencing the perceptions of ASUG members is the sheer cost associated with setting up, maintaining, and running environments on servers and data centers.

The research also asked attendees to detail the hurdles they’ve had to overcomes when leveraging cloud solutions. Topping the list was licensing, with 41 percent of ASUG members and 72 percent of DSAG members listing it as a significant challenge, followed by lack of in-house knowledge to handle a cloud solution (41 percent of ASUG members, and 38 percent of DSAG members), and finally data protection and security (25 percent of ASUG members, and 53 percent of DSAG members).

The Perceptions of RISE with SAP

This collaboration between ASUG and DSAG also examined the two user groups’ awareness and attitudes on RISE with SAP. Broadly speaking, the data indicates that many members are unaware or at least unfamiliar with RISE with SAP and how the solution can help their businesses. Over one-third (39 percent) of ASUG members said they’d never even heard of RISE with SAP, compared with only 10 percent of DSAG members. 37 percent of ASUG members and 56 percent of DSAG members indicated that they have heard of the subscription service but are not familiar with it. Only two percent of ASUG members and six percent of DSAG members said they were extremely familiar with RISE with SAP.

Scott encouraged all attendees (and SAP customers) to at least take a look at the offering and decide whether it is right for their businesses, noting that the bundled offering of services like business process intelligence and hosting can have a significant impact on an organization’s transition to the cloud. Respondents indicated that they needed more information on the notion of “business transformation as a service” (41 percent of ASUG members, and 47 percent of DSAG members) along with the business process intelligence offered as part of RISE with SAP (36 percent of ASUG members and 42 percent of DSAG members).

Want to see the full breakdown of the data from this ASUG and DSAG research? You can watch the entire webcast on-demand here.