How SAP is helping UK businesses recover from the pandemic
As we turn over the calendar and usher in a brand new year, it’s easy to feel like the fateful days of Covid-19 are behind us. But for businesses up and down the country, the legacy of the pandemic lives on. While not all industries have been equally hit, businesses in the UK saw a fall in sales during 2020 that continued to stagnate growth well into 2022.
Looking to the future, the government and other organisations are assisting businesses in recovering from these challenging circumstances that forced many to downsize operations or close completely.
One third-party firm committed to helping businesses return to profit is SAP SE, the German software company known for its business optimisation products. SAP has a track record of increasing small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) productivity, but what exactly is the tech giant doing to help UK businesses bounce back from Covid? Let’s investigate.
1. Improving business processes
Through its pioneering software solutions, SAP improves company operations and helps SMEs on their way to becoming industry titans. SAP’s range of products has expanded over the years, with the company now providing bespoke solutions for a variety of business functions. Its flagship product, SAP S/4HANA, integrates human resources, procurement, sales, stock management and more to help automate and streamline processes for companies of all sizes.
However, businesses now require comprehensive software implementation in order to feel the full benefit of the company’s products, creating a high demand for SAP consultants. Recruitment firm Eursap explains that “as one of the world’s largest economies, including many cities considered international business hubs, you’ll find plenty of SAP jobs in the UK”. These specialists are responsible for administering tailored solutions such as computer system configuration, developing new automations and optimising workflows for end users. As a result, SAP has improved many companies’ operations and provided opportunities for tech workers to support businesses in the UK’s uncertain post-Covid economy.
2. Supporting cloud migration
Another vital change that SAP has been facilitating is business cloud migration. The 2022 ISG SAP Ecosystem report found that demand has increased in the last year for SAP solutions. This has been largely attributed to the accelerated digital transformation efforts made by companies in light of the pandemic, as many looked to industry-specific cloud systems to remotely implement business solutions. Over the years, SAP’s products have evolved for the cloud, becoming more accessible and rivalling the on-premise systems that larger enterprises tend to use.
Cloud migration enabled many businesses to endure workplace and supply chain disruptions throughout the pandemic. As organisations grappled with the effects of lockdown closures, many chose to adapt by enabling remote working for more employees. According to a recent report from Advanced Workplace Associates, office workers attended the workplace an average of 3.8 days per week before the pandemic, whereas post-Covid, this figure has fallen to just 1.5 days. Dispersed workforces can now remotely collaborate, communicate and carry out their duties with ease — and SAP cloud-based solutions have played an integral role in developing this new working culture.
3. Investing in scale-up companies
According to Deloitte’s The Future of Growth Capital report, hyper-growth enterprises are a key building block of the UK’s economy, contributing an estimated £1 trillion each year. However, such scale-up businesses saw a mass drop-off in funding due to the pandemic. In response, several private sector organisations co-ordinated plans to address this capital gap and attempt to make up for the funding shortfall.
During the early stages of the pandemic, SAP introduced a new programme for companies with the aim to “help them accelerate their business in the most sustainable way possible”. Using ‘Grow by SAP’, eligible businesses can access a free cloud solution and customer care package for up to six months. SAP’s package provides many essential services including enterprise resource planning and business analytics that may be otherwise out of reach to companies in the early stages of their development. Through this funding initiative, SAP is helping smaller businesses to accelerate their growth and revitalise the post-Covid economy in the UK.