SAP user group says members will pull back on IT spending growth this year

Despite SAP's hype, HANA is not yet a major priority for German-speaking SAP User Group members

While members of the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) say they'll spend more money on SAP software this year compared to 2013, the rate of growth has been cut nearly in half, according to a recent survey.

Members' SAP budgets will rise 6 percent in 2014, as opposed to 11.2 percent last year, DSAG said in a news release. Members' overall IT budgets are also growing more slowly, going up 2.1 percent compared to 5.9 percent last year.

DSAG surveyed 413 members in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with some 35 percent from companies with between 1,000 and 4,999 employees, according to the group.

While SAP has been eager to get customers buying new products such as its HANA in-memory database platform, the hottest topics among DSAG members surveyed were IT consolidation and "the mobilization of business processes," with some 75 percent of respondents mentioning them.

As for SAP-related spending, 66 percent said they will invest in their ERP (enterprise resource planning) software, 41 percent in analytics and 34 percent in SAP mobile applications. Only 18 percent cited HANA as a spending priority.

"DSAG members are pursuing current hot topics such as mobility, in-memory computing, and cloud, but are not only using SAP products to do so," group chairman Marco Lenck said in a statement. "Customers analyze their current situation precisely and then seek out the products that fit their company's landscapes."

DSAG expects a "customer first" attitude from SAP with respect to its product development efforts, Lenck added.

Such remarks underscore DSAG's high-profile willingness to push back against SAP on matters such as increased maintenance fees in recent years. Lobbying by DSAG and other SAP groups resulted in the vendor making a number of concessions.

DSAG has nearly 50,000 registered members, according to a statement.

An SAP spokesman declined comment on Wednesday.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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