A recent survey conducted by Rimini Street shows that nearly two-thirds of 208 SAP users do not plan to migrate their system to S/4 Hana, the latest version of the SAP ERP. While it must be noted that each platform is unique to some extent, the general unwillingness to make the move is representative of the broader mentality shared among many ERP users.

The majority of survey respondents indicated that the current version of the ERP they used met the demands of their business well enough, so they felt that no upgrade was necessary. Many respondents also indicated that they saw no clear improvements offered by the new system. Then, of course, there is the cost of upgrading.

In some cases, businesses were willing to implement a hybrid IT model whereby later augmentations could be performed via the cloud, should the newer version of the system prove superior.

“CIOs and IT decision-makers prefer to maximize the value of their current robust SAP ERP system that more than meets their business requirements, rather than advancing to a new platform that is still in development,” said Rimini Street CEO Seth Ravin.

It’s difficult to fault decision-makers; an unwillingness to pursue every upgrade is not necessarily indicative of an unwillingness to evolve. The number of those open to hybrid models demonstrates a collective interest in moving forward, albeit cautiously.

The popularity of the hybrid option shows what businesses want, and how ERP providers and the technology they supply, are rising to meet the demands. ERP functionality that resides in the cloud has, along with many other advantages, allowed companies to take this flexible middle road, rather than choose between paying for something they aren’t comfortable with and getting stuck with an outdated legacy system.

The rise of sand-box ERPs powered by the cloud has severely mitigated the necessity of full replacements by offering regular updates and customizations.