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SAP recently commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct The Total Economic Impact™ of SAP Integration Suite (TEI, March 2022), based on customer interviews, that evaluated how SAP Integration Suite provided significant value with a payback of less than six months.

Forrester interviewed integration experts and enterprise architects across five companies with annual revenues surpassing $27 billion. Customer interviews were conducted towards the end of 2021 and involved customers headquartered in Europe and Latin America, covering a variety of industries.

These customer interviews enabled Forrester to build a composite point of view that demonstrated a return on investment approaching 300% with benefits exceeding $2 million in the first three years. These composite calculations were based on the customers’ experiences when moving from on-premises legacy integration architectures to more modern and capable cloud capabilities.

Legacy Impediments

The interviewed customers explained how their motivation for moving to the cloud was grounded in the limitations they faced from their legacy on-premises capabilities. They articulated how their legacy strategies and systems created barriers to their business objectives. For example, interviewees reported that on-premises legacy capabilities:

  • Lacked the ability to unlock data usage

  • Created integration management complexity

  • Involved a steep learning curve for staff

  • Required higher integration staffing levels to operate

  • And, ultimately, led to slow delivery timelines

In addition, the surveyed stakeholders reported that monitoring old integration was technically intensive and required too much back and forth with other stakeholders. For example, when looking at legacy integration flows between applications, one participant shared how the IT team wasn’t familiar with the data source, the target system, or the components in-between!

The technical nature of legacy integration assets also prevented business users from monitoring their own data flows. Inefficiencies also existed where an API or web service interface would have to be created five times to support five target systems. If an individual integration message went missing, another participant reported they would need to conduct a batch update when notified that covering a whole month of messages to address the omission.

Another area of the TEI study addressed the specific needs of compliance with government invoice requirements. In the legacy on-premises environment, survey participants reported the need for procuring standalone business to government offerings to augment their integration landscape. These additional elements helped to plug a functional gap, but also added to operating and compliance costs.

Cloud Integration Benefits

The five participating SAP Integration Suite customers reported many benefits related to their migration to a new, modern, cloud-based approach. The composite TEI view built by Forrester articulates how a typical company with revenues of $7 billion per year, with 24K employees, leverages an Integration Center of Excellence with 12 full time integration resources. The TEI estimates an average internal hourly rate of $65 per hour for the integration work associated with the businesses’ needs.

In total, the TEI estimates a benefit in excess of $2 million dollars within the first three years. This is made up of close to $700K each from improved development operations and incremental revenue from new business capabilities. The rest of the benefit calculation is made up of cost savings from the retirement of on-premises elements and greater efficiencies from leveraging prepackaged integration content and e-government packages.

The improved DevOps calculation benefit of $700K is based on the ability to execute automated testing and to reduce the need for data replication and improvements in landscape simplification. The survey participants reported 90% increases in monitoring efficiency, troubleshooting, and maintenance efforts.

The incremental revenue calculation of $700K is based on improved data exchanges between customers and suppliers (facilitating real-time efficient and agile business processes) and new connectivity capabilities that facilitate new approaches, such as the support of mobile users and business applications. These massive and immediate benefits are all realized for the relatively small annual cost of $550K.

The TEI study found that the five interviewed companies were successful in simplifying their IT integration landscape with SAP Integration Suite through the implementation of a standardized “API first” landscape, and the ability to provide low-code application integrations and data flows to their business stakeholders. The composite enterprise can achieve these capabilities spanning an estimated 2K integration scenarios with a Net Present Value of $1.5 million and a payback in less than six months.

This is a fantastic piece of research for many integration teams out there faced with a challenging legacy on-premises integration landscape. It provides them with the clear justification for moving ahead with an SAP Integration Suite project.

Next Steps

Beyond the Forrester TEI study, SAP offers many other resources to help you get started with your migration to SAP Integration Suite. Here are a few resources that I hope will help you get started:
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