If you want to work in the IT industry, or are already in an IT role but would like to progress your career by becoming a more specialised consultant, there are almost endless paths you can go down. Some people find a specialism simply by working in the field and ending up involved with a given technology on a project, then going on to use their skills with that technology in future roles. Others choose a specialism they believe they will enjoy, and which has value in the market, and then train for it. Either of these approaches can work, but if you are looking to choose your own specialism and prepare for a career with it then some technologies stand out more than others.
SAP, the German enterprise resource management solutions company, has highly modular software that is used by the majority of large companies. Because of its popularity and complexity, it is generally seen as a good thing for consultants who want plenty of good opportunities to have expertise with.
What Kind of Projects Do SAP Specialists Tend to Work On?
SAP is used for a lot of things within businesses, from managing manufacturing processes and financial coordination, through to end to end ecommerce. The exact SAP environment in any given business that uses the technology may include all different SAP modules, and these will have been customised to create what is essentially a unique solution for that business. As a SAP specialist you can be involved in all stages of implementing, customising and using SAP, so there are roles for all kinds of technical disciplines from testers and trainers to database administrators and information architects. For global businesses, localisations of SAP can be major projects in themselves, and also each require things like QA. SAP is a big investment for a business, and they tend to want to ensure things go right by using experienced SAP specialists.
An Extended Network
Because of SAP’s very nature, and inherent versatility, SAP environments tend not to exist in isolation, and will usually communicate with a range of other services. Products like SAP ecommerce solutions by companies are not developed by SAP, but are SAP certifiedand utilise SAP Master Data. This means that while you may specialise in aspects of SAP, you will in reality be working on large and often complex networks of interconnected solutions, and thus you want to ensure where possible these additional services are SAP centric removing the need for duplication or additional resource.
The Bottom Line
SAP consultants, compared with the IT community as a whole, have some advantages in terms of how much they can earn and the availability of suitable work. However, because SAP ERP is generally used only by larger companies, it can be important to be willing to travel, including internationally, if you plan to work on short term contracts or with a global consultancy.
SAP can be a great thing to get into with a lot of opportunities, and interesting, relatively stable work. If you are considering a new specialisation, it can be an excellent option.