How do you solve the glaring shortage of SAP ABAP experts?

The shortage of SAP ABAP experts is a well-known problem that affects many companies worldwide. In this article, we will focus on the role of automated documentation of ABAP-based SAP extensions through SYSPARENCY and how it can help companies to optimize their SAP development.


In today’s digital world, companies are increasingly reliant on SAP systems to optimize their business processes and make them more efficient. However, despite the high demand for SAP experts, there is a glaring shortage of SAP ABAP experts. ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) is the programming language used for the development of SAP applications. In this article, we will explore how organizations can address the shortage of ABAP experts and highlight the significant role of automated documentation of ABAP-based SAP extensions.

It is important that companies ensure that ABAP experts have enough time for actual software development. These ABAP developers are responsible for the development and maintenance of applications that control and manage the core value creation of every company and keep it operational. Although these experts are capable of developing business-critical and complex applications, ABAP developers often spend around 60% of their time on coordination, which is only partially necessary to drive development forward.

It is important to understand the reasons for these votes and to recognize the impact they can have on software development.

  • Lack of clarity of the history for future digitization requirements
    One of the main causes of coordination is a lack of clarity in the digitization requirements. If the current status of a system is unclear, the requirements can only be specified inadequately. If changes are then made during development, ABAP developers have to coordinate with specialist departments, technology or project managers to ensure that the actual business-critical requirements are met.
  • Complexity of the applications
    ABAP developers often work on complex SAP systems and highly individualized applications that have various dependencies and interactions. This requires close collaboration between different development and specialist teams to ensure that all requirements are met.
  • Technical coordination
    Technical coordination is another factor that takes up the time of ABAP developers. When developing an application, they must ensure that it can be integrated with other systems and applications. This requires technical coordination with other developers and IT teams.
  • Coordination in project management
    Project managers must ensure that development remains in line with company goals and budgets. This requires coordination between project managers, finance teams and other stakeholders to ensure that the development stays within the project goals and budget.

The effects of these votes can be considerable. If ABAP developers spend 60% of their time on coordination, they are missing this time for actual software development. This can lead to projects taking longer than planned, which affects costs and deadlines. It can also leave ABAP developers frustrated and unmotivated if they feel they have too much time for coordination and too little time for actual development.

The specification, business analysis, programming and quality assurance of SAP enhancements require a high level of specialist knowledge and experience. At the same time, the pool of available experts is limited, which leads to bottlenecks in the implementation and maintenance of such systems.

In this context, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into the process of specifying and documenting SAP ABAP enhancements offers a promising solution. AI-supported systems can help overcome the skills shortage by providing automated solutions for the analysis, specification and documentation of SAP enhancements. This technology enables in-depth analysis of the source code and generates comprehensible documentation of the software logic and structure. This reduces dependency on human experts and increases efficiency in the development process.

A key aspect of AI-supported documentation is the ability to automatically analyze complex ABAP code bases and translate them into an easily understandable form. This not only makes work easier for existing development teams by helping them to work faster and more efficiently, but also makes it easier to train new employees. In addition, AI-supported documentation supports quality assurance by creating a consistent and comprehensive documentation basis that minimizes sources of error and improves the traceability of changes.

The benefits of such technology go far beyond simply increasing efficiency. It enables companies to react more quickly to changes in the market by drastically reducing the time required to develop and implement new functions or adaptations. This can represent a significant competitive advantage, especially in industries where agility and speed are crucial.

Furthermore, the AI-supported documentation and specification of SAP enhancements helps to preserve knowledge within a company. In many cases, the specific knowledge about individual adaptations and extensions is only available in the heads of a few experts. Automated documentation secures this knowledge and makes it accessible to the entire company, which reduces dependency on individual employees and minimizes the risk of knowledge loss.

In summary, the integration of AI into the specification and documentation of SAP ABAP extensions is an effective strategy to meet the challenges of the skills shortage and increase the competitive advantage of companies. By automating time-consuming and complex tasks, companies can use their resources more efficiently, react more quickly to market requirements and minimize the risk of errors and loss of knowledge. The future of SAP development therefore looks promising, with AI as a key technology to increase efficiency and create innovative solutions.

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