Nearly two-thirds of SAP customers will use the firm's software-as-a-service (SaaS) products in the future, according to a survey by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group.
Three-quarters of respondents also indicated that SAP has been too slow in bringing its SaaS suite to market.
Just 17 per cent of respondents are using SaaS/cloud-based tools to run critical business applications, suggesting that SAP has a long way to go to win over users.
However, the firm can be confident that uptake of its SaaS products will increase, especially as 49 per cent of respondents plan to invest in the model in the next 12 to 18 months.
Craig Dale, chief executive of the UK & Ireland SAP User Group, told V3.co.uk that the low number of customers using the firm's SaaS/cloud products could be down to the fact that many do not currently have the capacity to invest in the products.
"We are educating and reassuring our users of the benefits of SaaS/cloud computing services as there is a lack of understanding about it. There will be a conference in September which aims to do this," he said.
"SAP has been working on the hybrid approach to provide users with a robust offering. Users don't have to put their business-critical processes in the cloud if they feel it is too risky, but can still reap the cost and flexibility benefits for other areas."
Unsurprisingly, 35 per cent of SAP customers cited reduced costs, and 32 per cent quicker deployment times, as the biggest benefits of switching to SaaS/cloud computing.
However, the research also highlighted a number of obstacles. Some 34 per cent of users mentioned fears about compliance and data protection, while 26 per cent cited a lack of control over the software.
Around 20 per cent of respondents said that a lack of customisation is a barrier, and the same proportion expressed concerns about network and server outages.
On the upside, over 55 per cent stated that it is more difficult to establish and meet service level agreements by keeping all applications in house. This is another potential indicator that companies see the cloud as a better way of meeting their requirements, according to the SAP User Group.
The survey questioned 100 SAP user organisations in the UK and Ireland.
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