Currently, the demand for SAP specialists is high in both Belgium and the Netherlands. That is why more and more SAP consultants are opting for a freelance career. What are the benefits of being self-employed? And what do you need to look out for if you are considering this step?
Creating value and making an impact through digitisation: digital transformation is high on the agenda for many organisations. And, in many of their plans for digitisation, SAP’s ERP software plays an essential role. Moreover, we see that an increasing number of organisations want to make the switch to SAP S/4HANA. Which makes sense: after 2027, older versions of SAP will no longer be supported or further developed.
Need for extra capacity
Compared to previous versions of SAP, S/4HANA involves big changes; where earlier versions could, to a large extent, be modelled to fit the specific context of an organisation, SAP is growing towards a platform that works largely on the basis of best practices. It’s not without reason that the need for specialist knowledge in the area of SAP is so great right now. Organisations need temporary extra capacity to help them migrate to S/4HANA, without having to take on an employee on a permanent basis.
At the same time, not every organisation wants to work with a large consultancy agency that takes over the project from A to Z. Rather, they are looking for independent specialists who are able to think along with them in terms of their client’s best interests.
This offers many career opportunities for SAP experts, so it’s hardly surprising that a lot of SAP specialists are choosing to take the leap and become independent entrepreneurs – this is understandable, since there are a number of important perks to being a freelancer.
For example, you are free to choose which assignments you want to take on, and which to leave. What type of organisations do you prefer working for? What is your favourite kind of project? Which region do you want to work in? Because the current demand for SAP specialists is much higher than the supply (in both Belgium and the Netherlands), you now have the maximum freedom to create a portfolio that perfectly matches your own personal preferences.
This high demand also means that the average hourly or project rate is generally quite high (and, it’s still rising). Of course, as a freelancer you have to take certain costs into account – for your own laptop and smartphone for example, and for certain business insurances, and possibly provision for retirement. On the other hand, you can compensate for these costs by maintaining an attractive hourly rate that (more than) covers them.
Many available assignments
A lot of SAP specialists considering a future as freelancer are apprehensive about the acquisition they think they will have to do. In practice, this isn’t quite so bad as they expect. Indeed, in this candidate-driven market there is a large number of assignments, including long-term projects. A contract that runs for at least six months, and even up to several years, is the rule rather than the exception. This long contract period offers a stable, yet diverse, basis for independent entrepreneurship. Long-term contracts also give you the opportunity to really make an impact on an organisation.
In addition, there are intermediaries such as Eswelt who can take this commercial aspect off your hands. Outsourcing your acquisition process and letting an intermediary handle your mediation can greatly increase your chances of maintaining a constant flow of consecutive assignments. Another advantage of letting Eswelt handle your mediation is that we have a strong network in the ERP and CRM market in both Belgium and the Netherlands. The chances are that you will be placed a challenging assignment that is the perfect match for your own preferences and wishes.