SAP is the clear frontrunner in Belgian financial applications.

Around 84% of Belgian company offices use a software solution for their financial administration. This might involve a stand-alone solution or a module from a more comprehensive ERP application. The use of financial software has been at the aforementioned 84% for the last three years now. For the remaining 16 percent, the financial administration is either provided by an external party or might be performed at a sister or parent location within the company itself. The financial solution most cited by far is SAP software (55%). Microsoft Dynamics solutions account for over 7% of all financial applications, followed by customised solutions (almost 7%). This is according to an analysis by Computer Profile based on more than 4,000 interviews with IT officers from Belgian company sites from the public and commercial domain.

Compared with a year ago, if we look at the different suppliers, there have been no major shifts. However, there has certainly been a noticeable downward trend for the use of financial customised solutions.

If we look at the market share figures for each market segment, there are certainly some big differences. For example, NRB software is the most popular (24%). SAP and Exact are in second and third place with 15 and 18% respectively. Locations in the ‘Multinationals’ segment use SAP financial software to a large extent (74%). Microsoft and customised solutions make up the top three (11 and 8%). Microsoft is clearly ahead amongst national enterprises. SAP is also the solution most used at these locations with a share of 41%, but Microsoft occupies second place with a share of 19%. Customised solutions are still used by 17%. At locations in the medium sized businesses segment, SAP is in third place with a share of 16%.  We encounter customised solutions in this segment at 19% of the locations, and Microsoft forms the largest group of financial applications with a share of 24%.

The use of financial software doesn’t yet say anything about the location where this solution operates. If we zoom in on the way in which this has been arranged, it becomes clear that 45% of financial solutions still operate on servers at their own location. About 35% of the solutions operate physically at another location which belongs to their own organisation. About 19% of Belgian company sites say that they use a financial application hosted by an external service provider or run directly from the cloud (privately). In this case, several financial applications can be used at one location which can also operate in different places.

In surveying the most popular HR solutions, Computer Profile looked on the one hand at separate HR solutions, and, on the other hand, at ERP applications in use, because these also will usually include HR functions.

A clear distinction for HR solutions is noticeable compared with financial applications. About 3% of Belgian company offices say that they use an HR solution hosted by an external service provider or run directly from the cloud (compared with 19% for financial applications). About 40% of HR solutions operate on their own site, and about 30% operate at an affiliated location. What is certainly striking is the relatively low use of hosted/cloud HR solutions in the Belgian public domain. Most emphasis in this segment is on solutions which operate locally. The use of HR software which operates in an external service provider’s data centre is highest amongst ‘national enterprises’ and in the medium sized businesses segment.

Apart from HR software, Computer Profile also considered the use of ERP software with integrated HR modules for the use of software for the HR function. The most popular HR software is that of SAP, namely almost 42%. Customised solutions in the field of HR are still found at about 8.5% of Belgian locations.