Prepare for the shift to S/4HANA

28th November 2021

Blog post

With a two-year extension announced last year, every SAP system must migrate to S/4HANA by 2027. Is your SAP landscape ready?

Disruptive. Overwhelming. Costly. These may be the negative words circling your mind at the thought of this mammoth task. Well, you’re not alone. According to SAPInsider’s SAP S/4HANA Migration Benchmark Report,  35% of their respondents hadn’t yet implemented S/4HANA due to costs, 35% due to infrastructure, and 32% due to disruption. 

On the flip side, for those respondents that had already made the move, the two biggest benefits they experienced were improved process efficiencies (72%), and improved end user and business satisfaction (61%). 

With over 17,500 SAP S/4HANA subscribers as of the third quarter of 2021, there’s been a whopping 10% increase since the start of 2021. 

2027 is on the horizon and let’s face it, the clock gets faster as the deadline gets closer. Smaller companies can get away with waiting a couple of years but for larger companies, the time to act is now.

There are multiple SAP S/4HANA transition journey options but whichever way you look at it, moving and upgrading your ERP is a major project.

Speaking with clients and candidates alike, we’ve pulled together some thinking points for a seamless and effective transition to S/4HANA. 

1. Take the time to put a plan in place

Implementing S/4HANA is a huge undertaking. It can take a long time as well as cost a great deal of money and other resources to implement. That’s why effective planning is key. Know exactly what’s involved in the process and lay out a structure for how you will proceed with the project. 

The planning process can take up from one to two years. Ensure that in this time you choose the right platform to address all the challenges effectively, understand the different S/HANA deployment options and the intricacies of their implementation.

2. Ensure the data is ready

It goes without saying, but good quality data equals better, faster, and cheaper conversions. 

S/4HANA has such powerful analytical tools that it’s even more critical to ensure data accuracy to get the value out of the new solution. All ERP systems are data-driven and so a thorough data quality program should proceed before cutover.  The time, energy and cost spent in ensuring top quality data pays off in the end so don’t skimp on this stage.

This will not only make your SAP infrastructure stronger but also help avoid any delays and pushbacks in your implementation. 

3. Know your current infrastructure

The right infrastructure foundation is required for your S/4HANA project to be successful. Infrastructure and architecture will heavily depend on whether your S/4HANA system is on-premise or in the cloud, what interfaces you have, and your business model. 

Is your SAP system more standard or custom? This is an important consideration to think about when altering your SAP system. Download our new report SAP Standard vs Custom: The Big Debate to learn our key insights. 

Getting the right experts in to ensure you’re making the right decision for your company is a critical first step to be decided early on in your program budgeting cycle. 

4. Build the right team of S/4HANA talent.

The success of an S/4HANA migration relies heavily on the right combination of tech expertise and stakeholders.

Whatever your migration option, Brownfield, Greenfield or Landscape Transformation, you’ll likely need a team of SAP architects, SAP data experts, SAP functional and technical experts, SAP BASIS administrators, SAP application experts and/or SAP ABAP developers. 

The time to get your team ready is now. A recent report from SAPInsider, 2021 CIO Perspectives, indicated that the most important skillset CIOs planned on investing this year was that of SAP S/4HANA. 

As a leading global SAP S/4HANA recruitment agency, we have seen this uptick in demand for S/4HANA talent as businesses have been returning to normal and projects are back on the table.

RED Global has been developing relationships with functional and technical S/4 talent, adding our already established network of over 300,000 SAP professionals. To understand how we are developing our S/4 skill set and getting ready for the challenges to help our clients, please connect with one of our S/4HANA specialists today. 

Visit our blog page to read our latest SAP insights and career advice. 

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