Mainstream maintenance and support for SAP customers on SAP ERP 6 and Business Suite 7 will end in 2027, a two-year extension from its original end-date of 2025. This doesn’t change the fact that the migration to SAP S/4HANA will be one of the largest projects of the decade for members of most IT departments, or the likelihood that they will need to work with almost every line of business (LoB) to build their business case, migrate operations, and re-engineer processes.
After speaking with dozens of SAP customers, Pierce Owen, Vice President of Research at SAPinsider, would sum up how customers are feeling about the migration in three words: “Obligated, opportunistic, and hopeful.” A survey conducted earlier this year by SAPinsider asked 500 members of our audience several questions about their current SAP S/4HANA migration strategy. Owen will further discuss these sentiments along with SAPinsider’s research on this topic during our live webinar, SAP S/4HANA Migration, occurring live on Tuesday, March 24 at 11:00am, ET.
For now, here are 5 things SAP customers are saying.
- The biggest challenge is building the business case. “The business case, which should maximize the value of the new functionality, is such a challenge because it requires IT departments to work with almost every single LoB to understand how it will impact operations and processes. Additionally, they have to put forth a significant amount of effort to re-engineer processes to take advantage of the opportunity that SAP S/4HANA presents to those LoBs. Many customers have told me that they initially felt overwhelmed by the amount of information out there and it took time to organize it into a compelling case. SAP S/4HANA also comes with a relatively wide range of cost elements. Some customers have found the license to be the cheapest part. Installing and running the HANA database, whether on-premise or in the cloud, comes with significant costs,” says Owen.
- SAP’s completed product vision in releases 1809 and 1909 has yielded significant business benefits, such as faster financial close, better predictive analytics and financial forecasts, and faster decisions. “These benefits are based on a more comprehensive view of finance and accounting as well as opportunities to lower logistics and inventory costs,” says Owen.
- The migration to SAP S/4HANA represents a major opportunity to improve business operations. The migration to SAP S/4HANA is not simply a necessary IT upgrade. Owen says that survey respondents chose end-user and business satisfaction as the most popular metric for a successful SAP S/4HANA migration at a rate of 69%, followed by process efficiency improvement at 64%.
- We have already, or plan to, migrate to SAP S/4HANA. In fact, 17% of SAP customers surveyed have reported that they’ve already gone live, up from 8% a year ago. Last year, 34% of SAP customers did not yet have any plans for migrating to SAP S/4HANA. “Now, that number has dropped to 14.5%, and the other 85.5% have at least started evaluating the business case,” says Owen.
- Our business case has been started or is complete. This was a response shared by most SAP customers who were surveyed, who reported that, despite the maintenance deadline extension, they would move to SAP S/4HANA before 2025 anyway. “A significant number told me they breathed a sigh of relief because they needed these two years and a very small group told me they still will not have done everything they need to do to prepare for the migration by 2027 and hope it gets pushed back again,” says Owen.
During the live webinar, Owen will go into more detail about SAPinsider’s research into SAP customers’ SAP S/4HANA migration strategies. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions in real-time and gain a better understanding of:
- Where they stack up vs. the market in migration progress
- How most SAP customers view SAP S/4HANA and the migration
- What they can do to prepare for the migration
- The types of tools out there that can help them migrate to SAP S/4HANA to best support business operations and minimize disruption