sap s/4hana migration

SAP S/4HANA Migration: When is the Right Time?

In my last blog, we discussed the reasons why it’s time to move to SAP S/4HANA. In this blog, we’ll dig a little deeper to help you determine when the time is right for your business to start its migration.

Every business is different and will need to determine for itself when the time is right. However, we believe these factors will be important as you consider whether it’s time for your business to migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

What type of SAP Customer are YOU?

How would you describe your company’s risk tolerance, from a technology perspective? At NTT DATA Business Solutions we have seen 4 major types of customers: Innovator, Early Adopter, Early or Late Majority, or Laggard. It’s understandable that some businesses take a more conservative approach to implementing new technologies, with a “wait and see” attitude. However, with over 2,000+ customers already live on SAP S/4HANA, I would say that we’ve moved beyond the Innovator or Early Adopter stage.

Another thing to consider: what if ERP and related technologies not only support your organization, but also play a part in steering it? When you initiate change by applying new technology, you open up the possibility of gaining a competitive advantage due to new and faster insights that enable you to make better business decisions. Can your organization innovate quickly to drive new business models?  Can your organization adopt digital practices in order to automate business processes and make it easier for customers to do business with you? This approach is part of what we call “digital thinking,” in which your business and technology are increasingly interwoven.

Current Business Context

It’s important to understand the manner in which your existing SAP system supports your current environment of processes, organization and information. By understanding what is working well and what is not (and why), you should be able to come up with some concrete ideas about how to initiate improvement and identify areas where SAP S/4HANA could play a part.

Integration Approach

Take a look at your existing IT landscape to identify which SAP systems and other applications you have that are (or are not) currently connected with SAP. This will give you a better understanding of the underlying infrastructure and insight to inform your integration approach, since integration becomes more complex when multiple vendors and solutions are involved. SAP’s vision is clear that for ECC and S/4HANA Clients, SAP Cloud Platform is the integration engine of choice, and allows native integration to all SAP Cloud Products.

Technology Strategy

Your technology strategy requires a full understanding of your current business and IT – what the value of migration could be and whether there is a related business case. Determining your SAP strategy will require you to make choices that will have a long-term impact; not only affecting IT, but also causing changes to the organization, people, processes, data, management information and so on.

You should also think about your overall IT environment. For example, if you’re running SAP BPC/BW, SAP PO, SAP BOBJ and/or SAP EWM environments, you may have to consider when you would move/combine each of the environments and/or consider other options like moving to Integrated Business Planning (IBP) in the cloud, SAP C/4HANA, or SAP SuccessFactors.

It’s important to find a trusted advisor early in the transformation process to SAP HANA or S/4HANA to help guide you. The pace of change from SAP is challenging for many organizations, so working with a partner with significant SAP expertise, like NTT DATA Business Solutions, may make more sense.


Go beyond just looking at support for transactional processes. You should also consider your current business analytics landscape and make an assessment. Are you currently getting all the information needed for business decision-making, and is that information timely and accurate? Can you perform the analysis you need in today’s environment? Supplying better and faster information and insights is a key benefit of SAP S/4HANA.

Business Value

The struggle for many companies is trying to properly determine the value of moving to SAP S/4HANA. It’s difficult to put a value on innovation, but there is value in having the ability to access and utilize those innovations when they become available or the ability to upgrade to the latest technology quickly. You also need to take into consideration the competitive advantage of staying ahead of your competitors – and the disadvantage of falling behind.

So, our overall answer to the question of when to move to SAP S/4HANA is, “it depends,” but we are here to help you develop your plan, define business drivers and build a viable business case.  We’ve touched upon the factors above, but there may be others for you to consider – like your busy season or big projects already happening in your business (acquisitions, new product release, new integrations, etc.) – that would affect the timing of your migration.

Of course, for a significant undertaking like SAP S/4HANA migration, it’s important to build a good business case that offsets the additional value of S/4HANA against the required investment and the effort needed to migrate. NTT DATA Business Solutions can assist with an SAP S/4HANA Migration Workshop to help you assess your current environment and build a roadmap for moving forward.

When you’re ready to make the move, NTT DATA Business Solutions can help. Our specialty is SAP S/4HANA adoption acceleration, using pre-configured solutions to accelerate implementation and migration to S/4HANA. In addition, we offer a Fixed Fee Migration to SAP S/4HANA Digital Core that includes a three-month accelerated timeline and one year of free access to a dedicated expert advocate to ensure a smooth migration and operation of your converted system.

Brandon Evans
Brandon Evans
Vice President, Customer Transformation

Brandon has over 12 years of industry experience in wholesale, discrete and process manufacturing. He has focused specifically in the areas of supply chain - procurement, inventory, material planning, and internal warehouse processes. Throughout his career, Brandon has built trust with our customers across the NTT DATA Business Solutions portfolio - consulting, managed services, presales, and solutions development roles. Brandon is motivated to bringing our customers value with our own NTT DATA Business Solutions software products, services and solution packages. Brandon resides in Cincinnati, Ohio with his wife and two sons.

Contact Us
Contact Us

Have questions? Please contact us.