NTT DATA Business Solutions
Brandon Evans | November 8, 2018

2027 is Closer than You Think: Why Now is the Right Time for your SAP S/4HANA Migration

sap s/4hana migration

SAP has proclaimed that the S/4HANA software package is in response to the increasing complexity and real-time nature of today’s digital economy. S/4HANA offers real-time data access and an improved user interface that will enable your business to react quickly to changes in the market. All of that is true. But some SAP customers are looking at their ERP system as a major infrastructure project, with all sorts of associated questions and concerns.

We get it. Let’s put aside digital transformation for a moment. If you have no interest in the strategic benefits of SAP S/4HANA — if all you care about is its value as a software infrastructure investment — it’s still worth doing an upgrade to S/4HANA now.

Waiting = Scarce Resources + Increased Cost

The sooner you start, the quicker you’ll be able to leverage the technologies that drive innovation and differentiation. But even more important, we believe that the longer your company waits to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, the more the migration is likely to cost, for two important reasons:

  1. As we get closer to 2027, there will likely be a rush of activity to make the move to S/4HANA. When that happens, resources are going to get scarce – and resource scarcity means that prices will increase and quality levels could drop.
  2. Over time, the gap between the capabilities of your existing SAP solution and the S/4HANA platform will widen, making the effort and cost of migration greater. SAP has been clear that it does not intend to update legacy platforms at the same pace they will for S/4HANA, and that will create a gap that will need to be addressed at the time of transition.

Reliability and Efficiency

Your legacy SAP ERP landscape has likely been running for decades. It may have custom code, outdated configurations, inadequate system resources and a host of other problems. It’s also probable that you have business processes that are running sub-optimally, resulting in cost overruns, inefficiencies and even lost revenue.

Making the move to SAP S/4HANA will modernize your entire ERP stack, replacing a soon-to-be outdated system that has been patched together over decades with a single, supported, next-generation digital platform. If that’s not a convincing enough reason to start your migration now, we suggest that – as a first step – you explore our Business Process Health Check to identify and optimize existing business processes in preparation for your future move.

Third-Party Apps

If your current SAP landscape uses third-party apps, there may be more immediate consequences for your technology stack. SAP has been working with companies like Apple and Microsoft to provide new apps and more powerful integrations for HANA, and software providers are going to increasingly focus on companies that have up-to-date versions of SAP S/4HANA.

At the very least, you will need to consider the support strategy of your third-party app vendors, because you could lose support for existing apps well before 2027, or miss out on valuable new functionality.

Customer Retention

In the digital economy, the rules have changed, and the customer is in charge. They expect a personalized experience, with results delivered in real time, across every channel.  The digital economy and advances in technology are dramatically changing the way products are manufactured and brought to market. Can your legacy ERP keep up?

Talent Retention

As with consumers, employees have certain expectations about the technology they use to do their work – especially Millennials. There’s a war for talent going on, and it’s going to be harder and harder to attract and retain the best talent if you’re using outdated systems.

There’s No Future in Legacy ERP

Past 2027, SAP won’t be releasing new patches or addressing vulnerabilities on your legacy SAP ERP. Even more important, your legacy ERP simply cannot support the newer technologies that will enable your business to innovate and survive in the digital era. Can you really afford to let your competitors leapfrog you on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, machine learning, and robotic process automation (RPA)?

The question isn’t whether to move to S/4HANA, it’s when. And there simply isn’t a compelling case for putting it off and maintaining your legacy infrastructure longer than necessary.

Starting to consider your next steps? We offer 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 offers 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.

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