Moving business forward with SAP S/4HANA | SUSE Communities

Moving business forward with SAP S/4HANA


Today’s business thrives on evolution, from products to services, to the technology that drives both. And if your business isn’t moving forward, it might as well be moving in reverse. This means your organization must carefully and critically evaluate the technology you depend on. If the technology that supports your operations is either:

  • Legacy
  • Dependent on custom code


then your next move with SAP S/4HANA must be done carefully. How you answer those two questions will help you to choose from one of three basic options with your software:

  • Will you deploy a new implementation?
  • Will you perform a system conversion?
  • Will you do a selective data migration?


Between the months of September and October of 2019, SAPinsider surveyed 217 members of their audience to help understand the progress SAP customers have made with the different types of SAP S/4HANA deployments. The results of that survey found a majority of respondents (90 percent) have (at least) begun the process of evaluating the case for migration or running pilot projects. At the same time, 34 percent have already begun the rollout of SAP S/4HANA.

Of those already making the migration:

  • 50 percent chose to deploy a new implementation.
  • 32 percent chose a system conversion.
  • 18 percent chose a selective data transition.


Common Characteristics

The results of the survey discovered there were two types of respondents:

  • Early adopters
  • Late adopters


The survey concluded that early adopters shared a few common characteristics. For example, 58 percent of all early adopters viewed the SAP S/4HANA deployment as an opportunity to re-engineer their business processes to better fit operational needs and/or correct poorly developed/deployed processes and configurations.

Another common denominator was how SAP S/4HANA was used. The majority of early adopters (58 percent) used SAP S/4HANA to modernize and optimize as many business processes as possible.

Finally, early adopters tend to focus on data as an area for improvement: 84 percent of early adopters cited data cleansing, management, and governance as an extremely important requirement for their migration.

Required Actions

Another important detail to arise from the survey was the required actions necessary for a successful SAP S/4HANA deployment/migration. There were four key factors to come out of the survey.

The first required action was to research current industry standards and best practices for every major process for each line of business (LoB) and compare them to the existing processes. This research would help a business determine whether to preserve existing custom code and processes, as well as how the alternatives would impact all business operations.

The second action was to leverage free SAP tools to analyze and identify what absolutely cannot change and what potentially could change. There are several free tools available (such as Usage Procedure Logging, Custom Code Lifecycle Management, ABAP Call Monitor, ABAP Test Cockpit, Readiness Check, SAP Transformation Navigator, and SAP Business Scenario Recommendations), each of which can help test custom code usage, identify potential issues and areas of improvement, and determine how ready your business processes and code are for SAP S/4HANA.

The next action was to build a business case around holistic digital transformation with impact on every LoB. You can read another SAPinsider research report, “Benchmarking the Business Case for SAP S/4HANA” to find out how early adopters built their SAP S/4HANA business cases. In this report, you’ll find:

  • What steps SAP customers have taken to build successful business cases for SAP S/4HANA
  • How lines of business and IT can make this a joint project to build a business case that encapsulates the potential value of the system
  • Why many companies that have attempted to build a business case for SAP S/4HANA have stalled or had their plans rejected by leadership, and what leaders can share about how to approach this implementation differently from any previous enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementation and ultimately use SAP S/4HANA to accelerate business growth


The final action was to conduct a detailed sensitivity analysis for each process that could potentially change in terms of the costs and long-term benefits of new implementations versus system conversions. Of the survey respondents, 58 percent of early adopters were using SAP S/4HANA to modernize and optimize as many processes as possible (versus only 29 percent of late adopters).

Read the Report

To find out more of what the SAPinsider report uncovered about SAP S/4HANA deployments, click here to read the entire report. You’ll find plenty of information to help guide you and your business to the future of ERP.

Please follow me on Twitter @MichaelDTabron.



  • Avatar photo Michael Tabron says:

    The hyperlink to the report has been fixed. Sorry for the inconvience.

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    Michael Tabron I'm a SUSE Product Marketing Manager focused primarily on open source solutions for SAP applications across all platforms. I joined SUSE in 2015, and have over 20 years of experience with hardware and software marketing.