Dan McGrann

S/4HANA: What is your sure fire transition plan?

Dan McGrann | September 20, 2019

Explanation of Rev-Trac's change control processes

The clock is ticking for SAP customers to transition to S/4HANA. Yet, we haven’t seen a stampede toward SAP’s newest ERP system. Indeed some organizations are still undecided or don’t have comprehensive migration plans.

So, what is the current situation?

Recently, several reports on SAP customer transition plans have been published. Among these are papers commissioned by ASUG, Rimini St, Resulting IT, SAP (IDC) and SAP Insider.

After reading the reports – and a commentary on one of them – it was difficult to come away with an accurate sense of the real state of play. Yet, the compiled survey results are worth sharing.

A little background

Firstly, it is important to be aware of potential biases in the results:

  • SAP sponsored the IDC report
  • Resulting IT is independent of SAP
  • Rimini Street offers 3rd party SAP support
  • SAP Insider and ASUG may or may not be independent
  • SAP Insider quote SAP as a research partner

Secondly, the commentary I read courtesy of Brightwork, states that ASUG’s 16% of the 38,000 to 45,000 existing ECC SAP customers running live on S/4HANA is too high to be considered realistic.

S/4HANA transition timing

Interestingly, whichever way you slice and dice the data, between 40% to 70% of current SAP ECC customers are not planning to transition by the deadline of 2025. Or, they simply won’t make it by then.

Timing Range Resulting IT* SAP Insider Rimini St ASUG IDC
Evaluating 52% 52%
Live already 2%  –  16% 2% 7% 16% 9%
Implementing 9%  –  16% 9% 12% 16% 18%
1 – 3 years 25%  – 54% 52% 25% 56% 54%
3 – 5 years 38% –  53% 38% 53% 19%
Later or no plans 4%  –  26% 4% 26% 12%

*Note that the Resulting IT report was the first to be published (around October 2018) and so things may have changed since then.

S/4HANA Transition Method

There are three different approaches to think about when your organization is considering a migration – greenfield, brownfield and bluefield (or hybrid).

Method Range Resulting IT SAP Insider IDC
Greenfield 2% – 23% 2% 16% 23%
Brownfield 26% – 75% 75% 31%
Bluefield/Hybrid 13% 33%
Being planned 23% – 44% 23% 36% 44%

What we are seeing of our customers currently transitioning or intending to migrate in the near term, is that most have or will adopt a bluefield/hybrid approach.

S/4HANA Deployment Method

SAP’s cloud offerings have always been a moving target. Perhaps this is why only two of the reports published SAP ECC customer S/4HANA deployment intentions.

The results from both are close. However, with more than 50% of organizations intending to run all or some of their S/4HANA systems on-premise, don’t throw away those servers yet.

Deployment Range SAP Insider ASUG
On-premise 32% – 40% 40% 32%
Public Cloud 13% – 44% 13% 44%
Private Cloud 30% – 44% 30%
Hybrid 17% – 23% 17% 23%

Access to skilled consultants

The likelihood of a ‘skills crunch’ dominates the conversation when talk turns to the timing of a move to S/4HANA. So, access to the right skills should be a key decision criterion.

According to Resulting IT

108 million consulting days will be required for all of SAP’s 40,000 ECC customers to be on S/4 HANA by 2025. This is based on a 9-month implementation with 15 consultants engaged on the project. Note: The Gartner report quotes 12-18 months for many transitions.

Since only half of SAP’s customers, at this point anyway, plan to move to S/4HANA by 2025, only 54 million consulting days will be required. Still, to put that into perspective, that’s some 245,500 man-years.

How does Rev-Trac help?

Automation is crucial for avoiding costly and time-consuming business disruptions as S/4HANA is configured and built. Rev-Trac is an automation solution that eliminates error-prone manual tasks and helps you safely transition to SAP’s new generation platform. It helps you to maintain business continuity during the migration and after S/4HANA is up and running, without breaking the bank.

For more information, request a demo with one of our Rev-Trac experts and check out the links to recently published papers and commentary.

Research links

Here are the survey, report, whitepaper and commentary links. If you find you cannot access the link, let me know.

ASUG – ASUG’s Point of View on SAP S/4HANA

Gartner – What Customers Need to Know When Considering a Move to S/4HANA — 2018 Update

IDC – Customers are on the move to S/4 HANA

Resulting IT – Don’t migrate to S/4 HANA until you have read this research

Rimini St – White Paper: Evaluating S/4HANA: Considerations for SAP Customers

SAP Insider – SAP S/4HANA: State of the Market

Brightwork – How accurate was ASUG on its S/4 HANA Poll?

Contact us to find out more

Dan McGrann

Dan first joined the company in 2015 to grow Rev-Trac’s partner ecosystem and build relationships with like-minded organizations to creates strategic DevOps initiatives for SAP-using enterprises. Dan has an in-depth understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing today’s SAP IT teams, particularly in SAP change management, cross-platform integration trends and DevOps best practices.
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