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S/4hana migrationFor enterprises running SAP ECC, the question isn’t whether to migrate to S/4HANA, it’s when, how much it will cost and how best to deploy it. With SAP making it clear they will only support maintenance on older ECC software through 2025, enterprises are assessing their SAP environments and building migration plans now.

The industry’s SAP inflection point

The urgency facing enterprises was underscored by recent research from The Hackett Group: The Journey from SAP ECC to S/4HANA. The firm surveyed 34 medium- to large-sized enterprises (with revenues ranging from $200 million to $60 billion) that are currently running ECC to understand their plans, concerns and overall S/4HANA migration strategy ahead of the 2025 deadline. Key takeaways include:

  • The time to plan for S/4HANA is now – while 21% of large enterprise have yet to begin planning their migration, that number jumps to 71% for enterprises with less than $1 billion in revenue
  • Multiple S/4HANA migration concerns – more than 70% of enterprises are concerned about the cost, time and business case requirements to migrate
  • Cloud-first strategy for S/4HANA – while 75% currently host ECC in their own data center or colocation facility, 85% are either evaluating hosting solutions or definitely moving to the cloud when they migrate to S/4HANA
  • High demand for SAP expertise – in an increasingly tight labor market for employees with SAP expertise, nearly 90% of respondents have already started outsourcing parts of SAP support and see that increasing with the move to S/4HANA

The survey further underscored an inflection point as the industry recognizes SAP is clearly focusing its investment and innovation going forward in S/4HANA. Gartner emphasized this point in a recent report[1]:

SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s long-term strategic solution. The company announced that it would prolong mainstream maintenance of SAP Business Suite on all databases until at least 2025. It is clear that SAP expects all existing users to move to S/4HANA on-premises or SaaS. SAP is still delivering enhancements for ECC 6.0 (as seen in the company’s current roadmaps), but it is Gartner’s opinion that major investments and innovations will be delivered through S/4HANA. Consequently, if your organization views SAP as a strategic partner, you need to plan to adopt S/4HANA before 2025. Gartner predicts that there will be a tsunami of S/4HANA adoption between 2021 and 2023, which could drive up the implementation cost as skilled resources are scarce.

Laying the groundwork for an S/4HANA migration plan

As enterprises navigate this technology refresh and evaluate their SAP options, Symmetry and Answerthink have partnered to help enterprises answer the critical question, “What does moving to S/4HANA mean to me?”

To support the planning process, the two companies created a free S/4HANA Technical Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Assessment modeling tool that provides a detailed analysis of a specific enterprise’s SAP environment based on input about their organization, budget and current IT architecture.

Based on the modeling analysis, Symmetry and Answerthink deliver a detailed TCO Assessment Report that provides deep insight into an enterprise’s SAP system, and will help determine what steps are necessary before considering an S/4HANA migration, including:

  • Address the total cost of ownership of hosting vs. technical refresh
  • Provide a recommended overall technical architecture
  • Provide product recommendations
  • Identify potential product consolidation opportunities
  • Provide preliminary S/4HANA migration budget considerations

The report is designed to help enterprises reduce migration risk while maximizing their SAP investment. And when enterprises are ready to move forward, Symmetry and Answerthink can provide support in building a business case, doing a health check on their existing SAP environment and build a roadmap to migrate to S/4HANA.

With the S/4HANA adoption ‘tsunami’ set to overwhelm the industry in a few years, the time to assess, plan and migrate to S/4HANA is now. Both Symmetry and Answerthink have worked closely with enterprises to migrate their SAP environments to S/4HANA in the cloud and understand the concerns and questions outlined in the survey. As a result, the two companies have the expertise and tools for transforming what is essentially the foundation of an enterprise’s daily operations and bringing it to the cloud.

Additional resources for the migration to S/4HANA include:

[1] Gartner, Inc., What Customers Need to Know When Considering a Move to S/4HANA – 2018 Update, Duy Nguyen, John Van Decker and Denis Torii, October 8, 2018.