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Starting the SAP S/4HANA Journey with Confidence

3 Reasons Not to Wait to Make the Move

by Carl Dubler | SAPinsider, Volume 19, Issue 3

August 22, 2018

There are main two approaches to implementing new innovations: dive in head first or wait and see how others fare. For the more cautious SAP customers, it is understandable why they may be hesitant to move their critical ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. But many concerns – such as the impact on business and IT, the SAP S/4HANA roadmap, and customer momentum – can be alleviated by leveraging existing SAP planning tools and customer success stories to evaluate the best path forward. Read on to hear how you can begin on your SAP S/4HANA journey with confidence. 

Have you ever known that you needed to do something important, but found yourself waiting because you didn’t know how to proceed? Many SAP customers find themselves in this position now with their ERP systems and making the move to SAP S/4HANA. They’ve heard about the functionality of SAP S/4HANA and its importance to undergoing a digital transformation, but they still find themselves waiting.

Caution is understandable when it comes to an ERP system, since it is mission-critical to your organization’s success: You don’t want to rush through a significant project on such an important system. At the same time, rapidly changing business and regulatory conditions are making it more important than ever to implement an intelligent ERP system that can keep up with future demands.

Even with this realization — and rapidly approaching maintenance deadlines — some SAP customers still find themselves waiting to go to SAP S/4HANA. I have heard three main reasons why companies might wait: the impact such an adoption could have on the existing business and IT operations, the maturity of and roadmap for SAP S/4HANA, and a need for seeing customer momentum. Let’s look at each of these concerns and the steps you can take to prepare your organization to make the move with confidence.

Reason 1: The Impact on Business and IT

Perhaps you are waiting because you don’t know what SAP S/4HANA will mean to you. How will it affect your lines of business, such as finance, HR, and the supply chain? How will SAP S/4HANA affect your IT department?

You can begin to answer these questions using free, personalized tools that are available now:

  1. Business Scenario Recommendations analyzes your actual ERP workload to show you exactly what will be improved with SAP S/4HANA. After you share your company information in a five-minute survey, you receive a report from SAP within five days.
  2. The Transformation Navigator tool looks at your current system and provides a personalized roadmap with guidance on how to begin calculating return on investment (ROI) as well as what future products you could adopt to gain additional value.
  3. The Readiness Check feature helps your IT department prepare with the information it needs on SAP HANA sizing, custom code mitigation, third-party compatibility, and a host of other details. Figure 1 shows an example of the information it provides, such as memory requirements for sizing and database size for volume management.

Figure 1 — The Readiness Check dashboard provides important IT information to prepare for an SAP S/4HANA migration


These personalized tools give you a running start on your plans and help you understand the benefits and scope of a move to SAP S/4HANA for your organization.

Reason 2: The SAP S/4HANA Roadmap and Maturity

Some companies have told me they are waiting to see if SAP S/4HANA is ready to run all aspects of their business. They have heard — perhaps a few years ago — that SAP S/4HANA is only a solution for finance.

It is true that the first business processes to run on SAP S/4HANA were for finance, back in the first year of its existence. As SAP S/4HANA approaches its fourth year, however, it now runs all business processes. Of the more than 2,000 customers already live on SAP S/4HANA, more than 70% are running the complete scope, going beyond finance.

If you want to see for yourself what is in SAP S/4HANA, I recommend two tools:

  1. The Innovation Discovery tool shows a complete list of what SAP S/4HANA does, and how it has improved over older ERP versions (see Figure 2). It provides an overview of new features with the ability to drill down to more detail.
  2. SAP S/4HANA Roadmap is an official list of the features that are included in or planned for future releases. The site also includes webinars on SAP’s latest solutions.

Figure 2 — Innovation Discovery shows a complete list of the features of SAP S/4HANA


With this information, you can be confident that SAP S/4HANA is mature and ready to run all parts of your business.

Reason 3: Customer Momentum

Some people enjoy being pioneers, while some want to see others succeed first. If you are part of that second group, I have good news for you. We recently announced that 8,000 customers have chosen SAP S/4HANA. Of those, more than half are in an active project to deploy it, and more that 2,000 are already live. Even if you decided to start an SAP S/4HANA deployment today, you would not even be in the first six or seven thousand to go live.

The companies that are live today come from more than 30 industries, represent every region, and range in size from startups to organizations with hundreds of thousands of people. You can read more than 100 success stories in our customer flipbook and learn from their experience (see Figure 3).

Figure 3 — The customer flipbook shares brief examples of benefits that companies have derived from SAP S/4HANA


Why Wait Any Longer?

SAP S/4HANA has been providing value to customers and rolling out new features for years. With personalized planning tools, the mature roadmap, and strong customer momentum, you can now begin your SAP S/4HANA journey with confidence.

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Carl Dubler
Carl Dubler

Carl Dubler ( is Senior Director of Product Marketing for SAP S/4HANA. With an IT career stretching back to the late 1980s, Carl has done nearly every role in the business. In his eleven years at SAP, he also managed SAP’s first commercially available cloud product and first cloud product on SAP HANA.

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