What is the key to success for businesses looking to grow while facing the plethora of modern-day challenges? 80% of business leaders say transforming their organization into an intelligent enterprise is a critical factor. Enterprise intelligence is powered by the right technology as efficiency, collaboration and detailed insights are paramount.
SAP S/4HANA is a single cloud platform that brings together all the technology and innovation companies need to build intelligence. It creates efficiency in all key business processes such as human resources, finance, sales and logistics.
The migration from other business process architectures including SAP ECC to S/4HANA gives businesses access to a state-of-the-art ERP, a new improved user experience, greater connectivity and good practices embedded in all systems.
Business leaders can choose how they migrate to S/4HANA depending on the state of the existing system and the business needs, goals, priorities and future plans. When formulating a migration strategy, business leaders have 3 categories of approaches to choose from.
Businesses can use S/4HANA to start from scratch. Your best option could be to build a new system through S/4HANA from the ground up if the current system needs overhauling to simplify and optimize complex processes.
It’s a fresh start to develop an advanced system centered around the new SAP features such as In-memory HANA Database, simpler Landscape, advanced ATP and Fiori. This enables businesses to engineer their system architecture including automations, configurations and integrations using cutting-edge technologies that have been standardized for best practice. As none of the existing workflows are imported, none of the glitches and complications of the old system are at risk of impeding the effectiveness of the new system.
However, starting anew is a lengthy process. Businesses need a budget and timeline that can accommodate the engineering and implementation of a whole new system according to their required customizations. There also needs to be significant investment in change management as the workforce needs support overcoming any resistance to the new way of working.
The greenfield migration approach gives businesses complete flexibility to use S/4HANA to meet their objectives. It’s important to be aware that building a system from scratch is a substantial undertaking.
Companies looking to take advantage of the benefits of S/4HANA don’t have to start from scratch. If they are on a tight budget or strict schedule or have core elements of their current system that are working well and therefore they’d like to preserve, they can undergo a brownfield migration. This involves re-using existing processes in the new system by migrating the current ECC version to the S/4 HANA platform.
Keeping existing processes and customizations minimizes disruption while still optimizing the system through the improvements that can be made with the S/4 HANA platform. However, the depth of improvement is limited because processes can’t be re-engineered to the same extent as the greenfield approach. This could mean missing out on some of the advanced technologies and best practices SAP has made available within S/4 HANA and paying the cost of catching up later on.
Brownfield migration works for enterprises that already have a strong system that is relatively up to date but can benefit from the innovation of S/4 HANA. Ensure the elements that are retained from the existing system are thoroughly filtered so as to not migrate blockers of effectiveness and efficiency to the new system.
Businesses don’t have to choose between one or the other. By following a hybrid strategy they can take advantage of the benefits and reduce the risks of both greenfield and brownfield approaches. This involves re-using and rebuilding in tandem.
Enterprises may forward their intelligence by taking a mix and match approach to migrating to S/4HANA. This hybrid approach imports the existing system into S/4HANA, editing and upgrading along the way. Some elements are re-used and others are re-built as the original system continues to run concurrently until all the data, configurations and processes have been imported and optimized.
There is also an empty shell approach to hybrid migration where a copy of the existing system is created without live data. Using S/4HANA, configurations and processes are discarded, edited and upgraded. This essentially creates a new, better system that live data can be migrated to when the business is ready to make the switch.
Hybrid migration allows businesses to keep current elements of the system that are working well without holding onto no longer useful elements as well as embrace innovation without discarding what they have already built.
Business leaders don’t have to navigate the migration to S/4 HANA alone. By choosing NTT DATA as your migration partner, you can feel secure that you are following a path to intelligence that is vetted by years of multi-industry experience and SAP specialization. You will be guided from end to end, starting with creating a migration plan and continuing to the implementation of the new system and post-implementation innovation.
Your customized roadmap will be based on an in-depth analysis of existing business processes, company goals and future aspirations, and our own solutions and tools for minimizing risk and optimizing results in the shortest time possible.
Your journey to leveraging SAP S/4 HANA to become a more intelligent enterprise begins with NTT DATA.
Rómulo José Morera Galván, SAP BASIS expert