As we know, all SAP customers are faced with the challenge that their SAP Business Suite solutions will be out of SAP mainstream maintenance by 2025. While this might seem far into the future, I think that it is important to use the remaining time to prepare the move to S/4HANA.
In my opinion, the imminent first step towards S/4HANA is to understand, where you are in terms of your S/4HANA readiness. Affirmed by what I learned at SAPPHIRE NOW this week, I continue to believe that the following dimensions have to be considered:
Data Quality / Unicode / Archive: When transitioning to S/4HANA, data matters big time:
- In memory storage costs money, so you only want to keep data there that benefits from running LIVE.
- Your transition downtime onto S/4HANA is largely driven by the amount of data that you migrate. Therefore you only want to transfer data that is relevant.
- If you want to benefit from real-time operational reporting on your transactional data, it has to be clean. Therefore you want to get rid of duplicates and other redundancies.
Integration / Interfaces: Real-time enterprise management does not work well with batch interfaces.
Versions / Patches: Your systems have to fulfil certain minimum release levels before transitioning them to S/4HANA.
Modifications / Enhancements: SAP have simplified some of their code. Therefore, your extensions would have to be checked for compatibility.
Configuration / Features: Not all SAP and 3rd party add-ons are S/4HANA ready yet. The ones you use, including industry solutions, would have to be checked for compatibility.
User Experience / Mobility: SAP Fiori is the strategic user interface technology for S/4HANA. Therefore it would help your journey, if you had already experience with it.