If you run SAP, it's time to get ready for S/4HANA

Read time 2min 00sec
Mike Styer, country manager at GlassHouse South Africa.
Mike Styer, country manager at GlassHouse South Africa.

SAP S/4HAN is SAP’s fourth-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that runs on the SAP HANA database.

It is the enterprise software company's answer to the increasingly complex digital business world and it boasts intelligent features, a simplified data model and the new SAP HANA in-memory database, which allows for real-time data analytics.

Existing SAP ERP systems will have reached the end of their life cycles by 2027 and will no longer be supported.

Many local enterprises have not yet begun the process of migrating from legacy SAP to SAP S/4Hana, says Mike Styer, country manager of GlassHouse Technology SA, adding that without a clear roadmap these organisations may run out of time, and will not be able to complete a successful migration before the 2027 deadline.

“While six years may seem like a long time, there are so many factors that businesses have not considered when it comes to a successful migration to S/4HANA.”

He says there are nearly 30 000 SAP licences in the country that are yet to be migrated, meaning thousands of businesses still need to make the shift. Also, the migration can take months to complete, even with thorough planning.

“A rough estimate with the figures we have on hand shows that over the next five years, for all enterprises in SA to be successfully migrated by the stipulated deadline, the industry will need to migrate at least one customer every ten days,” adds Styer.

There’s also a shortage of the skills needed to make this happen as SAP requires particular certifications and the ability to provide case studies of successful migrations. And many organisations may also want to move to the Azure Cloud at the same time.

There are only a select few specialised partners accredited by SAP and Microsoft that can help South African enterprises through this process, and will either be available or able to complete migrations as 2027 gets closer, says Styer.

He suggests that, whether going it alone or working with a partner to migrate to S/4 HANA, enterprises need to start planning and executing now to avoid missing the deadline.

See also