SAP S/4HANA Adoption – What Has Happened So Far?

SAP SE is a German multinational company that develops enterprise software to help manage business operations and customer relations. It is known for its enterprise resource planning software SAP Business Suite. Now, SAP S/4HANA is a future-ready ERP system that has built-in intelligent technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics.

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SAP S/4HANA is short for SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA. In simpler words, it is the fourth version of SAP Business Suite. However, it is designed to run only on SAP HANA. Now, S/4HANA adoption is SAP’s primary agenda in 2021. SAP wants you to believe that their RISE initiative is about much more than just S/4HANA adoption. But in reality, S/4HANA migrations are the major driver behind RISE.
How has the Pandemic Impacted SAP S/4HANA Adoption?
The numbers are in favour of SAP when we talk about the issue of S/4HANA adoption. However, there are a few concerns. A recent survey done on approximately 500 respondents by America’s SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) highlights some crucial points that give a better picture about the whole scenario of S/4HANA adoption. Here is what the survey reveals:
⦁ 33% of the respondents have already adopted S/4HANA or have started the adoption process.
⦁ 2% have decided to implement S/4HANA within the next six months.
⦁ 16% are willing to implement S/4HANA within the next 7-24 months.
⦁ 25% are planning to implement S/4HANA more than two years from now.
⦁ 6% of the respondents have no plans involving S/4HANA adoption.
⦁ 18% of the respondents are holding their plans for S/4HANA adoption right now.
For the 18% who have put the S/4HANA project on hold, the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed things even further. If they had adopted the remote ERP system, it would have been easier for them to run their operations more smoothly during the COVID situation. In fact, a lot of businesses such as assignment help industries, which were en route to S/4HANA adoption, completed the adoption process remotely as the governments announced nationwide lockdowns.
S/4HANA Cloud Migrations: Which Type of Cloud Service to Choose?
The S/4HANA cloud installs are available in different types. In fact, the hybrid mix of private, public, and hybrid cloud is no longer seems surprising to businesses. 29% of the respondents prefer a private cloud environment while 27% like on-premise bare metal or basic virtualised systems. 22% of the respondents prefer hybrid cloud, while the managed cloud and public cloud are preferred by 13% and 9% of the respondents, respectively.
There is no doubt that more clarity is required on the variety of cloud deployments and the pros and cons of different S/4HANA cloud options. This is the reason why ASUG is planning to conduct more research and programming in the area. However, it is worth mentioning that the biggest obstacle in cloud deployments was the S/4HANAprivate cloud.
ASUG CEO Geoff Scott pointed out that moving the SAP customers from Oracle to HANA is hardly the end of the integration process. In fact, it seems like basic blocking and tackling. In a report, he exclaimed that there are still frustration and pain points around the deployment of these solutions in a better and faster manner.
Skill Shortfall, S/4HANA Business Case, and RISE
The ASUG survey has certainly exposed some crucial issues that are troubling the businesses willing the adopt S/4HANA. The major problem that most businesses are facing right now is the skills shortfall. In fact, most businesses are looking for help and guidance. As the businesses start to get back to normal operations in 2021, the organisations are expected to re-look their staffing strategies.
If the businesses are rethinking their nearshoring and offshoring, they may also look at their permanent hires, especially now when it is easier to rationalise hiring remote as well as full-time employees. In this context, SAP certification should be playing a major role, allowing the businesses to identify trusted and project-validated resources. A master-level certification in S/4HANA would be a valuable identified for the businesses right now, but they do not have that.
Now that customers are considering S/4HANA projects, they are looking for their own ways of evaluating talent. When ASUG asked the respondents about how they find skilled talent for S/4HANA projects, 57% of them responded it was the permanent staff who learned SAP S/4HANA on the job. It is important to acknowledge that associated-level SAP certification is simply no match for the project-tested S/4HANA professionals when it comes to confirming a quality project.
The problem is that most businesses often face is that the difference between the SAP surveys. Both ASUG and DSAG come out with a survey every year. However, they both have been doing more cooperative projects. One can expect them to continue collaborating on S/4 adoption numbers.
As far as the integration issue is concerned, the people at SAP have made their intentions clear on their plans for deep product integration in 2021. As they get RISE fully operational, SAP should be going back to the integration topics with some clarity on what was accomplished and the timeframe for the integrations that are about to take place.
It is also important to note that RISE is not simply an S/4HANA migration program. It reflects the view of SAP leaderships that all SAP platforms require continual modernisation, process optimisation, and access to experienced cloud resources. Whether RISE can succeed at achieving that goal or not – only time can tell.
In conclusion,
It is quite clear that RISE is intended to help the businesses address SAP total cost of ownership (TCO), but you should not stop there. You may need to dig deep to find out how many rises can help with a complete business case going forward.

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