To fully capitalize on the value of an expensive SAP S/4 HANA update, one should not perceive it as merely a simple technology upgrade but a complete business process transformation that demands readiness across technology, data, integrations, processes and policies, operating structure, controls, and more. Companies that don't properly prepare for migrating to SAP S/4HANA, especially from the viewpoint of their end users or operations, can face significant challenges as they get close to going live.
They even risk the migration failing.
A failed migration can mean delayed shipments, late payments to suppliers, errors in statutory reporting and compliance, negative effects on working capital, and much more.
Given these potential risks, it is crucial for organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of the common challenges that other companies typically face during the migration to SAP S/4HANA. By collaborating with experienced vendors who have repeatedly tackled these operational challenges, companies can implement ready-made solutions. The challenges can generally be categorized as follows:
- Data integration issues when trying to bolt on other tools or technology platforms
- Data sanctity problems arising from neglecting to harmonize and clean up master data
- Limited understanding of new features, processes, and user interfaces, such as Fiori
- Difficulty adapting to the new system due to previous customizations no longer being available, which then creates a need to learn new ways of working
Additionally, companies tend to focus on getting help with the build phase of their migration journey. But around 70% to 80% of problems that directly impact the business commonly arise during the test and run phases.