7 SAP S/4 HANA Implementation Issues to Address

You have finally made a wise decision of migrating to SAP S/4 HANA and making your business future-ready! We congratulate you on that. However, we would like to draw your attention to a few things you need to consider before making the migration.

While the SAP S/4 HANA implementation is highly profitable for your business in the long run, in the initial stages, however, you may face a few challenges. The good news is that these issues and challenges can be addressed well in time without hampering your business continuity. That’s why more than 35,000 organizations today are implementing, operating, and managing their workloads on SAP S/4 HANA.

Before you become clueless when these problems crop up, we will help you face them more confidently. Read on to find how you can address the challenges you may have while moving to the most efficient SAP S/4 HANA ERP system.

  1. SAP S/4 HANA Implementation Issues and their Solutions

Data Migration Issues

The first and foremost challenge that may arise while moving to a new ERP system is data migration. Losing vast chunks of vital business data is nothing but a nightmare! Adopting a new approach often comes with data corruption or validation issues, especially when there’s a difference between data formats while moving to a new system.

However, you can easily avoid these challenges and migrate more smoothly without losing data. Some of the following methods may help:

  • You can try validating a particular dataset by using sampling techniques or making a complete record-by-record data comparison. This should solve a majority of your data integration issues.
  • Alternatively, you can start with your dada by applying limited data migration techniques. Although this option is suitable for small to medium businesses, it may not be feasible for you if you are a large enterprise having vast piles of data. Therefore, it would be wise to make the shift to SAP S/4 HANA when your business is still in the growing stage.
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2. Selecting the Type of Deployment

Migrating to a new ERP system comes with the primary deployment type to choose from: whether on-site or in the cloud. Studies have already proven the growing shifts to cloud services. In fact, by the end of 2023, the public cloud service market worldwide is expected to hit $623.3 billion.

The reason behind this growing madness of moving to the cloud is that it’s more cost-effective and faster to operate. One can have on-the-go access to any data from any device. Besides ease of availability, cloud deployment also comes with higher security assurance, thus preventing data breaches.

Besides, you don’t need to suffer from storage issues that are a significant challenge in on-premise deployments. Hence, cloud deployment would be a safer and wiser choice when dealing with your entire business data.

3. Customization

This is another crucial challenge, organizations migrating to SAP S/4 HANA often face. When your current system is already customized to your specific company requirements, the problem lies. We understand that it’s challenging to come out of this comfort zone and adapt to a whole new interface.

But at the end of the day, change is necessary, and it’s good for your company’s future, especially when it comes to migrating to an efficient and intelligent ERP system like SAP S/4 HANA.

We advise you to start the migration process as soon as possible and consider implementing those new features before letting go of your old system entirely. You can train your employees well before you finally move all your business processes to SAP’s new framework.

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We assure you that the SAP HANA Cloud integration system will help you have a more approach towards your business and give it a whole unique shape. It’s good to have a positive outlook and modify your strategies and decisions for the better.

4. Identifying Technical Issues

Talking about the technical aspect of the entire SAP S/4 HANA implementation, it includes mainly four significant things:

  1. Migrating your current database to the SAP HANA system.
  2. Replacing the program code of your system.
  3. Adapting specific data models in compliance with those of SAP S/4 HANA.
  4. Implementing the frontend server necessary for SAP Fiori interfaces (SAP Fiori is the user experience for SAP systems).

Some of the common technical issues you may experience during the SAP S/4 HANA migration process include your current custom code that you need to adapt technically. You may begin the cleanup work well before starting the implementation process to solve that.

All you need to do is surrender your old code and adopt a new one. If your company plans to keep working with the customizations, you can also get a code on the SAP Cloud Platform. It will make the migration smoother and faster. What’s more, your developers can also create customized codes for add-ons for a more personalized user experience.

5. Partner Term Negotiations

Before migrating, you need to ensure that your implementation partner is ready to support you in the long run. Your company’s future will depend on the kind of service you would get from your partner.

Experts like John Belden, the Project Execution Practice leader at UpperEdge, recommend that companies should try to negotiate with the terms and conditions made by the contractor to prevent breaking your bank. Even though your partner may offer attractive offers in the first few months, some terms may be cunningly made to charge you more money after a few months. Therefore, before you sign any contracts, make sure your partner will always be there for you.

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6. Do You Have the Right Tools?

Make sure your SAP S/4 HANA migration partner is equipped with the required tools to help your business grow in the long term. An experienced partner will always offer proper tools, technologies, and strategies to ensure that your projects and tasks perform well on time and within budget.

You have the right to know about your partner’s toolsets and how those can help your business prosper. Also, make sure that these tools and methodologies comply with your implementation process and business functions.

7. Greenfield Migration or Brownfield Migration?

Last but most importantly, considering your needs, you need to choose between greenfield and brownfield migration. To be honest, the greenfield migration can be a more expensive option and usually more disruptive as it requires you to redefine your business in a whole new manner.

On the other hand, the brownfield approach will let you continue with your existing work processes since it doesn’t require a complete re-implementation or disruption. However, greenfield migration can provide you with more options for optimizing your business, thus enabling you to become more future-proof and work with a digital transformation outlook.

In an NCBI case study of Eastern Slovakia, it has been proven to be more beneficial to allocate the investment capital of industrial park investment projects to the greenfield as it showed an annual profit of 9.5%. In comparison, that of the brownfield was only 2.9%.

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Eric Smith is an SAP professional providing a wide range of SAP consulting services to his clients. With a knack for technology, he loves to write on the latest SAP developments and share his knowledge with the readers.

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