No time to waste: companies using SAP should switch to SAP S/4HANA by the end of 2027, when support for the predecessor system SAP ECC will end. Long before the actual conversion, it is important to establish the strategic guidelines for the SAP S/4HANA transformation. These provide the framework for determining the most suitable target architecture, transformation path, and operating model, as well as for more efficient processes and long-term business success.
In order to successfully carry out SAP S/4HANA projects, it is important to set them on the right track during the initial planning stages, so that they are on the road to success. A preliminary evaluation and the creation of a roadmap help to identify the optimal path into the world of SAP S/4HANA. The specifics of the company and the goals it wants to achieve should always be taken into account. Alongside the technical parameters, it is also important to consider the strategic goals being pursued by the company with the changeover. For example, standardizing or centralizing as much as possible so that all subsidiaries can be integrated into the new SAP landscape in the future.
As part of value consulting, T-Systems draws up a customized project plan for the companies with important milestones for the introduction of SAP S/4HANA. The preliminary evaluation and "roadmap consulting" include budget estimates for internal and external expenses. T-Systems' SAP experts also determine what added value the company will be able to achieve through the transformation.
Especially important: all stakeholders should be involved in the planning process right from the beginning. This is because a successful SAP S/4HANA transformation paves the way for sustainable development and future innovations. That's why the kick-off for T-Systems' value consulting always involves not only the IT managers and the business specialists, but also the company management.
Beyond the strategic guardrails, the success of SAP S/4HANA projects stands or falls with intensive preparation. As a study by the UK & Ireland SAP User Group found, for two-thirds of SAP customers, data housekeeping is an enormous challenge when migrating from SAP ECC 6.0 to SAP S/4HANA. Therefore, important questions should already be clarified before the project begins: What happens to the existing digital data? Should they be archived or cleaned up and transferred to the new system?
As a rule, it is neither cost-effective nor particularly efficient to transfer all data from the existing SAP environment to SAP S/4HANA. Because every unnecessary gigabyte in the SAP HANA database drives up storage costs. At the same time, less data in the new SAP environment means a better overall performance of the new system and the possibility of shorter backup and recovery times.
The examples show that it pays to clean up and archive data before migration. If they are archived, the data migrates, for example, from SAP to the enterprise content management system (ECM) ImageMaster and remains available to users there at all times via an interface, for example if it is needed again in the future for compliance reasons.
Even after migration, housekeeping is important to keep track of data growth in SAP S/4HANA. The enterprise content management solution ImageMaster enables companies to manage the lifecycle of their data – from creation to archiving to deletion – cost-effectively, without risk, and in accordance with current compliance regulations. The software integrates into the SAP landscape via certified interfaces and allows the uncomplicated access to all SAP data and documents. The biggest advantages for users and companies? Thanks to the central storage, SAP systems work more performantly, backup and recovery times are reduced, and there are lower downtimes and licensing costs for SAP S/4HANA.