How to choose the best path to S/4HANA with customization

How to choose the best path to S/4HANA with customization

Migration from an existing SAP release to S/4HANA is a major project. Organizations that use specially developed applications and modules (customization and add-ons) have an extra challenge: they are faced with the question of whether that additional functionality is still needed and how to migrate it. There are roughly two implementation routes: the greenfield or the brownfield approach. In this blog you can read more about the benefits and challenges that come with it.

In the case of a greenfield implementation, a completely new S/4HANA implementation is rolled out. In addition, the application and the business processes are re-aligned with each other. A brownfield implementation is a form of upgrading the current platform. Which method best suits your organization depends on your situation, requirements and wishes, but what route you choose: it is always important to be well prepared. Starting in time is just as important because the lead time can be longer than previously estimated.

Speed and functionality of SAP’s new platform is indispensable for serving users optimally is given for many organizations. Various tools are available to map the value of the new application for your organization in advance. SAP’s own Business Value Advisor is one of them. Based on different scenarios, you get a picture of what the optimization and application you can expect from the new software. In addition, factors such as lead time, risks and costs also determine the migration method to be chosen.

Don’t wait too long with route determination

In principle you have the time until 2027 for the transition to S/4HANA, because SAP has published that then stops supporting current application versions and data platform. The advice to organizations is to get started quickly with at least the planning process. This is due to the lead time of the migrations. Certainly, if you have a relatively large amount of customization, it can be a long process. After all, there is a good chance that by 2027 most consultancy organizations will no longer have enough capacity available because they are fully planned with migration processes of various customers. Start planning in time.

Which migration fits best?

Research from SAP Insider shows that many organizations are currently considering the best approach to migration. The greenfield approach may technically be the simplest way, but on the other hand everything is new. It may take a lot of time to find the right fit between application and processes, not to mention what needs to be done with the current customization and existing links.

The brownfield approach is a choice for a possible simpler transition from the existing SAP environment to the new platform. The advantage of this is maintaining a large part of the current layout, but bringing customization is also a challenge. This form of upgrade also makes the new software functions available to a limited extent.

There is a third route, a derivative of brownfield: landscape transformation. In addition, not all software transfers to the new environment at the same time, but existing and new runs side by side.
With this gradual transition method you start by transferring those applications with which you can make the fastest profit. The existing system remains intact for a while.

SAP S/4HANA chief product owner Rudolf Hois says that more than half of the organizations that want to transfer to the new database and applications opt for brownfield or “system conversion”.

Another point of attention during migration is the cleaning (read: deletion or archiving) of your data in the existing environment, which naturally also makes the migration smoother. A cost advantage can also be achieved here, because in the new environment you can suffice with an infrastructure with smaller capacity.

Visualize customization

With S/4HANA you opt for new applications and a new platform. The question is whether the specific customization and the add-ons still run on it. Perhaps even more important is whether these components are still needed. It is therefore important to have a complete overview of the current adjustments in advance.

SAP Solution Manager helps to accurately visualize the current landscape, including all customization and add-ons. In this way you determine which components must be assessed for the transition to the new environment.

A method to assess existing customization is the code check, via Remote Code Analysis in the ABAP Test Cockpit (ATC). Existing custom work (custom code) is checked for compatibility with the new S/4HANA environment.

In each scenario, tests are carried out to determine the quality and applicability of what is delivered.

Create insight: prepare a roadmap for migration to S/4HANA

Planning the implementation and migration process is therefore of great importance. This also includes reserving budget. It is therefore important to map all steps on time, by drawing up a roadmap. This helps you to get a grip on the planning and to determine when you should start, to be ready for the future on time. BPSOLUTIONS is the partner who helps you with the realization and management of the technical infrastructure needed for the migration to the new S/4HANA environment.

Would you like more information about how we can help you with the right foundation for the migration to S/4HANA? Then contact us.