Why are SAP S / 4HANA transformation companies hesitant?
For the more than 35,000 SAP ERP customers around the world, the question is not whether they will migrate to S / 4HANA, but when and how. A recent LeanIX study shows that most companies are in the early stages of this massive transformation project. 80% of architects surveyed said that identifying dependencies in the company’s complex ERP landscape is most often cited as a challenge.
Even though enterprise architects are seen as specialists in revealing such structures, their expertise is apparently underutilized: less than half of the architects surveyed consider their involvement in the SAP S / 4HANA transformation sufficient. This indicates that companies are paying too little attention to an important internal resource.
SAP S / 4HANA offers companies a multitude of opportunities with its postmodern ERP approach and yet the market is acting with hesitation. By the end of the fourth quarter of 2020, Gartner expects 26% of existing customers to have licensed for the suite. Of these, in turn, only just over half are already alive. Concretely, this means that only 14% of the 35,000 existing SAP customers worldwide have completed the transformation to S / 4HANA.
In this context, LeanIX looks at its international customers and focuses on their enterprise architects: where are companies in the SAP S / 4HANA transformation and what is the role of EA teams? A total of 91 companies participated in the LeanIX SAP S / 4HANA survey in April 2021. Over 50 enterprise architects who are or have been involved in S / 4HANA transformations also provided more detailed information about their day-to-day work. .
Two-thirds of companies in the early stages of the SAP S / 4HANA transformation
S / 4HANA is on almost everyone’s mind: 94% of companies surveyed with SAP as an ERP vendor are planning or have already completed the transformation. However, as in the market as a whole, the process is not yet very advanced for most organizations: 32% of survey respondents are in the planning phase and the same number are in the initial project preparation phase. Classes.
The complexity of the SAP landscape is the biggest challenge
When asked about the challenges of the S / 4HANA transformation, 80% cite identifying dependencies within the complex and highly integrated ERP landscape. 67% of enterprise architects surveyed describe creating a clear roadmap and target architecture for the future SAP landscape as a hurdle, and nearly 60% describe maintaining legacy SAP applications and technology landscapes .
Using modern EA tools, EA teams can accurately map these complexities and provide complete transparency that permeates all levels of IT architecture. But when and how intensely are EA specialists involved in the S / 4HANA transformation in their businesses?
EA teams mainly involved at the start of the S / 4HANA transformation
Almost all of the EA specialists interviewed are or have been involved in the planning and preparation phase of their company’s SAP S / 4HANA transformation. Less than half of the architects are involved in the implementation and only a third are involved in the final deployment.
In the initial phase of transformation, companies must make a lot of important decisions – related to the landscape of the existing IT system, strategic goals, and whether to run the ERP suite in the cloud or on-premises. Understanding the dependencies between all IT assets is a prerequisite.
Enterprise architects can deliver this high-quality data and map the SAP world against the surrounding IT landscape to create transparency, develop migration scenarios, and identify overlaps and dependencies. These three classic use cases of modern EA management play an important role early in the transformation and almost every architect seems to be involved in this phase. However, the question arises as to what extent they are really involved.
Almost two-thirds of architects say they are heavily involved in creating visibility into the existing IT infrastructure. But, less than half of EA specialists report a similar involvement in developing migration scenarios and identifying project overlaps and dependencies.
Enterprise architects see their involvement as scalable
Less than half of enterprise architects believe that their involvement in the SAP S / 4HANA transformation of the enterprise is sufficient. A good third even describe it as “too low” or “much too low”. It’s not surprising. This study has shown that many of them are only partially involved in subjects for which they are in fact the designated specialists in the company.
Harnessing the internal potential for the S / 4HANA transformation
As SAP ECC end of support, companies are running out of time with S / 4HANA and staff resources for external consulting are also shrinking. So much for familiar topics in public discourse.
The current LeanIX SAP S / 4HANA survey adds another aspect to the discussion, as it appears that many companies are using their own resources as little as possible.
As a result, they offer valuable potential, as CEO of LeanIX André Christ explains, “Enterprise architects can make a decisive contribution to a successful S / 4HANA migration with their expertise. This is a transformation for the whole company, not just a pure technological change. This is precisely where the particular strength of architects lies: they not only provide data, but connect the IT landscape to the business capabilities of the enterprise, thus providing a common language for the enterprise and the IT. They are able to quickly identify and involve all relevant stakeholders. This is of great importance to ensure that such a huge transformation project can be successful.