What Can Organisations Do If S/4HANA Is Not An Option?

As SAP’s 2027 deadline for mainstream support of its ERP Central Component (ECC) creeps ever closer, SAP customers are deciding whether a move to S/4HANA is right for them?

With huge investment and operational impact, to move or not to move presents a major decision for business leaders around the globe, and the clock is ticking!

It is estimated that of the approximately 35,000 businesses running ECC, only 14% currently have a licence for S/4HANA.

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So what are the options for organisations that are not ready for a full migration?
  1. ECC Support Extension: SAP is offering Extended Maintenance Support for ECC customers beyond the mainstream maintenance deadline (2027) for an additional fee. This option will provide critical bug fixes, legal and regulatory updates, and limited support until 2030. However, it doesn’t include new functionalities or innovations.
  2. Hybrid Approaches: Some businesses may opt for a hybrid strategy where they continue using their ECC systems while selectively adopting specific S/4HANA components suited to their specific needs.
  3. Third-Party Support Providers: Third-party support providers offer maintenance and support services for legacy ERP systems like ECC. These providers can offer support options that may be more cost effective in the short term such covering bug fixes, security updates, and regulatory compliance.
  4. Stay on ECC with Third-Party Integrations: Some organizations might opt to stay on ECC while integrating with other systems, applications, or platforms to address specific needs or gaps. Rumour has it SAP may continue to release some innovations and enhancements for ECC during the extended maintenance period.
  5. Future Proof Your Business: Irrespective of organizational goals, savvy businesses should be using this time to optimize their current ECC environment by cleaning up customizations and simplifying processes. This approach can extend the lifespan of the system and prevent issues down the track when a new type of integration is imminent.
  6. Assess The ERP Market: Explore alternatives to SAP’s ERP solutions, such as considering other ERP providers or cloud-based ERP systems that may align with business needs and long-term strategy.
Don’t get left behind!

It’s important to note that while these options provide some flexibility, businesses need to carefully evaluate their long-term IT strategy, considering factors like technological advancement, support, compliance, and the evolving business landscape. Additionally, keeping up with SAP’s communications and roadmap updates is crucial to making informed decisions regarding the future of their ERP systems.

While it’s clear that SAP is making huge investments in S/4HANA, the challenge for organizations is deciding if and when migrating from ECC to S/4HANA makes sense for them — a complex decision at best. Consequently, each company would do well to balance its need for modern technologies as well as the benefits S/4HANA will provide against the cost of implementing the new system and the disadvantages of such a migration.

What does this mean for SAP Professionals?

Interestingly we’ve seen an increase in SAP consultant roles that are accepting people with no prior HANA experience.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to start looking to get hands-on project and implementation experience with the new system.

If you’d like to talk to one of our experienced ERP team about how to future-proof yourself and land a HANA role, feel free to call Lachlan Fisher or Trent Dobson on +61(2) 9236 4500.