SAP S4 HANA implementation

Common Challenges While Transitioning to SAP S/4 HANA

It’s no secret that making the switch to S/4HANA can be a daunting task. Many businesses are still on older versions of SAP, and so face the challenge of upgrading to S/4 HANA. This involves many changes to business processes and can be disruptive if not done correctly.

With S/4 HANA, businesses can streamline their processes, automate manual tasks, and gain valuable insights into their operations. But like any major change, some challenges need to be overcome. We know because we’ve been there. That’s why we put together this comprehensive guide on how to make the switch to S/4HANA. In it, you’ll find tips and advice from business leaders who have already made the switch.

In this post, we explore five of the biggest hurdles faced by those who switched to S/4HANA. While each business will have its own specific S/4HANA concerns, these five areas are universal challenges that all organizations face when embarking on such a transformational journey. By understanding these challenges and being prepared for them, you can set your S/4HANA project up for success.

Making a solid business case

One of the main challenges when migrating to S/4HANA is making a solid business case. Oftentimes, there is a disconnect between what the business case is trying to achieve and what IT thinks can be delivered by S/4HANA. This can result in unrealistic expectations from the business which can lead to project delays or even failure. You must have buy-in from both IT and the business when making your business case for S/4HANA so that everyone is on the same page from the outset.

Choosing the right architecture

When choosing the right architecture for your S/4HANA migration, there are a few things to consider such as on-premise vs cloud, single-tenant vs multi-tenant, and hybrid vs pure deployment models. The decision of which architecture to choose will ultimately come down to what will work best for your specific organization. Still, it’s important to do your research beforehand to make an informed decision.

Getting your data in order

Another common challenge is getting your data in order before beginning the transition to S/4HANA. Because S/4HANA uses a different database structure than previous versions of SAP, all of your data will need to be migrated over to the new system. This can be a time-consuming and difficult process if your data is not well-organized to begin with. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get your data in order before beginning the transition process so that everything goes smoothly. 

Biting off more than you can chew

It’s important to remember that transitioning to S/4HANA is a big undertaking and should not be taken lightly. Many businesses make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew by trying to implement too many changes at once. It’s important to take things slowly and only implement as many changes as you can handle without causing disruptions to your business operations. Otherwise, you risk becoming overwhelmed and causing even more problems down the road.

Putting people at the heart of transformation

Last but not least, one of the most important lessons learned from those who have already transitioned to S/4HANA is that people must be at the heart of any transformation initiative. Change is never easy, and SAP implementations are no exception. Be sure to communicate clearly with all stakeholders throughout the process so that everyone is on the same page and understands what is happening every step of the way. Additionally, provide training and support for employees who will be using the new system so that they feel comfortable with it and can hit the ground running when it goes live.” 


Migrating to S/4HANA is no small feat, but by being aware of some of the common challenges organizations face, you can put yourself in a better position to avoid them. By taking care of things like making a strong business case, choosing the right architecture, getting your data organized, scoping out your project realistically, and putting people at the center of transformation, you can give yourself the best chance of success.

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