Why you should consider migrating to SAP S/4HANA from your current SAP system

Posted on 29/01/2019

Why you should consider migrating to SAP S/4HANA from your current SAP system

For more than 40 years, the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software marketplace has been dominated by SAP, and rightly so. Their solutions have streamlined business operations across the board, and when their S/4HANA product was launched in February 2015, it was hailed by many as one of the biggest product introductions in the history of the company.

If you are considering migrating to S/4HANA from your current system, there are a number of advantages to consider that will definitely outweigh the amount of background work needed to make the switch.


The explanation for a lot of this excitement is in the name itself. 'HANA' refers to the integral data store that is a huge leap forward from other methods that have been used by SAP software products in the past. All storage operations are carried out 'in memory,' and data is kept in a column-based structure - this makes the whole writing and retrieval process far speedier than before. Even though each individual activity may only save a few seconds in comparison to a previous SAP solution, if you add up all of these time savings across a small, medium or large business, it is clear that any company will run far more efficiently in the longer term.

Deployment Options

The keyword for the deployment of S/4HANA is 'flexibility,' and it is highly likely that any company will be able to implement this ERP software in a suitable environment. It can operate in an enterprise's own data centre, on a third-party platform such as AWS, IBM, or Microsoft Azure, or, perhaps most excitingly of all, in SAP's very own private Enterprise Cloud environment.

This solution is scalable, which means that migrating over to S/4HANA with a cloud-based implementation will give your business the opportunity to increase its processing power in line with growth. Not only will future expansion be faster and hassle-free, but it will also be very cost-effective - in other words, migration to S/4HANA is very much 'future proof.'

Processing Power

Another benefit of HANA is that so-called 'satellite applications' can run in the same instance - this greatly reduces the load on the system. The solution is designed to move towards keeping both application data and the database itself within the same layer, which is another factor that greatly improves operating efficiency. Many companies who migrate to S/4HANA only do so because they need to work with data that is updated in real time, and it has the power to handle large and everevolving incoming streams of information with ease.

Machine Learning For Automation

In September 2017, the '1709' update to S/4HANA introduced a range of machine learning capabilities designed to help companies introduce elements of automation - these have gradually improved with every subsequent release. Machine learning features actively analyse a company's data operations to identify opportunities for automation, leaving employees with more time to concentrate on other more important activities.

It is worth remembering that S/4HANA isn't just for customers of previous SAP software products - it has been built to compete against other big name ERP packages in the marketplace. Perhaps one of the highest-profile platform changes came in 2015 when the aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, switched to the software from Oracle (https://www.computerworlduk.com/applications/s4-hana-whatdoes-saps-next-generation-erp-mean-for-customers-3596790/). According to reports, they quickly reported an improvement in data load processing and reporting, and so it is clear that the scaleable S/4HANA solution has the potential to bring huge benefits for businesses of all sizes.