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SAP S/4HANA: 7 Reasons You Need To Upgrade Your ERP

Posted by Neil Sheppard on August 22, 2023


SAP S/4HANA transformation can be challenging. Let's explore why it's worthwhile and how you can successfully implement this essential ERP platform.

SAP S/4HANA is more than just another SAP upgrade. This revolutionary iteration of the industry-standard SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform is likely to become essential technology across the majority of industries.

What is it that makes S/4HANA worth the time and expense of facing a challenging ERP transformation? Let's consider seven key reasons that a SAP S/4HANA migration could be vital for your organization.

1 - SAP S/4HANA Is Simpler

SAP S/4HANA has significantly cut down its data model compared to previous SAP versions. By standardizing data in one journal and offering various micro-services for additional functionality, SAP has removed a tremendous amount of complexity from its enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform.

Using just one table (ACDOCA) as a single source of truth for finance and one for material documents (MATDOC), S/4HANA has eliminated 26 other tables that used to be needed for inventory management. Planning can be done in a duplicate finance table (ACDOCP) and then compared using the SAP Analytics Cloud.

The new in-memory technology of the S/4HANA database also requires less storage space, cutting your data footprint and storage costs. This reduces your carbon footprint and supports environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives.

As a result, SAP S/4HANA is easier to implement and its advanced data compression reduces server needs. This will improve performance and save on hosting and hardware costs.

2 - SAP S/4HANA Is Easier

SAP S/4HANA introduces a brand-new version of the graphical user interface (GUI) SAP has used for 20 years. The new web-based GUI is based in HTML5, offering a more modern, intuitive user experience.

In addition, S/4HANA is fully compatible with SAP Fiori. Fiori is both an application development studio, and an app store with more than 500 ready-made applications compatible with Microsoft Teams, Google Workspace, and iOS and Android mobile devices.

This means you can easily design custom user interfaces according to your needs. You can even create different apps for different roles within your organization to optimize the user experience for each individual.

3 - SAP S/4HANA Is Faster

SAP S/4HANA utilizes a unique in-memory database model. By holding the database you're using within current memory, performance is accelerated, while updates are still written to disk regularly.

S/4HANA also includes built-in analytics, removing the need to switch between systems and applications. This also means your analytics are performed on live data, which will improve accuracy.

In the future, this will enable you to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools to automate decision-making in real-time. As the pace of change increases, this will empower organizations to keep up.

4 - SAP S/4HANA Is Cheaper

SAP S/4HANA transformation is a huge undertaking, and not inexpensive, but the cost-savings in the long run make it worthwhile. The S/4HANA features that will cut back on your ongoing enterprise resource planning (ERP) expenses include:

  • synergized and standardized ERP capabilities
  • combined analytical, transactional, and operational functions
  • application consolidation into one platform, removing middleware
  • reduced server and software needs
  • efficient cloud migration and future ERP transformation

This is all without considering the business optimization and resource-saving opportunities from the improved technology. Generally, cutting back your ERP technical debt will offer a competitive, and financial, advantage.

5 - SAP S/4HANA Is Smarter

SAP S/4HANA includes over 150 robotic process automation bots to automate repetitive tasks and free up resource. At its base level, it means reports are delivered to your inbox, rather than having to be manually run.

This is just the beginning, however, as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning tools can be easily integrated into the system, expanding on your automation capabilities. The system can even pull in third-party data to enhance your existing information

Imagine your delivery drivers being automatically allocated additional time for transport when the weather is bad, for example. With the toolset S/4HANA provides, every possibility is opened up for you.

6 - SAP S/4HANA Is Modular

SAP S/4HANA has been designed for flexibility, both in terms of its capabilities and your options for deployment. A variety of modules in the new Business Suite allow you to pick and choose what aspects of your IT landscape you want to migrate to the cloud and which areas you want to keep securely on-premise.

The Business Suite also offers modules and features that can be refined for the industry you're operating in. Likewise, SAP S/4HANA has been built from the ground up to support the addition of new entities and sales channels rapidly and easily.

You don't even have to integrate your new acquisitions into your estate. S/4HANA supports connections with processes in the cloud, meaning you don't need to incorporate them with your core systems before you can leverage them.

Staying agile in the modern market is a priority for any organization, and S/4HANA is built to enable that flexibility. This means your new enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform will continue to support you long into the future.

7 - SAP S/4HANA Will Last Longer

SAP S/4HANA enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation may be a major project for your organization, but any future changes will be far easier. SAP knows that digital transformation is a fact of life for most businesses nowadays, so that's exactly how S/4HANA has been built.

Whether you're integrating a new entity or taking advantage of new technology, S/4HANA is flexible and compatible enough to support your initiatives long into the future. This will give you the competitive edge in the market that you need to thrive.

This is particularly important as previous versions of SAP software will be sunset. SAP has announced that SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) will enter end-of-life at the end of 2025, meaning the clock is ticking to upgrade to S/4HANA.

Using LeanIX EAM To Upgrade To SAP S/4HANA


SAP S/4HANA is an improvement on previous versions in every way, and it's packed with essential features your organization needs to remain agile and competitive in the modern market. Yet, enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation remains challenging for any organization, particularly from a legacy system that isn't as prepared for transformation as S/4HANA.

We know that 70% of digital transformations fail in general, let alone one as expansive as an ERP transformation. To succeed, you need to do the groundwork by understanding your existing ERP estate, undergoing application rationalization, and roadmapping your transformation process.

The LeanIX EAM is the perfect tool for providing the intelligence you need to go about an ERP transformation to SAP S/4HANA with confidence. That's why the EAM is a Premium Certified, SAP-endorsed application, available in the SAP store.


To find out more about how the LeanIX EAM can empower your ERP transformation to SAP S/4HANA, download our free whitepaper:

FREE WHITEPAPER: How LeanIX Helps with SAP S/4HANA Transformation

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