As we all know in their 2014 statement SAP announced that they were underlining their commitment to innovation by providing their 41,200 customers with a simple, non-disruptive route to the cloud, and at the same time they revealed that only SAP HANA solutions would be supported after 2025. As this deadline approaches, organisations need to make sure they can address concerns about the implications to them technically, financially and to their general business operations.

Are you an SAP customer, languishing on either Business Suite on HANA, ECC6 or even 4.x Net weaver stack? If so what does this mean for you?

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Obviously, you can choose to do nothing and not upgrade to the S/4HANA suite, but at what risk to your business? You’ll be looking at life with no support, security updates or patches, no support for technical queries. Of course, there will be 3rd party vendors and support partners that will develop patches and manage your estate, business will go on, but will this be at the risk level that shareholders can stomach?

It means you have to make a choice, you have to start thinking of what your next 5-year roadmap for ERP actually is. Here are a few questions to shape initial thoughts about the direction you could take.

Do you do nothing and seek out a 3rd party support provider? Rimini Street or Support Revolution to name two. Otherwise, do you embark on a transformation program now to start evaluating what cloud (Public, Private, Hybrid) you will use for your new database? If that is the case, what support model will you be using (In-house, Outsource, Hybrid) and what will your overall strategic direction be?

Even if you can’t answer these questions now and you are still thinking 2025 is a long time away, then I’d recommend you consider them again. Those five years will fly by. Realistically, I would recommend at least starting to look at what you need to put in place to migrate or upgrade and the costs of this, and of course identifying your future cloud platform of choice.

Large enterprises with complex and sprawling landscapes need to start at least looking at what future strategy might look like, smaller businesses have a little longer to ponder but either way, start to look.

A real threat to any strategy is the looming skills gap, both within your organisation and also in service providers. Through 2023 and 2024, and as the deadline approaches, migration, process mapping and support skills will be rarer and rarer with the alternative support providers also looking to ramp up their own Application managed Services.  Make sure that you don’t get caught out.

The SAP clock is ticking...

Topics: SAP, S/4HANA, Cloud, Transformation