SAP S4 HANA- Why the slow uptake?

Posted on December 2019 By Speller International
Sap S4 Hana

​SAP S4 HANA. It’s the trendiest word in the SAP world yet it seems to be all talk, no action. Since its release in 2015 we’ve seen a trickle of projects in this space and whispers of large programs of work that are yet to come to fruition.

Consultants are getting excited about the prospects that are ahead of them, but these projects are few and far between. This got us thinking; Why the slow uptake? Is this cutting edge technology really as good as they say it is? Well, things are never as easy as they seem. So, here are a few reasons why there’s a slow up take of SAP’s S4 HANA Suite.

The Cost

The costs involved with an SAP S4 HANA transformation are (like any SAP project) quite high. There is also a level of ambiguity on the costs as there are licensing fees (direct and indirect), the costs based on memory within the database and the cost for the appliance itself. This will obviously vary subject to the type of business, the amount of data stored and the amount of data used within your business.

On Hold

Many SAP S4 HANA projects have commenced… then suddenly stopped. There are many reasons for this, but the fact that it has happened numerous times has contributed to the uneasy feeling and hesitance in companies ‘going for it’. As a result, companies as ensuring they are prepared, researched and know the why’s and how’s before proceeding. This has culminated in many projects being ‘put off’ until they are confident of success.

In some cases, a company’s head office may be overseas affecting their Financial Year budgets.

Business Case

This is a key problem for many stakeholders; How do I put a business case forward that presents (on the surface) a huge monetary outlay for in effect the same solution?

This is not really the case, but to the business, it seems so. In other words, you will have to have some good examples of where the business can get a solid return of investment to make it appetising.

Skill Shortage

The truth is that there are not a lot of SAP S4 HANA Consultants around due to the slow uptake of the technology. This makes it harder to get projects off the ground. Even well-known consulting firms are finding this an issue and having to look overseas for consultants with S4 skills.

Success Stories

There are none. Well that’s an exaggeration, but there are not many success stories floating around or at least, not overly positive stories about S4 HANA projects. They always seem to be fraught with challenges and delays. Now this is true for most projects, but the fact that S4 is the focus currently doesn’t help the cause.

So, what now?

Ultimately, the feeling in the market is that there will be a growth in uptake next year, but who knows. We’re getting closer to end of support for SAP ECC and we’re also getting more insight into these projects and how to approach them.

If you have an insight into S4 HANA and would like to share it, please feel free to comment below.

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