Migrating to S/4HANA will allow companies to finally take advantage of all the opportunities offered by the latest SAP technology, but getting there is not going to be easy, especially in complex, highly customized SAP landscapes where even routine updates and business-as-usual (BAU) changes can be challenging to implement.
An increasing number of SAP users are realising that successful adoption of S/4HANA will be more like an extended journey than a one-off IT project, which means greater scope, cost, and time than you might expect before full value is realized.
Automation can reduce the scale of the challenge and help you make the journey faster, at lower cost, with lower risk. In fact, the transition to S/4HANA is an ideal opportunity to adopt a new way of managing change in SAP: one that is faster, safer, and less expensive than the methods used by most teams today.
The S/4HANA journey
In many large SAP customers, SAP has grown into myriad sprawling landscapes with significant customizations to software and processes. That means simply ‘switching over’ often isn’t an option. Instead the move to S/4HANA will be a journey that might take years.
And once you get started with S/4HANA, it’s likely that legacy and new landscapes will need to be maintained and kept in sync in order to avoid any business disruption—a period of ‘dual maintenance’ that must be done without slowing down the migration process, disrupting business as usual, or breaking anything in production.
The manual work that plagues SAP change management is one of the biggest risk factors in the transition to S/4HANA.
SAP’s unique architecture means that manual deployment of any kind of change is a slow and error-prone business. When developers all work together in the same code base, using spreadsheets to plan and sequence changes, the process becomes fraught with issues like code overwrites, unforeseen dependencies and developer lockouts. Release cycles are often months long, not least because of the high risk that something will break if you move faster.
Those risks are multiplied for the S/4HANA transition. Not only might you have to maintain two separate and highly complex SAP landscapes in sync for months or years, but at least some configuration and custom code will have to be different across the two systems in order to run properly – even when powering the same business processes.
The solution: DevOps automation to accelerate and de-risk the S/4HANA journey
Fortunately, there’s a solution, and it’s one we present in depth in a new eBook: Accelerate Your SAP S/4HANA Journey with Automation. More and more SAP customers are using automation tools – often alongside DevOps and Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) processes – to speed up the deployment of change in SAP, and to massively reduce the risk of business-critical functionality breaking in production.
As we show in the eBook, adopting DevOps and test automation at any point during your S/4HANA journey can help to significantly accelerate the process. Automated change management tools remove a huge amount of the effort involved in planning, authoring, testing, deploying and managing changes in existing and new SAP environments. Meanwhile automated testing makes the risk of problems surfacing in production much, much lower.
Real-world SAP automation stories
The eBook is full of real-world experiences from organizations that have employed DevOps automation.
Ericsson, for example, is using the Basis Technologies change management automation tool, ActiveControl, to reduce developer effort by at least 60% in a ‘multi-track’ environment – just the kind of approach that could feature in an S/4HANA transition.
Meanwhile, a household name in CPG is using ActiveControl to handle dual maintenance during a multi-year migration period in a complex global environment that features both ECC and new S/4HANA landscapes, while European manufacturer Kingspan is using ActiveControl to automate change delivery in S/4HANA, enabling it to get changes into production twice as fast as with manual processes.
Get the eBook and discover a faster, lower-cost, lower-risk way to get to S/4HANA
Wherever you are in your S/4HANA journey, there’s never a bad time to consider replacing manual processes with automation. Get the eBook and see how you can use DevOps automation to enjoy proven benefits like:
- 50% lower cost to deliver change into SAP systems
- 95% reduction in error-prone manual effort
- 50x faster delivery of new features
- 70% reduction in production system downtime
And if you’d like to discuss how you can apply automation to your SAP S/4HANA journey, and how automation tools from Basis Technologies can help, please do get in touch.
This article is sponsored by Basis Technologies