A Natural TranS/4mation Part 2: Step into the Digital Future

Image of transformation from caterpillar to butterfly

In the first installment of this three-part series, I explained how SAP S/4HANA can fulfill your current and future business needs. In Part 2, I will outline the steps you need to take to ensure a smooth and successful transition to the platform.

Convert and Continue

Over 6,300 companies have moved to SAP S/4HANA since its release, and many more look set to follow. Should you be interested in joining them, you need to be aware of the three general transition scenarios. Switching to SAP S/4HANA from a third-party system calls for a new implementation; uniting several SAP systems on SAP S/4HANA means a landscape transformation; and migrating from an existing SAP ERP system requires a system conversion.


With current SAP ERP systems steadily approaching the end of their useful lives, if you wish to continue your journey with SAP, you will have to perform a system conversion. In doing so, you will be following in the footsteps of 24 percent of current SAP S/4HANA users. Necessity aside, the benefits of conversion are numerous (as I explain in Part 1 of this series).

Discover, Prepare, Deploy

Nevertheless, before launching your implementation project, you should be fully aware of the value to be gained from making the move. This can be considered the “discovery” phase. During this stage, you should ask yourself, “How exactly does SAP S/4HANA fit in with my business strategy? Which of its functions am I going to need? What is its future scope?” itelligence will help you answer these questions – and you can also run a demo of the software to gain a better understanding of how it works.

Once you know what to expect from SAP S/4HANA, you can start preparing for the conversion. The “prepare” phase includes building a roadmap, studying conversion guidelines, running the maintenance planner, and performing pre-checks. Crucially, you must ensure that your target landscape is capable of supporting SAP S/4HANA and that your business functions are compatible with it. Again, itelligence will support you throughout this phase, providing expert guidance and advice where needed.

Having confirmed compatibility with SAP S/4HANA, it is time to move into the third and final stage: “deploy”. This involves migrating the existing SAP ERP data model to that of SAP S/4HANA and replacing the existing application code with the SAP S/4HANA version. Companies running their system on a third-party database will have to migrate to an SAP HANA one. Additionally, you may transfer your SAP GUI user interfaces to SAP Fiori apps – but this is optional. While all this may sound complicated, itelligence’s support will help ensure things run smoothly.

The Journey Ahead

In the third installment of this series, I will discuss each step in the conversion process in greater detail, giving you a clearer picture of the task ahead of you. Meanwhile, to learn how a Russian pharmaceutical company successfully converted to SAP S/4HANA, listen to the Webinar Recording Part 2: How to Step into Digital Transformation with SAP S/4HANA of our webinar series.


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