IDC Study Provides SAP S4HANA Insights

The International Data Corporation (IDC) conducted a survey of 300 SAP customers in nine countries on the topic of SAP S4HANA. They wanted to get opinions from companies that were considering to implement it, planning to do so, or who had already done so.

They found that more than 60% of SAP’s customers are planning to migrate to S4HANA. Some have already had some live deployments.

It’s not a matter of “if” — it’s a question of when.

But expectations of success or difficulty by those who have not yet implemented it appear to be directly related to how deep the customer’s knowledge of SAP is. 1 in 3 users do see the value of SAP S4HANA, but only 1 in 5 of non-users have any idea about it.

Of course, those who aren’t aware have deeper reservations. So how can SAP share the knowledge of those customers who have the first hand knowledge of the ease and benefits of making the move to S4HANA?

Here are the bottom-line concerns expressed by customers:

  • Are employees more productive?
  • Does the system really provide information in real time?
  • Does it reduce costs? 
  • Is migration worth it?
  • Is it just too expensive and difficult an endeavour?

Benefits of SAP S4HANA

Benefits for selecting SAP S4HANA

Essential to a successful migration is the company’s commitment to education and training for it’s employees. This is particularly significant in the area of User Experience (UX).

The new interface is definitely more intuitive and hence, easier to adjust to and work with. But nevertheless, companies need to factor in the time it will take to get used to it in to their transformation strategy.

Inhibitors to Selecting SAP S4HANA

Inhibitors to selecting SAP S4HANA

There is also the issue of the cloud. On-premise is still popular, and as private cloud as an addition is as well, but the public cloud is still a bit of a challenge for people.

Most companies moving to SAP S4HANA are integrating it with their own systems. 40% are using the software in a private cloud (i.e., the client is partly responsible for management) or in the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. 20% are still using on-premise versions with customizations. Only 15% of those who have moved to S4HANA are using the public cloud (i.e. 100% managed by the service provider).

SAP S4HANA Deployment Choices

SAP S4HANA Deployment Choices

Here’s how it’s breaking down for customers who have already made the transformation, in terms of focus:

  • Finance (38%)
  • Project Management (37%)
  • HR (36%)
  • ERP core processes (35%)

Want to read the study? Get it here

IDC Analyze The Future


In an additional web-based survey conducted by IDC of 9 current users of SAP S4HANA, they heard some suggestions for a better, smoother migration:

  • Be sure to thoroughly prepare (clean) the master data to make sure it’s high quality.
  • Stick to the standard processes defined by SAP, rather than using customer-specific ones. Companies that have stuck to the greenfield approach (i.e., a project which lacks any constraints imposed by prior work) experience installations of SAP innovation with ease.
  • The recommendation with respect to customer-specific adjustments = “zero customization.”
  • Ensure that real-time information does more than just provide new insights — it’s important that processes are triggered directly and automatically – otherwise it’s a waste of potential.