Why Isn’t My New SAP S/4HANA System Everything I Hoped For?

Posted by Jeff Knotts on November 28, 2017

Since SAP S/4HANA is the latest and greatest technology from SAP many people may find themselves asking this question. It’s the same question you may ask after a rollout of any new business suite or enterprise-wide system.

In an article in CIO Magazine bJosh Fruhlinger and Thomas Wailgum, it was reported that twenty-one percent of companies characterized their most recent ERP rollout as a failure. These failures can be costly in many ways.

Why did these rollouts fail and how can you ensure you won’t be part of that twenty-one percent? The key to a successful system rollout is a successful data migration.

Data Migration Definition-Wikipedia.jpg

Data migration is all about transferring data from one system (usually the legacy system) to another (usually a new target system). If data is simply transferred between systems with no understanding of the use of the data, the business processes that it supports, how the data is unique and should be used in the new system, then you may just find yourself in the same boat as those in the twenty-one percent. 

In a recent ASUG poll, seventy percent of respondents had a high percentage of data management issues found late in their data migration projects. On the surface, what may have looked like a successful rollout is in fact, anything but. Is the new system broken?

It is common for a new system rollout or implementation to be blamed on the product itself. However, often, when you investigate the issue further, you find that there is a critical issue with the data feeding the new system. The data is missing, incorrect or mapped wrong – and this could lead to large-scale problems and the whole process failing as a result. 

How do you fix this? 

The answer is multi-faceted – with 4 major considerations:

  1. Make sure there is an owner for the data, someone who takes responsibility for the completeness, consistency, conformity and accuracy of the data.
  2. Make sure it is clear what the standards and business rules are that the data needs to conform to. Ensure the people who are entering the data know what is required of them.
  3. Ensure that your system can enforce your data standards and rules at time of data entry.
  4. Set up the appropriate monitoring and reporting to identify problems with the data and then take the actions required to fix the problem and prevent the problems from occurring again.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But when has getting people to follow the rules ever been easy?  Part of the answer is to ensure data has its own stream in the ERP implementation and that it is handled by people who are experts in that data.  They need to understand data migration, data quality and how the data is going to get used in the new ERP system.

If you are about to embark on a data migration journey as a part of your SAP S/4HANA rollout or any other ERP system, let Utopia share countless case studies and customer stories of successful data migration projects!

Don’t be a twenty-one percenter!

Topics: SAP S/4HANA, data migration