Big news! SAP has extended ECC support until 2027
The SAP community knew it was coming: SAP has delayed the end in support for SAP Business Suite 7 (incl. SAP ECC 6) until the end of 2027. Optional extended support until the end of 2030 is also possible (for a two percentage-point increase in the maintenance cost). A commitment was also made to keep SAP S/4HANA support until at least the end of 2040! (SAP News)
Why SAP extended their support for SAP ECC 6 until 2027
The German software giant is facing reality. The number of SAP S/4HANA migrations is still rather modest, and it is completely impossible that every existing customer will have converted to SAP S/4HANA (either through a greenfield or a brownfield approach) by 2025.
With their decision to extend support for SAP ECC 6 until 2027, SAP provide customers with more time and greater certainty to plan their own move to SAP S/4HANA. Up to now, especially costs and Change Management were the biggest reasons for organisations not to move to S/4, meaning they needed to have a clear business case.
So far, PIKON has migrated four big customers to SAP S/4HANA, including only one with a classic conversion (brownfield) approach. The “early adopters” of SAP S/4HANA usually have big problems with their existing SAP ECC system and/or business processes, meaning that we’re currently mostly seeing greenfield approaches (or variations thereof) to convert to SAP S/4HANA.
How the deadline postponement for SAP ECC support impacts your own SAP S/4HANA strategy
The deadline pressure for a move to SAP S/4HANA before 2025 is now officially off the table. Does this mean that you, as an SAP user, can sit back and relax? Not at all! As from 2027, it will definitely cost more to maintain your SAP system if you are not yet on SAP S/4HANA. These higher maintenance costs should inevitably be taken into account for all business case considerations and future plans to move to SAP S/4HANA.
From our experiences over the past years, it is very difficult to create a business case with a high ROI purely based on technology promises. It’s no different with SAP S/4HANA: higher speeds and new interfaces alone are only of limited benefit to businesses.
If you see migrating to S/4HANA as an IT-driven release change project, it is very difficult to get the necessary investment approval from your decision-makers.
Our recommendation is to not just take IT aspects into consideration for your own SAP S/4HANA strategy. In order to achieve a strong return on investment, it is also recommended to take the opportunity to incorporate process improvements into your SAP S/4HANA roadmap. You’ll then notice that 2027 isn’t actually that far away anymore.
S/4HANA as a trigger for increasing efficiency through process optimisation
If you want to increase efficiency, transparency and quality within your organisation, you can only achieve this through:
- improving your business processes (streamlining, harmonising and standardising)
- data cleansing (quality of the master data and the maintenance processes)
- organisational development (further development of the organisation and optimising communication within your company).
SAP S/4HANA is a valuable system – and in some cases the most important trigger – for such Business Re-Engineering, but not a replacement for this!
Wait no longer and start taking your first steps to SAP S/4HANA today
How far is your company in its digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA? Download our white paper “Your road to digital transformation with SAP S/4HANA” and learn how to make your organisation fit for the digital future with SAP S/4HANA. This includes our experiences on how SAP S/4HANA has changed and optimised the modern Financial Accounting & Controlling and the Logistics processes. In another chapter, we explain the different options you have to migrate to SAP S/4HANA and how you can come to the best migration strategy for your organisation.