Slow S/4HANA transformation among enterprises caused by “inadequate” preparation, new data reveals  

Basis Technologies reveals stark findings in its latest report focused on the realities of Brownfield SAP S/4HANA transformation ahead of 2027 deadline 

London, 28th September – New research from Basis Technologies, a trusted leader in SAP transformation solutions, has uncovered the challenges organisations currently face when embarking on a Brownfield SAP S/4HANA transformation, with the majority of enterprises citing inadequate preparation as a key barrier to success. 

A Brownfield approach is often the most chosen migration and involves transitioning existing systems onto the S/4HANA platform while preserving pre-existing data, processes and customizations.  

Polling 200 enterprises using SAP across the UK, US and Germany, Basis Technologies was able to identify the main drivers of businesses migrating their existing systems to SAP S/4HANA, as well as the biggest hurdles they face. 

SAP has set a deadline of 2027 for enterprises to migrate from ECC to S/4HANA. Asked about the expected advantages of an S/4HANA transformation, those polled cited improved compliance (45%), a simple user interface (42%), and greater process quality (41%) as the top three expected benefits.  

Commenting on the findings, David Lees, CTO of Basis Technologies, said: “There are clear advantages of migrating to S/4HANA, with improved compliance being the main driver. Most organisations are somewhere along the way on their migration journey, or have a plan in place. It’s important for firms to recognise that there are multiple routes to getting there, and they need to choose the one that is going to provide the most value.” 

However, SAP managers and senior leaders within the organisations polled admitted there were specific challenges preventing a smooth and successful S/4HANA migration. The top three barriers to success cited were inadequate preparation (75%), a lack of internal skills or resources (50%), and a tendency to ignore the issue due to a perception that SAP’s S/4HANA deadline is still some way off (50%). 

“Preparation is the vital first step”, Lees continued. “It’s what sets the whole migration in motion and determines the success of the project. All too often, migrations overrun on time and budget due to inadequate preparation. It’s clear that SAP managers and senior leaders recognise that as the biggest challenge. The SAP skills gap and the SAP S/4HANA deadline are also widely recognised issues when it comes to the success of transformation, from the perspective of large enterprises. The situation is worsening due to ageing groups with specialist skills retiring without fast replacements. Very few people now base their career solely in SAP.” 

The report showed that automation tools report impressive results, including a 50% reduction in the cost of delivering changes, a 95% reduction in error-prone manual effort, 50-times faster delivery of new features, and a 70% reduction in production system downtime. 

Post-transformation, leaders and managers report improved compliance (62%), simplified business processes (60%), new functionality offering a competitive advantage (49%), simplified landscape architecture and operational costs (49%), and real-time reporting and analytics powering business decisions (49%). 

Lees added: “The modern enterprise is on a continual journey to achieve three core goals: power innovation, drive growth, and eliminate business risk. The improved functionalities delivered by a smooth SAP S/4HANA transformation will undoubtedly set businesses on a clear path towards a more agile way of working.” 

For a deep dive into SAP S/4HANA transformations and the insights from Basis Technologies’ latest study, read the full report here.  

About Basis Technologies 

Basis Technologies is trusted by the world’s best-performing organizations to unlock their full potential with SAP. Their industry-leading solutions help businesses drive transformation with confidence, achieving the freedom to outpace competitors while safeguarding critical systems that maintain business continuity. Basis Technologies serves prominent companies such as P&G, Honda, Boeing, and, delivering actionable insights and automation to SAP change. 

For more information about Basis Technologies and its SAP transformation solutions, visit

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