Understanding SAP S/4HANA Migration
Many organizations have been developing and configuring their SAP environments for years, supporting their evolving business needs. Over time, unused developments accumulate in SAP landscapes, creating unnecessary technical debt that complicates maintenance, upgrades, conversions and SAP S/4HANA migration overall.
SAP’s Clean Core initiative is geared to reduce this technical debt and steer companies to adopting standardized business processes wherever possible. This strategy simplifies future SAP upgrade processes, reduces upgrade timelines, enables easier extensibility, and simplifies landscape maintainability and deployment processes. In addition, it provides companies with an opportunity to re-evaluate their existing business processes, relative to SAP’s best practices.
The Clean Core Approach: Key to a Successful S/4HANA Migration
This is particularly relevant for SAP S/4HANA migrations, as it emphasizes the importance of keeping the core system as ‘clean’ and standard as possible. This strategy involves:
- Minimizing Customizations: By relying on the standard functionalities provided by SAP S/4HANA, the Clean Core Approach reduces the need for extensive custom code. This is crucial as customizations can complicate future updates and increase maintenance requirements.
- Enhancing System Stability: A standardized core system tends to be more stable. Customizations, while they might cater to specific business needs, often introduce complexities that can impact system performance and stability.
- Facilitating Upgrades: One of the significant advantages of maintaining a clean core is the ease with which system upgrades can be implemented. Customized systems require additional effort to ensure that upgrades don’t disrupt the custom code, whereas a clean core is more straightforward to upgrade.
- Reducing Maintenance Complexity: A system that stays close to the standard SAP S/4HANA setup is generally easier and less costly to maintain. Customizations require specialized knowledge and can lead to unforeseen issues, increasing the total cost of ownership.
- Leveraging SAP Best Practices: The Clean Core Approach encourages organizations to adapt their processes to fit SAP’s best practices, instead of customizing the software to fit legacy processes. This alignment can lead to more efficient operations and better use of SAP’s innovations.
- Ensuring Future-Readiness: By keeping the core clean, organizations ensure their system is ready for future technologies and integrations. SAP regularly updates its software with new features and capabilities, and a clean core can more easily take advantage of these updates.
What does this come down to? It is about striking the right balance between customization for specific business needs and maintaining a standardized, efficient, and future-proof SAP S/4HANA environment.
Clean Core implementation Considerations
Review existing business processes
This is to assure they’re still relevant and support the business objectives and strategy optimally. In many cases, organizations operate with existing business processes for decades, while slightly changing them per need, on occasion. This sometimes leads to ineffective and inefficient business operations running cumbersome unstable processes.
Utilize the move to Clean Core to review the processes, check if they can be aligned to the standard, validate their consistency and alignment to the business needs, as well as their readiness for the future.
Utilize new technologies such as SAP BTP
This will provide a Clean Core backend, while decoupling the custom code from the standard code. It is possible via the extensibility options in BTP, allowing interfaces between BTP to the SAP while keeping the custom code in BTP, and the SAP very close to standard.
Clean unused code
Aim to fit to standard based on actual usage in your production environment. Searching and measuring usage for custom code isn’t easy, but it is the right approach to determine which code objects are good candidates for deprecation.
Pushing to fit to standard as much as possible, is the best approach from any perspective (cost effectiveness, system robustness, maintainability, future readiness and more).
Calculate the cost of doing nothing
In many cases, this is much more expensive than running a Clean Core initiative.
Many organizations can’t find the right time to run a Clean Core project or simply don’t prioritize this initiative. However, in many cases they’re simply inflating their technical debt, which might then “explode” in the near future.
Keeping unused custom code, unnecessary custom objects, greatly modified business processes which can easily go back to standard, is the incorrect approach. It incorporates multiple disadvantages including:
- Cost – increased costs in any future activity (project, upgrade, ongoing business changes etc.), as the system is usually “unhealthy”, sluggish, complicated & bigger than it should be.
- Defects leakage – increased risk of defect leakage to production, which will lead to additional cost in fixing them, and in severe cases even business downtime.
- Future upgrades complication – increased complication, cost and duration of future system upgrades due to the need to review, fix and adjust custom code, which in many cases is irrelevant.
Key benefits of using Panaya for Clean Core:
Panaya provides powerful solutions to support Clean Core initiatives. By using Panaya, organizations can quickly and easily identify unused developments and identify the custom processes that are candidates for standardization.
This fast and safe approach accelerates and de-risks Clean Core initiatives, while ensuring that all changes are properly tested and validated before being deployed to production.
This is the project methodology:
- Streamline and automate Clean Core initiatives.
- Improve the overall quality and stability of your ERP.
- Reduce the time and effort required to maintain custom code.
- Validate process compatibility with comprehensive testing solutions.
- Improve ERP system performance and make it easier to upgrade.
With Back to Standard and Clean Core capabilities, Panaya can help you improve the overall quality and stability of your ERP system, significantly reduce the time and effort required to manage developments and updates and ensure process compatibility with new ERP versions.
Use Panaya to go Clean Core easily with zero risk for your SAP S/4HANA migration!