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Madhu Subramanian December 1, 2022

SAP S/4 HANA: What to Know Before Migrating

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Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) has been the SAP fundamental for years. The latest ERP suite is S/4HANA which focuses on giving end users the ability to make real-time decisions. SAP S/4HANA simplifies IT and reduces ownership costs. With its real-time memory data platform, businesses can make real-time decisions for processing transactions. Here is everything you should know about SAP S/4HANA.

What is SAP S/4 HANA?

SAP S/4 HANA came into the market in February 2015 and is the front-runner in SAP products for customers looking to migrate from the business ERP suite. It is an Enterprise Resource Planning that uses the HANA's in-memory database and is available on the cloud, on-premise, and hybrid deployment. SAP S/4HANA is the fourth generation SAP business suite, and HANA means High-performance Analytic Appliance. The suite has been designed for business analytics, planning, real-time applications, and text processing. The latest ERP system from the SAP product line is used to control processes and link to functional areas. SAP S/4HANA is available as cloud and on-premise.


On-premise is an ERP business suite based on the HANA in-memory database. The platform runs from the company's servers. You'll have to hire an IT team to perform the SAP software deployment, upgrade tasks, and maintenance. The software upgrades are done annually and are installed by customers. With on-premise, you enjoy a wide range of functions. It is suitable for big organizations that need customized monitoring applications for human resources, accounting, finance, supply chain, materials management, and sales. SAP S/4HANA on-premise is an ERP business suite. It is an internal platform on your server that allows you to control everything, including applications, networks, HANA database, and servers.

Further Reading:


SAP S/4HANA is a Software as a Service (SaaS) version of SAP HANA running on SAP servers. SAP is responsible for software upgrades and maintenance. The cloud edition offers faster deployment and is easy for businesses to operate. It is a suitable option for businesses looking for a ready-made solution. The SAP S/4HANA Cloud is a SaaS edition of S/4HANA. It is available for both private and public clouds. It works the same as on-premise but without a database, IT staff, or hardware.

What is the Difference between SAP HANA and S4/HANA?

There is a bit of confusion between SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA among ERP customers. SAP HANA is an in-memory database, and S/4HANA uses ERP apps in the front end that turn on the in-memory database SAP HANA. SAP HANA processes huge volumes of operational data in real-time. S/4HANA is done by rewriting codes instead of running on top of it. SAP S/4HANA is, therefore, easy to use and agile for developers.

Advantages of SAP S/4HANA over HANA

SAP S/4HANA allows you to work seamlessly in a digital world. It has been the primary reason why businesses are using SAP ERP. To understand the differences between SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA, it is vital to understand the advantages S/4HANA has over SAP HANA. Here are the benefits of SAP S/4HANA.


Simplicity is one of the features of SAP. SAP S/4HANA simplifies the management and administration of IT. With SAP S/4HANA, you can centralize network and hardware resources. It harnesses the HANA in-memory database to simplify business processes.

Ease of Use

The modern design gives you an innovative experience and enables you to access list reports, work lists, and overview pages. The user interface has been designed in such a way that it is responsive, personalized, intuitive, and simple. Users can access the details they need regardless of the deployment.

Cost Effectiveness

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA is a smart move because of its cost-effectiveness. You can bring the transactional capabilities of various systems into one location. Therefore, you'll be better at decision-making.


With technology evolving rapidly, you have to keep up to remain competitive. You have to be ahead of the other businesses and make future-ready decisions. With SAP S/4HANA, you'll enjoy speed, data accessibility, and context.

Improved Speed

S/4HANA improves performance and allows you to execute, plan and generate reports using live data. It also allows your business to provide customer-centric applications.

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Who Uses SAP S/4 HANA?

Businesses, no matter their industry, can enjoy the benefits of an efficient ERP process. SAP S/4HANA supports the Lines of business (LoB) common in every business. The industries that use SAP S/4HANA are:

  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Oil and gas
  • Consumer and industrial product sales
  • Financial services
  • Retail
  • Public services and utilities
  • Transportation and logistics firms

The list is endless on industries that can benefit from using SAP S/4HANA. Getting more module training will widen your career options across multiple industries.

SAP S/4 HANA Cloud vs On-premise

SAP S/4HANA is one of the newest trends in technology. Moving to SAP S/4HANA can give you tremendous competitive advantages for your organization. Its simplified architecture, performance improvements, and real-time analysis will enable your organization to work smoothly. There are two options available to you when you migrate to SAP S/4HANA: S/4HANA cloud and on-premise. What is the difference between the two options? Which one is suitable for your organization? Knowing the difference between them will help you figure out a suitable option for your business needs. Here are the differences between cloud and On-premise deployment.

Licensing Model

S/4HANA on-premise requires traditional licensing, while S/4HANA cloud uses subscription-based licensing. Traditional licensing gives you the right to use SAP software in perpetuity. With the subscription model, you cannot use the software in perpetuity.


On-premise is flexible and manageable and gives you complete control. If your business has a new requirement and your customer wants to customize it, they can do it right away. It is possible since the system is managed in-house. The cloud version is only customizable to a certain extent since it has a predefined configuration. Users have less flexibility and control with regard to specialized requirements.


On-premise requires maintenance to be done with an IT professional, but you can do it at your pace. You don't have to upgrade your system every time. The cloud version, on the other hand, makes regular maintenance easier. Therefore, you don't need IT staff for the maintenance. The system in the cloud is upgraded automatically, so you'll always have up-to-date software.


The on-premise sets up in a new environment and is slower. The implementation in an on-premise deployment takes longer since customers have to test and plan everything. Users also have to create a team dedicated to setting up the new system. The cloud version has a faster implementation since it has an already-made platform. Users don't have to worry about planning and testing the system.


It is harder to scale up or down with an on-premise edition. The cloud version, on the other hand, is easier to scale. It will grow as your business grows.

SAP S/4 HANA Modules

The decision to enroll in an SAP training course will give you an overview of the SAP S/4HANA and know the basics before you start using the platform. The courses cover a wide range of topics, focusing on the SAP S/4HANA business processes and capabilities.

Companies can use SAP S/4HANA and user modules to reduce inefficiencies in their operations and gain a competitive advantage. However, it takes some time to develop SAP skills, given the various modules. You'll notice changes in your career if you master the SAP S/4HANA modules.

There are numerous S/4HANA modules in various categories, with the popular one being SAP finance. The module streamlines the financial process using real-time financial information. The module has database integration that aligns with non-financial and financial data in one source. SAP finance module enables businesses to automate risk, compliance, and international trade. It enables businesses to improve financial performance, protect financial assets and optimize business operations by reducing risk and compliance violations. Other SAP S/4HANA modules are:

  • Plant maintenance (PM): the course introduces users to the changes they'll encounter when transitioning from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA.
  • Human Capital Management (HCM): the course provides an overview of base functional modules in the SAP and how they integrate into SAP
  • Controlling (CO)
  • Enterprise Performance Management (EPM)
  • Supply Chain Management (SCM)
  • Sales and distribution (SD)
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Materials Management (MM)
  • Product Life Cycle Management (PLM)
  • Project Systems (PS)

Choosing the Right Implementation Partner

With the right IT provider, migrating to SAP S/4HANA will be a smooth process. When choosing a provider, look for one with reliable support, experience, adaptability, on-site support, and company culture. The right provider is also knowledgeable and conversant with the SAP platform.

If you are looking for help with your SAP S/4HANA migration, you are in the right place. We are knowledgeable and will ensure you have a smooth transition. Even though SAP will still provide support and updates to SAP HANA, you need to deploy S/4HANA the right way to avoid any disruptions in the future. When you are performing the migration, you need to get the help of an expert. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you migrate to SAP S/4HANA.

Topics: digital transformation, data & technology

Madhu Subramanian

By Madhu Subramanian

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