SAP S/4 HANA Migration with a Blended Team Approach

Combine the strengths of internal teams, vendor experts, global consulting and technology firms, independent consultants, and co-managed teams.

In today's ever-evolving business landscape, SAP's decision to end support for legacy ERP applications by the end of 2027 has put organizations on the fast track toward migrating to SAP S/4HANA. This migration represents a pivotal moment for businesses, offering unprecedented capabilities and avenues for innovation. 

However, the path to SAP S/4HANA is fraught with complexities and challenges that demand a strategic approach to resource planning. Organizations must embark on their migration journey sooner rather than later. 

Benefits of SAP S/4HANA

In some cases, adopting the latest shiny object in tech could do a company more harm than good. In this case, a migration to SAP S/4HANA is imperative for those who currently operate using an old SAP ERP system. Those legacy systems will no longer be supported or sustainable in the coming years. But beyond that, migrating to S/4HANA is a giant leap toward digital transformation. 

Companies that have made the transition already say it has improved on-demand processing speed, enhanced functionalities for managing complex business processes, and increased employee efficiency. Deployable both on-premise and in the cloud, S/4HANA delivers increased business intelligence, simplifies your IT environment, and improves the overall ROI of your SAP landscape. 

Migration support options

Tackling a migration of this magnitude on your own is a daunting task. But finding the right partner, talent, and resources to get you there can also be incredibly challenging. 

Engage with SAP directly

The first and most obvious choice for a S/4 HANA migration is to turn to SAP for support. SAP implementation teams are the true experts and know the product inside and out. While SAP services offer valuable expertise, it’s important to consider any software vendor’s direct support can be associated with significant costs. It’s best used strategically and with laser focus.  

This leads to an emphasis on internal teams and other experts who have and can explore a deep familiarity with your business.

Leverage a large consulting partner

It is an established practice to select Global Consulting and Technology Integrators to handle important areas of the project for you. They often excel at providing strategic guidance and executing important project areas of focus such as design, implementation, change management, and project review. 

Many teams find that over-reliance on these solutions can be costly and lessen the level of control that is possible as the upgrade evolves. It's important to consider the potential for expensive scope creep, which can sometimes feel like an unavoidable risk. Additionally, teams can feel a bit helpless as they experience a degradation in talent over the course of the project as more experienced people move out and less experienced team members move in. 

Partner with a staffing firm

A key ingredient most organizations choose to adopt for an SAP S/4 HANA migration is to hand-pick independent contractors through their own network and via staffing firms. This provides on-demand talent and can offer significant savings from global consulting and technology firms. 

ICs often provide incredibly relevant expertise they have learned from working with similar businesses and projects. They also have desirable motivations; their value is highly correlated to their independent expert advice, thus their work may be very well aligned with the client's best interests.

But the process can be daunting. Hiring ICs takes effort and internal teams must ensure they have time to juggle multiple staffing vendors, conduct interviews, and select contractors. 

Co-managed teams

Our IT Project Solutions is a flexible co-managed approach that blends the best of both the staffing and consulting worlds. It is completely custom to client needs and preferred levels of collaboration and is part of a blended team approach.  

With this approach, the client is in control of the project. That means teams are agile and flexible, change management is simplified, and clients receive regular project updates from people who are easily accessible. 

Blended team approach checklist

The ideal solution lies in a blended team approach that combines the strengths of internal teams, vendor experts from SAP, global consulting and technology firms, independent consultants, and—gaining in popularity—co-managed teams.

Many companies have found that a strategic vision toward a blended approach with tactics that empower the best of all options can deliver the best value.

Step 1: Assess Internal Capabilities

Step 2: Identify SAP Expertise Needs

Step 3: Explore and Evaluate Global Consulting and Technology Firms

Step 4: Explore Independent Consultants that are Proven

Step 5: Consider Co-Managed Teams

Step 6: Develop a Blended Team Strategy

Step 7: Continuously Monitor and Adjust

Because this approach arms clients with maximum flexibility, course corrections are easier to spot and execute. Regularly monitor the progress of your blended team and be prepared to make adjustments as needed. 

To learn more about how we can support your company’s migration to SAP S/4HANA or to inquire about our IT Project Solutions, reach out to our team