SAP S/4HANA Survey

Experiences of companies in Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland

Companies all over the world are preparing for or have already begun their transformation journey to SAP S/4HANA. Find out how your peers across Europe are dealing with this transformation in our study on procedures, risks and opportunities.

SAP S/4HANA is the latest generation of the SAP Business Suite, characterised by streamlined transactions, a better user experience, simplified data flows, and new functionalities. A move to S/4HANA brings new features, advanced designs and better innovation capabilities. By leveraging SAP S/4HANA, organisations can make the strategic leap forward, but the road to optimisation can be challenging.

This report is intended to inform you about the current progress of companies we surveyed on their SAP S/4HANA journey. It provides insights into how organisations plan, prepare and implement their migration. The companies surveyed are from Austria, Belgium, Germany and Switzerland. 

Our survey focused on aspects such as success factors, challenges and current activities regarding the introduction of SAP S/4HANA. Last but far from least, we also wanted to gauge the extent to which companies capitalise on the necessary changes as an opportunity for further transformations.

By leveraging SAP S/4HANA, organisations can make the strategic leap forward, but the road to optimisation can be challenging.
Position of survey participants - management level

“Belgian companies are lagging an average of one to two years behind the SAP S/4HANA wave compared to our European neighbours. This represents an opportunity to leverage lessons learned from implementations that have already taken place. Involving a quality assurance function in your SAP S/4HANA transformation remains a good practice to help realise anticipated added value and safeguard the return on your investment.”

Wim Rymen, Partner, ERP Risk Solutions

Belgian key figures

“Move to SAP S/4HANA – the time to act is now!” is a good one-line summary of our survey. Customers with SAP ERP solutions will no longer receive mainstream maintenance from SAP after 31 December 2027, according to the current schedule. A migration to SAP S/4HANA on-premise, S/4HANA Cloud or other ERP solution is inevitable. A total of 75 companies that have already dealt with the topic more intensively took part in the survey.

Time factor

This should not come as a surprise, as 42% of the companies expect the migration project to take three to five years, or even longer. None of our Belgian respondents had already implemented S/4HANA. The majority (75%) of Belgian respondents were still in the early stages of their implementation project, or hadn’t yet made the decision to move to S/4HANA.

Have you defined your S/4HANA transformation roadmap?

Change management

Companies see the move to S/4HANA as an opportunity to standardise and optimise their processes, which shows the migration is not merely a technical conversion project. With 75% of our Belgian respondents choosing a brownfield implementation, they’re considerably more conservative than their European counterparts (50%).

Most of them see the S/4HANA migration as a technical conversion which will serve as a basis to do further business transformation later on. Companies should ensure they initiate these additional optimisation initiatives to be able to get the most out of their technology investments.

Have you considered further enhancements, now and post go-live?

External support

A large group of companies is turning to implementation partners to support the move to S/4HANA. Given the time remaining for the move, there’s a risk that qualified consultants available for the move will become scarce. When working with these third parties, companies should ensure appropriate quality assurance measures are put in place so that the project delivers its intended benefits.

About 65% of all respondents have allocated this task to the internal project team. However, when a third-party implementer’s involved, companies are more likely to seek external support for this quality assurance role. They’re either leveraging their internal audit function, or collaborating with a third party.

Have you considered involving a dedicated quality assurance team/role? In Belgium, one in two companies relying on a third-party implementer is already doing so.

Costs vs savings

It’s clear that the move to S/4HANA will require sizable investments from companies. Taking into account that the majority of respondents will seek support from a third party, it should not come as a surprise that the external costs of the move are cited as the biggest cost driver by 62% of all companies. Of those surveyed, however, 37% expect annually recurring savings after the implementation.

More than half also anticipate lower process costs. We see, however, that not all companies have drafted a business case. Given that our Belgian respondents estimate their projects to cost between two and five million euros, it’s astonishing to see that only 60% of them have created a business case. The Belgian participants who’ve done so are more optimistic about their cost savings, with about two thirds expecting recurring savings.

Have you taken the time to create a business case and identify potential savings?

How PwC can help

SAP S/4HANA technology can create new opportunities, but the road to optimisation can be challenging. We can help you get there.Discover how we can help

Contact us

Wim Rymen

Wim Rymen

Partner, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 47 326 9227

Torsten Hübsch

Torsten Hübsch

Director, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 49 274 5850

Jeffrey Beetens

Jeffrey Beetens

Senior Manager, PwC Belgium

Tel: +32 475 75 03 28

Connect with PwC Belgium