SAP S/4HANA Implementation Scenarios


Ever since SAP S/4HANA came into being in 2015, it has gained immense popularity. It has become SAP’s most successful ERP system. Organizations have been actively adopting SAP S/4HANA as they continue to leverage the ever-evolving technological advancements to improve their business processes. In this blog, we will look at the common SAP S/4HANA implementation scenarios for any organization.

New Implementation or the Greenfield Approach

This SAP S/4HANA Implementation methodology is for businesses that are new to SAP ERP or those that want to re-implement their core solution.

Using the software provisioning manager, SAP S/4HANA is installed. The initial data load from the source is done using SAP S/4HANA migration cockpit or SAP data services

When do organizations choose the Greenfield SAP S/4HANA implementation scenario?

  • When focus is on reengineering and process simplification
  • For migration from a non-SAP legacy system
  • For migration from an older release of the system

Despite data migration and cleansing being the first step in this transition, one should not let data governance take a backseat.

System Conversion or the Brownfield Approach

This SAP S/4HANA Implementation methodology is for businesses that want to convert an existing SAP ERP system to SAP S/4HANA. The Greenfield approach is a fresh start whereas, the Brownfield approach, which could look simple from afar, might have complications due to the customized legacy environment that the existing system is running on. Nevertheless, the end result is a simpler environment, leveraging technological benefits in keeping pace with the digital era.

Here, the transitioning to SAP S/4HANA is based on Software Update Manager. If the organization is not yet using SAP HANA, database migration would also have to be done. All SAP ERP code is replaced with SAP S/4 HANA Code.

When do organizations choose the Brownfield SAP S/4HANA implementation scenario?

  • When they want to shift their current business processes to a new platform
  • When they want to approach the transition in a phased manner. Transition can be a purely technical conversion process with adaptation to new innovations being futuristic.

Landscape transformation or the Hybrid Approach

This methodology is a selective migration process, where the entire system is not migrated. Parts of the system are chosen for transition to the S/4HANA platform.

Since it is a data migration process, it calls for a target system into which the data can be migrated. The target system is realized with a fresh system install. This is the same as the Greenfield new implementation, with or without initial data load. The target system can also be realized with a system conversion of an ERP system as in the case of Brownfield approach. Once the target system is in place, data can be migrated to S/4HANA systems with ease.

When do organizations choose the hybrid SAP S/4HANA implementation scenario?

  • When only parts of the system need to be migrated
  • When migration is in a phased manner
  • When a gradual shift to S/4HANA is desired so that current business is undisturbed
  • Mould entities of the business to SAP S/4HANA and leverage process simplification


We can conclude by saying that there are multiple scenarios for SAP S/4HANA adoption. Organizations planning to migrate to SAP S/4HANA can decide on the best suited scenario based on their individual business needs.

LMTEQ will help you run the SAP S/4HANA readiness check dashboard to check your system’s compatibility for S/4HANA and offer you the best recommendations based on the result.


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