This blog contains experience gained over the years of implementing (and de-implementing) large scale IT applications/software.

Release 2023 of SAP S/4HANA Last Target

The 2023 release of SAP S/4HANA is due in October 2023.
This release is likely the last release that existing SAP ERP customers can reasonably migrate to.

Here’s why

Any customer migrating to S/4HANA from SAP ERP will need to perform all the analysis and preparation work against this 2023 S/4HANA release (functional capabilities will be known).

The next S/4HANA release will be in late 2025 because after the 2023 release the product moves to a new 2 year release cycle (instead of annually).

This 2025 date is likely to be too late for any reasonably large customer to migrate to, as it would leave only 2 years until 2027 (end of maintenance for SAP ERP) and taking into consideration of the start of end-of-maintenance of Compatibility Scope items (see my other post about those here).

Running an SAP ERP to S/4HANA migration project quicker than 2 years is possible, but this depends heavily on existing environment complexity.

I would bet that for most, 2023 is *the* target S/4HANA release.  The saint release as I’m calling it.

Reference link:

SAP S/4HANA Compatibility Pack EOM

I don’t know about you but my LinkedIn feed is becoming uselessly full of “you must move to SAP S/4HANA” posts, with no real business case for doing so apart from the old “you will be left behind…” justification.
It is also becoming full of posts claiming that SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition is the same as SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition.

Well, I’m ashamed to say, this is one of those “you will be left behind…” posts, but with an added “…in a boat with a hole and no bucket.”.
As a by-product it will also prove that SAP S/4HANA PCE is most definately not the same as SAP S/4HANA On-Premise Edition.

Some blogs on get many, many thousands of views, mainly because they answer the most common questions.
There are some questions however, that few ask and this one has brought me to this excellent blog post linked here:

When moving to SAP S/4HANA, some existing SAP ERP customers were/are allowed to carry over features/developments originally designed for SAP ERP.
These are called “Compatibility Packs” or “Compatibility Scope Items” and are detailed further in links in the blog post that I am linking (I recommend you read the linked blogs from that blog post).

In the blog post I reference it says:

“…functionalities that were originally created for SAP ERP that are currently available in SAP S/4HANA. But SAP has authorized customers to use these functionalities in SAP S/4HANA for a limited time…

Oh really.  Until what time is this “limited time” you may be thinking?

…typically until the end of 2025, with a few exceptions that will be available until 2030.“.

Well, that is great for those customers that have already made the move to S/4HANA.
What about those that are not yet on S/4HANA?   Does that 2025 date extend out to 2027?  No, it does not!

The impact therefore, is if you are late migrating to the S/4HANA party, all the good food is already gone!

Those companies moving to S/4HANA before 2025 will get access to those Compatibility Packs to help smooth their transition from SAP ERP (if they need them).

Those who are moving to S/4HANA between 2025 and 2030, will see some of those Compatibility Packs become unsupported. 

They can be used (SAP will not delete transaction codes etc) but they will be unsupported and unmaintained (think about security, legal, integrity issues and not just bugs).

Finally, regarding SAP S/4HANA On-Premise vs SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition. These are similar but not the same.

The blog post goes to lengths to explain that “…the functional differences between SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, and SAP S/4HANA On-Premise are only features that belong to the compatibility scope Matrix…“.  

Three editions of SAP S/4HANA, three products with differences:

  • Private Cloud Edition (for RISE with SAP).
  • On-Premise Edition (for those that know sense ;-p ).
  • Public Cloud Edition.