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“The $64,000 Question: Is 2025 Real?” by Denise Ganly

by Debbie Wilson  |  June 24, 2019  |  Comments Off on “The $64,000 Question: Is 2025 Real?” by Denise Ganly

Analysts tend to get asked the same questions over and over as certain topics are top of mind for our clients. Questions like “what’s the average cost for ERP?,” “how long will it take to implement?,” “which ERP vendor should I choose?,” and “is there a credible alternative to <vendor>?” We jokingly say if we got a dollar for every time someone asked one of these questions, we’d be sitting on a beach drinking boat drinks.

The latest boat drink question is “how firm is SAP’s 2025 deadline for moving to S/4 Hana?” or more colloquially put “is 2025 real?” The short answer is, at this moment and as far as we know, the 2025 deadline is a firm one. But before we all go running around like Chicken Little thinking the sky is falling in, let’s consider what that actually means and try to gain some perspective.

Essentially, SAP has inadvertently created an artificial Y2K event. However, unlike the Y2K crisis, there is no looming danger of power grids shutting down, banks being unable to transact, or planes falling from the sky. This “danger” in 2025 is running unsupported software. For some of us, that is an unacceptable risk that must be dealt with now. For some, the risk is acceptable as long as we mitigate it at some point. For others, this is a “so what?” moment. You must decide where on that spectrum you fall and then work with your advisors to figure out how best to deal with the 2025 deadline.

Using the Y2K analogy, for all intents and purposes, we’re sitting in about 1995. The market behaviours are very similar. We have a looming deadline. The software available is at different stages of maturity or in some cases non-existent. The consultants are often reading one page ahead in the metaphorical manual and are charging premium prices for experienced resources. Internal resources are being poached from our organizations.

The bad news is that this gets worse before it gets better. As we move closer to the deadline, the demand for resources will dramatically increase causing rates to go up and greater staff flight. However, the good news is that the closer we get to the deadline, the more mature the product offerings are. This is why it is important to understand SAP’s roadmap and how and when it will support your ERP definitional footprint.

Are we in for interesting times ahead? Yes but we’ve been here before. We have a better understanding of the questions we need to ask to determine if, when, and how we make the move. Talk to Gartner analysts and your industry peers. Read our SAP research as well as asking hard questions of SAP themselves regarding how they will support your needs. See SAP S/4HANA Research Roundup.

Remember, your organization won’t stop on the stroke of midnight 1 January 2025. It’s not that type of crisis. Take your time. Do your research. Understand your options. Plan for success. You still have some time up your sleeves.

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Category: applications  erp  

Deborah R Wilson
Managing Vice President, ERP Strategy Team
12 years at Gartner
20 years IT industry

Deborah Wilson, a recovering Gartner research analyst, leads the Gartner ERP strategy research team. Read Full Bio

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