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Greenfield approach

The greenfield approach describes a full-scale new implementation of S/4HANA. This involves reconfiguring and installing all processes, organization, master data, and systems.

For many companies, this is a very costly and not absolutely necessary scenario. Reason: The decisive scope of functions in S/4HANA for sales order processing, purchase orders, and production orders has changed only insignificantly.

If there is hope of returning valuable, individual system adaptations, which in the past allowed the company to optimize workflows or even achieve competitive advantages, to the standard, users are often disappointed. S/4HANA also lacks suitable functionalities. So if the business processes in use predominantly fit the current requirements, a greenfield approach is not expected to yield any major benefits. On the contrary. Established applications and processes may have to be recreated and tested on a 1:1 basis. It is therefore highly questionable whether the budget spent on this justifies the added value achieved. A greenfield is therefore only recommended for companies whose SAP systems are very difficult to maintain after many years, frequently struggle with failures,

or if the business processes no longer meet current requirements. Typical reasons can be changed products or sales channels. This situation often also applies to carve-outs. For example, because the SAP system provided by the parent company no longer fits the subsidiary's current business model.

But the reality is different. In most companies, the current SAP ERP solution covers the central business processes very well. A new implementation of S/4HANA would therefore overshoot the mark, as it would not bring any significant benefits in terms of process improvements. Against this background, the brownfield approach is recommended, which costs a fraction of a greenfield.