Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions like SAP ECC or S/4HANA are mission critical applications. Organizations bring in ERP to streamline their critical business processes and to improve their productivity. However, an alarming statistic is also associated with an ERP. According to McKinsey, around 70 percent of digital transformation projects fail. The new research from MIS Quarterly Executive in 2021 states that a whopping 87 per cent of all digital transformation projects fail.
In this blog, we’ll discuss why digital transformation projects fail and how testing can help. We’ll also discuss why testing plays a critical role in SAP ERP success and how SAP test automation can benefit your business.
Top Reasons Why Digital Transformation Projects Fail
ERP implementation projects often fail due to following reasons:
- Inadequate Change Management: As processes start getting digital, employees may feel threatened due to these changes. They may feel insecure about their job as well as their roles and routines.
- Inadequate Skill Sets and Training: Inadequate training and support is another reason why ERP implementation projects go horribly wrong. Often organizations don’t equip their employees with the necessary skills to use new technologies.
- Insufficient Testing and Quality Assurance: Organizations often fail to allocate enough time and resources for testing new systems for functionality and security. User acceptance testing (UAT) is critical for managing change, however, organizations often fail to provide enough bandwidth to business users to test the new system.
Investigating SAP Use Cases
- Haribo’s S/4 HANA Failure: German brand Haribo, kicked off a major SAP S/4HANA migration in 2018 to streamline its production and modernize its outdated goods management system. However, the migration wasn’t as smooth as anticipated and led to a 25% decline in sales for 2018. Prime reason for migration failure was that business processes were broken and incompatible, leading to the importance of evaluation of your current business processes. This S/4HANA migration failure highlights the importance of testing as QA teams can check various quality controls, including supply chain concerns while testing.
- Revlon’s S/4 HANA Failure: In 2017, Revlon implemented S/4HANA in their largest plant in South Carolina. The project ran into severe delays because of which they were unable to fulfill the US federal, state, and local financial reporting deadlines. Main cause of failure was Revlon had attempted to consolidate Microsoft and Oracle systems on a new SAP implementation but lacked hands-on experience with SAP. It also decided to go live without making sure the ERP business processes would work as intended. Many enterprises like Revlon are implementing S/4HANA but don’t understand that change management maturity is critical to success. In fact, businesses that don’t bake change management into their SAP S/4HANA plans will more than likely fail.
The above mentioned use-cases clearly highlight the importance of testing. Undoubtedly, S/4HANA is a great product. However, by overlooking testing or by not allocating proper testing timelines, organizations can themselves invite the disruption.
Although manual testing approaches are still prevalent, they are fraught with inaccuracies and inefficiencies. That’s why we recommend test automation. Not only it increases the testing cycles but also improves the risk coverage.
Let’s discuss what you should look for in the SAP test automation tools.
- No-code automation: Since participation of business users is must for digital transformation success, always opt for no-code test automation tool so that they can operate it with minimal training. Participation of business users is also critical to handle change. When they participate in UAT, they get the chance to operate the ERP and based on their recommendations only, ERP is rolled out in production.
- End-to-end coverage: Enterprise apps like SAP ECC or S/4HANA hardly operate as a stand alone application. They often integrate with other applications like Salesforce, Workday, etc. Thus, always opt for a test automation platform that delivers end to coverage. Among some popular names, Opkey has a special recognition in the market as it supports 14+ ERPs along with 150+ enterprise applications to offer end-to-end coverage.
- Self-healing: SAP is a dynamic application and often test scripts get broken when there is a change in the UI. Maintaining test scripts requires a huge effort. So, always opt for a test automation platform that automatically heals the broken scripts without requiring human intervention.
To ensure digital transformation success, organizations should allocate enough resources for quality assurance. Business users should be incorporated in the testing process. Furthermore, the testing process should be supported by test automation tools so that QA teams can easily keep up with the speed of development. Last but not least, end users should be provided with adequate training to operate the ERP solution.