NZTA lays groundwork for SAP upgrade

Published on the 04/07/2024 | Written by Heather Wright

Amid ‘substantial’ change program…

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is eyeing up a major SAP upgrade to SAP 4/Hana with Ariba, as part of a ‘significant’ technology update.

The organisation has confirmed it is investigating upgrading and improving its SAP ECC 6 – which hits end of life in 2027, to SAP S/4Hana with Ariba.

“Both SAP and Deloitte have assisted with the investigation.”

A NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi spokesperson told iStart NZTA is ‘investigating what actions should be taken’ considering the approaching end of life.

They confirmed that no significant action has taken place on NZTA’s financial systems since 2012.

“A small team is investigating what should occur, and ultimately board approval would be required for any business case,” the spokesperson says.

No indication of possible costs was forthcoming from NZTA.

“No system integrator has been appointed, although both SAP and Deloitte have assisted with the investigation.”

NZTA currently uses SAP to manage processes around road development and maintenance, including the transactions associated with land purchase and disposal, as well as project and financial management of road projects.

The upgrade is expected to be a multiphase migration, first to cloud, then later to S/4Hana.

The work comes after a report by the auditor-general earlier this year noted that while NZTA has made significant progress understanding their IT weaknesses and remediating core IT security issues previously identified as needing an immediate fix, problems still remain at the agency.

“There are many end-of-life systems that will take years to address,” the auditor-general’s report says. “The required change programme is substantial.”

NZTA has assessed its IT risk rating as ‘critical’ with both board and management viewing it as a significant and high-risk area of operations.

The auditor-general’s report notes forthcoming projects of relevance to its audit include developing a business case to integrate a procure-to-pay solution in to the required upgrade of its end-of-life financial system.

In responses to the Transport and Infrastructure Committee, NZTA outlined its as yet uncompleted 2023/24 IT change program to ensure fit for purpose systems. It includes 17 key initiatives.

Among those is an 86 month, $54 million asset management data standard program to provide an integrated approach to data structures and asset management, including enabling better data management and analytics. The project is expected to provide integrated, complete and reliable customer and asset management information to improve delivery, maintenance and operations of the transport system and improve customer service.

Also included is a $4.45 million, 36-month Sharepoint/enterprise content management (ECM) project, due for completion in 2026 to remediate current security and Public Records Act deficiencies and deliver future state ECM.

Work on a national ticketing system is also underway, with an initial budget estimate of $1.3 billion. It’s due for completion at the end of 2026.

Meanwhile a $4.1 million service management initiative to modernise tools to assist with end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers was due to be completed last month.

NZTA is understood to have already completed work with Tricentis partner TTC in preparation for the move to SAP S/4Hana, with test automations of inbound and outbound interfaces created in the SAP on-premise environment then deployed and re-executed in the SAP cloud environment.

NZTA’s upgrades come as the New Zealand government faces a $800 million bill to overhaul back-office IT systems across agencies.

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