Forging Digital Pace with S/4HANA

June 13, 2017 Chris Varghese

It has been over two years now since the announcement of S/4HANA and if anyone still wonders how committed SAP is to its in-memory solution and the applications, you should realize: “Despite the cost, more are hailing HANA.”

SAP had rewritten its flagship ERP product to take full advantage of HANA’s in-memory computing capability. SAP also signaled that the main thrust of its solutions and applications will be built around this core.

More are Hailing HANA

Enterprises of all sizes, in all verticals, are grappling with the new technology trends such as the cloud, big data, mobility, and the Internet of Things that are shaping the digital business. With all these multiple technology derivatives being collated to a common platform, the adoption plan should be very carefully defined and must consider the deployment logistics such as where and how it will be deployed, how it will run, should it be standalone or hybrid, etc. Having a formalized business use case will make things easier, but the real challenge will be building one. Enterprises may require assistance in building the adoption strategy.

Whether an enterprise forges alone, partners with a consultant, or partners with SAP, they will have to go through a series of process steps to achieve the goal and business values. Most partnering companies will have a predefined roadmap and methodology in place for the adoption.

The Digital Embrace gives a brief on how companies should adopt the technology innovations and transform into the digital pace.

Sold on HANA – How to Deploy?

When it’s time to sort out the deployment, enterprises have the choice to choose between an on-premise mode or adopting a cloud strategy.  The Digital Core – S/4HANA defines the future state by combining the power of the core business functionalities defined in uniform standards with the option to extend to other SAP cloud solutions with end to end processes. This in turn enables a framework for the partner customer innovations.

A successful transition will take an incremental approach. First, a feasible technical migration will move you into SAP S/4HANA as a foundation to consume key innovations, and then you can innovate on top of re-invented core processes.

In contrast, the cloud deployment will require an initial setup using guided configuration and SAP will be responsible for the operations including the software change procedures. A quarterly innovation is applicable to the cloud deployment, which really means that the flexibility is limited when compared to the on-premise deployment.

The Road to Get Digitized

The design of a transformation roadmap from where you are now, to where you want to go, to what you want to become varies and greatly depends on the IT and the business strategies that companies have in place. Getting to know where the enterprise stand on a data view point is the most important factor to consider when you think going digital.

The digital technology trends represent a new dimension of challenges with regard to the business and operating models. Most importantly, the reliability on business-critical processes are more important than ever. Adoption of latest and cutting-edge technology offerings like the use of smart devices for data analytics, reporting, decision making, etc. should be taken into account while implementing the transformation plan.

The key to delivering on the specific promises of technology while watching out for unforeseen risks is by maintaining a strong connection with the business goals. Failure often happens when there’s a deviation from the transformation path. Handling such events requires a level of know-how and expertise that most firms do not possess in-house.

By embracing lessons learned, firms can develop flexible strategies and processes that open them up to insights and changes that could address the shifts that may occur during transformation. Consulting partners will help companies not only make the most of innovations happen, but also help to avoid common mistakes, build awareness of potential risks, and adopt best practices.

About the Author

Chris Varghese

As a Solution Consultant with BackOffice Associates, Chris works closely with the team for Pre-Sales, Go-to-Market and provides strategic support in delivering solutions to customers who are on their journey to S/4HANA. Tasked with the responsibility in driving the set forth strategy, he also handles the Information Security Management System framework in accordance to ISO 27001 Standards.

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