Ever since SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4 HANA) has been launched, SAP customers have been wanting to jump on the bandwagon, and for good reason. The current technology environment demands increased agility, reliable real-time information and the capability to harness all the benefits being provided by new technologies. In Fact, it is expected that SAP S/4 HANA will replace the current SAP ERP software suite by 2025.
Benefits of SAP S/4 HANA have been emphasized rather strongly by SAP, allowing customers a peek at how the next generation of enterprise resource planning (ERP) will be revolutionized to address customer challenges and generate impressive ROI.
SAP S/4 HANA offers organizations a plethora of benefits:
- It simplifies the management and administration of the IT landscape, provides a very convenient user experience
- Enables businesses to leverage the opportunities of new emerging technologies
- Increases collaboration
- Provides access to real time information which enables more efficient decision making processes
- Increases efficiency
- Increases productivity and fosters improved performance
- Helps IT cut down on costs and is incredibly cost efficient overall
- It allows easy transition to the cloud, thereby setting the stage for future innovation
- By using SAP S/4 HANA’s streamlined, centralized platform, organizations can drastically minimize the challenges associated with their SAP landscapes.
While the benefits sound absolutely interesting, it is obvious that organizations are taking time to understand how SAP S/4 HANA can truly impact their business outcomes. How can they ensure that they are getting the desired ROI from adopting this new ERP system?
Perhaps, you are at crossroads right now, seeking to understand the business value SAP S/4 HANA can bring your organization, and exactly what approach you must take towards adoption to ensure efficiency and performance. It is imperative that you understand the impact this new ERP system can have on the hefty investments your business may have made into customizations.
With organizations quickly making the decision to jump on their journey towards digital transformation, they are looking for value-driven results across lines of business (LOB) and various departments. While this approach is quite ambitious and crucial, in order to adopt digitized processes and maximize efficiency, it is important to know that this journey has to be strategically planned and navigated, in order to avoid pitfalls and overcome challenges.
How can you ensure that you are maximizing benefits of SAP/S4 HANA implementation and converting a heavy investment to profitable business results?
1. Identify the best suited strategic roadmap for SAP S/4 HANA implementation that aligns with your business goals
This requires considering a few key aspects – do you have an existing SAP installation, does your current installation featured too many customizations? Do these customizations bring you indispensable competitive advantage?
Once these questions are addressed, you can look at designing an implementation roadmap that will align with your business requirements. It is important to leverage an expert’s knowledge and experience to ensure that you are appropriately weighing and analyzing your benefits and losses from the transformation path. It is advisable to consider examples of other businesses that have adopted a similar implementation path, in order to refine and optimize your own transformation. In case you have a custom-built SAP installation, you can enlist the support of an experienced partner to accurately assess and evaluate how your customizations are impacting your business, and how you can proceed further with SAP S/4 HANA implementation. This may mean, that if your customizations aren’t really delivering real value, then you will be recommended a packaged solution.
2. Enlist the experience of a partner with expertise in the area of S/4 HANA Enterprise Management
In order to be successful in your endeavor of adopting SAP S/4 HANA, it is important to engage with a partner who understands your business goals and is able to customize your approach/roadmap accordingly. Your partner should be able to help you with navigating the S/4 HANA transformation process in a transparent manner. Leveraging the expertise of a proficient partner also ensures that there is no risk of downtime or diminished performance. You can continue ‘business as usual’. An experienced partner will make the right assessments, provide deployment options, solution options, functional scope, customization and so on. It shouldn’t be a run-of-the-mill consultant-business relationship, but rather a full fledged one, where your partner is bringing the best-in-class tools and designs a customized approach to ensure that you are achieving your expected ROI.
3. Ensure short project durations
When you sign up with a partner to help you embark on this journey, do note that they should be able to support your transformation road map with a sandbox environment. This ensures minimal downtime and facilitates a faster deployment. Whether it is making assessments, testing or validating all dependencies, there should be no delays. An experienced partner can enable an efficient sandbox system that speeds up deployment as well as testing processes to help you convert as soon as possible, and continue supporting after the process is completed as well. You and your partner in this journey to SAP S/4 HANA implementation should agree on a set number of Fix/Run/Validate cycles in order to ensure optimal transformation results.
4. Use best practices
If you have customizations in your current SAP ERP system, do take into consideration what ROI it is generating. Your partner should be able to evaluate and analyze business benefits you are currently deriving from customization. However, if there is no real value to be gained from customized installations, then, your partner should be able to recommend you a packaged solutions. Your partner should also be able to evaluate how best you can generate business value from SAP S/4 HANA by leveraging latest technologies. We recommend adopting an agile project management approach for optimal results.
Are you looking to embark on your journey to SAP S/4 HANA implementation? Do get in touch with us to identify the best approach to get started.