Delivering exceptional customer experiences underpinned by up-to-the-minute data and deep customer and operational insights requires a technology solution that connects all relevant business units, integrates processes like supply chain and finance, and draws from a single source of truth in real time.
All of this is available from cutting-edge enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions like SAP S/4HANA, so it’s no surprise that businesses are adopting such solutions at a rapid pace to propel their digital transformations.
However, it’s important not to get distracted by the excitement around the potential benefits provided by SAP S/4HANA.
Getting maximum value from any ERP solution takes more than just an out-of-the-box implementation and a change management program.
Overlooking key elements can leave businesses frustrated and out of pocket. Getting the deployment plan right up front is critical, and ensuring it is aligned to the strategic business goals will deliver tangible outcomes and a strong return on investment
1. Moving to SAP S/4HANA is not simply an ERP upgrade
It’s important to have a strong rationale for moving to SAP S/4HANA because this is not just a standard technology upgrade. While the functional scope may be similar to previous generation solutions such as SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), the underlying technology is a huge leap forward. The real-time transactional and analytical processing capabilities offered in SAP S/4HANA are augmented by artificial intelligence (AI), dramatically enhancing enterprise intelligence.
However, this means that it will no longer be possible to use legacy databases to underpin the ERP solution. SAP S/4HANA uses its own proprietary database, which delivers significant benefits. This lets businesses optimise existing processes and deploy completely new operating models, driving true digital transformation beyond simply digitising and streamlining workloads.
2. The migration can be complex and requires a measured, intelligent approach
We have all heard the stories of failed ERP implementations and industry figures suggest anywhere between 55 per cent and 75 per cent of ERP projects fail. Given the mission-critical nature of ERP, minimising risk is essential. This requires an intelligent migration approach. To do so, it’s important to start with a readiness assessment that includes reviewing custom code, business processes, current and desired states, and a roadmap to get there, while also identifying potential risks.
3. Transformation should include business models
Getting maximum benefits from a SAP S/4HANA deployment requires businesses to be prepared to genuinely transform. Instead of a like-for-like replacement of older ERP systems, SAP S/4HANA offers the opportunity to completely revamp the way organisations do business. This can provide opportunities for disruption, letting businesses grasp a competitive advantage that would not have been possible previously. However, to achieve this, businesses must have a transformation mindset and be prepared to explore new concepts, workflows and process modelling.
4. A strong implementation now can prepare the organisation for decades to come
SAP S/4HANA is designed to be a futureproof solution that lets organisations innovate, scale and grow as their marketplace evolves in the coming years and even decades. The implementation project, therefore, should have a dual focus on technology and process. Much of the true value of SAP S/4HANA will be realised in the process side.
It’s important to start by mapping out existing business processes and then designing changes, configuring the system, training users, and optimising the system. It is possible to undertake this as a separate process to the technical deployment of SAP S/4HANA, then add new functions piece by piece while users continue to use existing functions. This can minimise disruption and create a more palatable user experience, especially for those who are resistant to change.
5. Complexity in the migration process can pay off in the future
It’s important to adopt a level of transformation to immediately realise the benefits available within SAP S/4HANA as well as set the business up to adopt innovations in the future. A slightly costlier and time-consuming migration project up front can pay significant dividends in the future in terms of flexibility, optimisation and simplified user experiences. It’s important for organisations to determine their ideal balance.
6. Replacing custom enhancements with SAP S/4HANA applications can lower total cost of ownership
The total cost of ownership (TCO) can be reduced by avoiding heavy customisation or replacing those customisations with SAP S/4HANA applications and consolidating multiple systems into one SAP S/4HANA system.
Similarly, replacing legacy applications with SAP S/4HANA functionality can reduce technical debt. Legacy applications can be replaced altogether with SAP’s suite of applications, or they can be integrated using the SAP Business Technology Platform tools to improve their effectiveness
7. Operating SAP S/4HANA in the cloud is attractive
Organisations can choose whether to operate SAP S/4HANA in the cloud or on-premise. Many organisations are moving to the cloud as part of their overarching digital transformation. Running SAP S/4HANA in the cloud offers all the benefits a business would expect in terms of scalability, integrations, and pay-as-you-go pricing. It also removes the need for the business to maintain hardware and software, which can place a significant burden on IT teams and budgets. Moving to the cloud means that customers do not have to manage the underlying infrastructure while still maintaining significant control over configurations.
Why DXC Technology for SAP S/4HANA
Migrating to SAP S/4HANA is complex and potentially risky. It’s essential to reduce that risk by working with the right partner with a proven track record of successful migrations. DXC Technology is a platinum SAP partner with a strong history of modernising businesses and driving innovation. We use an automated approach, comprehensive conversion toolsets and specialist conversion expertise to lower your risk and accelerate your conversion process. This can help eliminate IT complexity, minimise negative disruption, and add value through SAP applications to solve your specific business challenges.
To find out how DXC Technology can get you up and running fast with existing templates and agile approaches that meet your requirements, contact the team today at email@example.com