How to Create More Business Value During Your Move to SAP S/4HANA

An SAP S/4HANA project can be successful if you concentrate on the business value.

One of the main goals of an SAP S/4HANA transformation is to simplify business processes. Yet, the S/4 migration journey can be bumpy.

It’s often anything but simple.

It’s crucial to align the often-competing strategies of internal and external partners and streamline the migration journey. Understanding and controlling this often complex path is essential in gaining more business value from this transformation.

In this article, we are going to explore how to achieve this transformation successfully. Let’s first start by defining SAP S/4HANA.

What Is SAP S/4HANA?

SAP rebuilt SAP ERP Central Component ECC (also known as SAP ERP) to create SAP S/4HANA in 2015. Why? SAP wanted to take advantage of SAP HANA’s performance and data analytics capabilities.

SAP S/4HANA is designed to solve complex problems and manage more significant amounts of data than ECC and R/3 (SAP ECC’s predecessor). SAP S/4HANA provides a better user experience with SAP Fiori. It helps companies shift from transactional systems that record data to real-time data from internal and external sources. Companies are reluctant to move to S/4HANA because existing business processes will have to change to realize the inherent benefits of S/4HANA fully.

What Are the Key Benefits of SAP S/4HANA?

There are five key benefits of SAP S/4HANA. Let’s dive into each one.

Performance of In-Memory Database

From moving your data into memory to reducing aggregate tables and data redundancy, the performance gains from moving to in-memory data are tangible. They enable many of the following other benefits.

Simplicity and Usability

The modular architecture of S/4HANA allows for the ability to bring value to the business by simplifying business processes rapidly. This significantly improved transaction efficiency by the new simplified data model and an intuitive and modern SAP Fiori user interface.

Embedded Analytics

Business transactions and analytics can now co-exist together in a single platform, empowering businesses to drive insights, make decisions, and complete business processes in a single application. You can use a single source of facts without toggling between multiple applications.

Native Integration

SAP HANA smart data integration and SAP HANA smart data quality allow you to build your data provisioning tier natively and directly within HANA. Therefore, you can simplify the SAP HANA landscape by removing an entire tier of heterogeneous non-native tools. You can leverage the benefits of an in-memory database.

Consolidate Infrastructure

S/4HANA has embraced and continued the market move towards virtualization, hyperconverged infrastructure, and cloud computing. From SAP Tailored Datacenter Integration to private and public cloud, to SAP RISE, virtualizing and consolidating your IT Infrastructure is now not just possible but economically advantageous.

The Key Stages of Business Value Realization

There are three critical stages to realize business. They are align, determine, and define. Let’s discuss each one.

1. Align

Alignment between all your key stakeholders is critical. Strong executive sponsorship and an engaged business team are crucial. Clear and consistent communication will provide a firm foundation for project success. It would help if you chose your partners wisely based on their size, experience, and services.

2. Determine

The next stage is determining your business value drivers, S/4HANA benefits, and optimal business value realization areas.

  • Business Value Drivers
    The strategy and future vision of business leaders should determine business value drivers. Identify business challenges, opportunities, and areas of improvement.
  • S/4HANA Benefits
    Leverage tools like SAP Business Scenario Recommendations, SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder, and SAP Transformation Navigator. Identify the SAP S/HANA benefit areas that align with your business model.
  • Optimal Business Value Realization Areas
    Quantify and prioritize business value drivers. Align priorities with expected time to benefit to understand optimal business focus areas.

3. Define

It’s essential to define transformation priorities based on business value drivers and business value realization areas. It’s also critical to determine the implementation requirements and the business value-optimized roadmap.

Putting It All Together

The primary key to a successful SAP S/4HANA project is the critical step of ensuring that the sometimes-competing goals of all involved partners, from internal key stakeholders to external partners, integrators, and service providers, are all aligned with the primary objectives of the SAP S/4HANA project.

Additionally, it is also essential to obtaining strong executive buy-in and sponsorship. It’s also crucial to have engaged and supportive business teams who understand the need for business transformation and are willing to invest in the project to gain increased value. An SAP S/4HANA project can be successful if done right. You need to understand the critical business benefits and know the three stages of business value realization.

To learn more about how you can get more value from your SAP systems, visit our SAP insights section on our website, where we have SAP whitepapers, webinars (How to Transition to S/4HANA and Create More Business Value), data sheets, and much more. Or you can contact us today to find out how we can help you with your journey to SAP S/4HANA.