SAP S/4HANA Movement: Solid Business Case Captures the Heart of Transformation

For many SAP customers, SAP S/4HANA is a significant part of their digital transformation story. Next-generation intelligent enterprise resource planning (ERP) is creating a digital core that connects every aspect of a business – from fundamental operations to the transactional edge. More importantly, it is changing every process, data source, and person involved in the business ecosystem.

No matter how carefully-planned the move to SAP S/4HANA is, a series of critical questions always comes up:

  • What will organizations gain now and in the future with SAP S/4HANA?
  • How do we determine the actual costs of the investment?
  • Do we need to change when the legacy ERP system addresses our needs now?
  • Do we implement SAP S/4HANA as a new solution, or are we converting our existing ERP to it?
  • Why are specific processes and organizations chosen to benefit from SAP S/4HANA first?

These questions are very challenging to answer – especially when trying to acquire the trust and buy-in of the people asking them. However, with assistance of the SAP S/4HANA Movement program, allows for building a solid business case that not only alleviates widespread concerns, but also rallies businesses together with a shared vision.

SAP S/4HANA Movement: Building Blocks of a Solid Business Case

Upgrading traditional ERP architecture provides a tremendous business advantage, which can make a great business case for IT. However, the non-IT side of the business may find it difficult to justify such a massive shift when it believes it is unnecessary at the moment.

To overcome a decision-making deadlock, both sides of the business – technical and nontechnical – need to reach a mutual understanding in which choosing a new technology becomes a matter of allowing their employees to work productively for the next five to 10 years. Additionally, they must be aware of how market trends can change processes and behaviors that are successful today into tomorrow’s disadvantages.

The SAP S/4HANA Movement program empowers customers to not only identify and share user demands, and the market dynamics that influence them, but also remedy gaps in their enterprise architecture and build productive use cases. This level of support is enabled by three self-service tools:

SAP Business Scenario Recommendations service: Build a business case by pinpointing active business scenarios and processes that could immediately benefit from SAP S/4HANA. By uploading current information on the latest productive system data and monthly transaction workload, the service  analyzes a company’s current business performance.

Prioritizing processes as high as the infrastructure and database during implementation planning allows customers to discover, develop, and test new business scenarios that highlight the full potential of next-generation ERP. Additionally, SAP Business Scenario Recommendations gives fast, tailor-made insights in the context of the business, which help  to acquire executive buy-ins.

SAP Transformation Navigator toolCompanies need to check the compatibility of new additions to their  ERP landscapes in order to migrate all components – new and existing – into testing environments and study the experiences and outcomes of their industry peers. However, SAP Transformation Navigator changes that approach by providing a clear product map and guidance that creates a systematic path to a digital transformation goal.

With SAP Transformation Navigator, customers can assess components of their current IT landscapes, business strategies, and industry trends – all in one comprehensive report based on  legacy ERP systems, business priorities, and IT strategies. The tool provides immediately downloadable reports that contain custom recommendations of SAP solutions and deployment timelines in order to set the best paths and tempos for customers’ digital strategies.

SAP Readiness Check tool: Customers also need to know the deployment actions and necessary technical and functional requirements to identify whether they have the right digital and cultural foundations to move to SAP S/4HANA. With SAP Readiness Check, customers can assess the functional and technical aspects of their running SAP ERP 6.x systems including: active business functions, add-on compatibility, simplification items, and custom code analyses.

The tool then makes a comprehensive report that visualizes how a company’s migration to SAP S/4HANA will affect its business processes, functions, user interfaces, and data management practices. This information allows companies to determine the necessary software prerequisites, infrastructure requirements, SAP S/4HANA functional implications, and custom code adaptations to implement in order to avoid system-conversion failure.

Connect the Dots with Intelligent Insight and Confidence

Thousands of experienced SAP customers have used these reports and tools to build their cases for SAP S/4HANA. Reflecting on customer engagements, I can safely say that the reasons for moving to the next-generation ERP are as unique as the company. However, many customers have shifted their mindsets from short-term views to long-term visions.

SAP also knows that many customers look for advice and support from their trusted partners to run assessment reports and tools. Therefore, SAP provides expert guidance through two engagement offerings:

SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter Engagement: Customers can get the expert guidance they need to structure, organize, and build transformation road maps for SAP S/4HANA deployment. In remote environments, customers can learn how to use self-service tools to structure, organize, and build  business cases for an SAP S/4HANA-centric landscape. A series of sessions covers all critical steps in the journey, including innovations, deployment options, strategies, and project-planning activities.

Furthermore, peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and networking accelerate decision-making and address planning challenges. For example, businesses can better understand industry innovation trends and relevant innovation scenarios; pinpoint proper value-drivers and strategies; and establish baseline expectations and measurements. With access to different adoption starter formats, customers can tap into scope elements that are optimized for their groups and industries.

SAP S/4HANA Value Discovery Engagement: Companies can communicate business requirements to SAP experts on their sites to prepare for SAP S/4HANA or intelligent enterprise projects. Through value discovery engagement, customers are introduced to the capabilities, benefits, and products that meet their needs while helping them to consider how these recommendations potentially affect their overall business transformations. The sequence is aligned with SAP S/4HANA Adoption Starter Engagement, but the content is individualized for the customer. Various formats are available to provide different levels of detail for the customer-transformation road map to SAP S/4HANA.

Uniting the Entire Business Around a Shared Vision

Now more than ever, companies are creating digital strategies that detail how technologies help achieve strategic objectives and uncover new ways to capture the hearts and minds of consumers and employees. SAP S/4HANA Movement is ready to help bring those strategies to life with a proven portfolio of engagements and assessment tools.

Together, we can build a business case that enables the heart of your transformation – your executive team and workforce – to understand the risk of maintaining the status quo and the opportunities of a new ERP approach.

Bjoern Braemer is head of SAP S/4HANA Movement at SAP.