SAP S/4HANA Journey
SAP S/4HANA was introduced in 2015 as the successor to SAP ECC and other core applications of SAP Business Suite 7, and is considered the
most significant update to the tool in over 20 years. However, with SAP soon discontinuing mainstream maintenance for SAP Business Suite 7 (including SAP ECC), organisations may need to make the move to SAP S/4HANA sooner rather than later.
comprehensive business change strategy and plan is a key success factor for any technology project. Change management should be given
sufficient importance to ensure
successful adoption of solutions which essentially form the backbone of an organisation.
A New Era of Cloud Technology
SAP ECC is SAP’s ERP tool used globally by thousands of companies, meeting the needs of small and medium businesses and global corporations. It’s designed to coordinate all the resources, information and activities needed to support a company’s business processes in a range of areas making it the IT backbone of operations for many organisations. However, since SAP ECC is often the foundation of an IT ecosystem, it is anticipated in the coming years there will be a significant number of technology projects undertaken, moving organisations to SAP S/4HANA.
But what is SAP S/4HANA? Well, SAP S/4HANA has three main components:
The SAP HANA database can be deployed on premise or in the cloud. It uses in-memory computing to store compressed data in random access memory (RAM) rather than storing it on disk drives. This allows SAP HANA to access data 10,000 times faster, supporting accelerated analysis of large amounts of data and the ability to process transactions in seconds.
SAP S/4HANA Business Suite only runs on the SAP HANA database and includes all the applications required to perform essential business functions, including: Supply Chain Management, Procurement, Information Technology Management, Finance, Human Resources, Sales, Services, Product Development and Marketing.
SAP Fiori provides an app-based user interface presented as tiles supporting the most broadly used functionality such as self-service tasks, workflow approvals, and information lookups. It can also be used to provide mobile functionality meaning SAP services can be accessed on the go.
The Importance of a Change Partner
Moving to SAP S/4HANA is a significant undertaking. It’s not just a technical or functional upgrade, it’s a combination of the two. However, leveraging this tool to drive digital transformation places high stakes on the success of an SAP S/4HANA deployment.
Typically, such projects rely on a system integration partner for much of the skills and experience needed to secure a successful deployment. Integration partners are subject matter experts in the technical and functional aspects of this type of project but a focus on the big picture is important, including the people who will make change happen and the organisational attributes which may obstruct adoption. A successful SAP S/4HANA programme will rely upon a solid change management programme to support a successful go-live and adoption across the organisation.
The magnitude of change when moving to SAP S/4HANA should not be underestimated. Such a project cannot simply be viewed as an SAP-to-SAP migration – this is business transformation. The changes can be complex and wide ranging, presenting a significant impact for many end users. Onboarding a business change partner allows your system integration partner to focus on what they do best, the technical and functional aspects of your project. An experienced business change partner will de-risk your project.
Having a comprehensive business change strategy and plan is a key success factor for any technology project. Change Management should be given sufficient importance to ensure successful adoption of solutions which essentially form the backbone of an organisation.
Onboarding a business change partner to support the SAP S/4HANA journey will contribute towards a successful roll out, adoption, benefit realisation and return on investment, and will allow your integration partner to focus on the technology – where they can add the most value.
Afiniti is a business change specialist and solely focus on the people agenda for change. We bring toolkits, frameworks, and approaches which accelerate and de-risk business change and aim to intentionally develop internal capability and consciously transfer skills to our clients. This, partnered with our subject matter expertise in SAP deployments means we have a unique service offering in this area.