May 6, 2024 By Bartley Cox
Bradley Knapp
2 min read

Successful SAP ERP modernization programs begin with clear organizational alignment on wanted outcomes and expected business value, end-to-end scope and roadmap. This alignment is critical to enterprises that run their core operations on SAP ECC for years. It helps them determine where to start their modernization initiatives and how to prioritize, organize and plan to see the value of this investment.  

To build this strategic plan, enterprises need a fact base that enables them to move forward with critical SAP S/4HANA-enabled transformation decisions across people, process, enterprise architecture and next-gen technology. 

With hundreds of successful implementations of S/4HANA programs that involved both SAP ERP applications and infrastructure modernization, IBM® has a well-defined approach that is called Rapid Discovery. This approach helps determine the what, why and how for SAP ERP modernization and is infrastructure agnostic. Whether you are running SAP ERP on AIX, IBM i, Linux® or Windows, the approach remains the same. IBM’s team of cross-functional experts uses innovative tools and frameworks to build a transformative foundation composed of six essential ingredients: 

  1. Enterprise Capability Model—Agreement on the business process hierarchy that defines the scope of the ERP implementation while also defining business requirements in the to-be business processes 
  2. Governance Model—Clear structure, framework and operating model for program oversight and implementation including key roles, responsibilities and decision authority 
  3. Business Value—Financial case for change in transformation that quantifies the tangible benefits of the program and compares them to the costs of implementation 
  4. Implementation Roadmap—Clear articulation of key architectural decisions, scope of services, data strategy and implementation roadmap for transformation 
  5. Executive Alignment—Alignment of executives across the business on the purpose, priorities, path forward, responsibilities and business benefits of transformation 
  6. Sustainability Framework—Alignment of sustainable goals into the overall ERP strategy to allow for single source of truth data access for regulatory requirements 

As part of Rapid Discovery, we also help clients work through issues that are related to the following enablers: 

  • Modern Enterprise Architecture—Design the future-state enterprise architecture, including strategic direction for application rationalization and RISE or non-RISE cloud strategy. 
  • Data and Analytics—Determine the current-state realities of data readiness and develop an optimized data and analytics strategy to support and utilize the move to SAP S/4HANA. 
  • Security and Controls—Define the security and controls architecture after reviewing the current maturity levels. 
  • Change management—Uncover and understand the organizational change management opportunities and impacts related to ERP transformation and develop a high-level approach to unlock user adoption and value realization. 

This well-defined discovery process for SAP ERP modernization helps you assess your current SAP ERP landscape, define your to-be state and align on business case, operating model and a modern enterprise architecture. If you would like to learn more, join us for the webinar, “Build the foundation for SAP ERP modernization with rapid discovery assessment” where we take a detailed analysis of this process. 

Learn more about SAP S/4HANA services from IBM
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