Thought Leadership

Not all client journeys are the same: 10 questions every business needs to ask for SAP S/4HANA

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Last week, I blogged about the considerations for a business’ digital reinvention journey. This week we’ll be discussing a number of immediate of questions as to what S/4HANA means for an organization’s mission critical systems. For example:

  1. What is the value of moving to S/4HANA, what’s the Business case?
  2. How disruptive is this going to be for my organization and what is the impact (e.g. Processes, Developments, Data, Add-Ons, Interfaces) required to move to S/4HANA?
  3. What will this cost me and what is the effort (Implementation, Testing, Training) required to move to S/4HANA?
  4. What is the correct Adoption Approach to S/4HANA? Is it Re-Implementation or is it Systems Conversion?
  5. For Systems Conversions what’s the best approach? Is one step conversion or two step, with interim technical migration?
  6. What is the correct S/4HANA Solution? Is it the S/4HANA Enterprise Management On Prem or is it S/4HANA SaaS Public Cloud edition?
  7. When is the right time for me to go to S/4HANA? What references do you have for my industry?
  8. How can we start to plan for S/4HANA today? What’s the IT Roadmap and where are the quick wins to drive early value?
  9. What is approach for development in the new world of S/4HANA? What skills do I need to start developing apps and extension on API PaaS platforms?
  10. What else do I need to do? How do I take advantage of other technologies such as IoT, Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Robotics Process Automation, etc.?

There are other considerations when IBM looks at the roadmap to S/4HANA. After all, not all client journeys are the same. Our offerings are focused around the type of transformations that we see in the market, starting with the entry point S/4HANA Value Accelerator. There are three types of transformations:

  1. S/4HANA Value Accelerator:
    Usually initiated with the CIO. This is our entry point offering to start the S/4HANA discussions and answer some of the big questions. It starts with a HANA Impact Assessment accelerator (see below) and ends with a Business Case to justify the client’s investment and underpinning IT Roadmap to prioritize the work based on business vision and pain points of “as is.”  This business case and roadmap become our compass to drive value management during implementation.
  2. SAP Digital Transformation:
    Usually driven by the CIO, CFO or CSCO. This is where organizations know they need to embrace digital, but start with “Renovating the ERP Core.” We usually see the need for process redesign towards Digital Finance and Supply Chain processes as part of Supply Chain and Finance Transformation.
  3. Digital Reinvention with SAP:
    Usually driven by the CEO. This is where organizations are embarking on full scale Digital Reinvention based on challenges from disruptive invaders, the need to change the way the organization innovates, operates, and the need to create experiences for growth using digital and emerging technologies. S/4HANA is just part of the journey.

As we can see, there are a variety of questions, options and considerations for our clients. The good news is that there is something that can help you answer some of any organization’s biggest questions: IBM HANA IMPACT Assessment (HIA). This is a unique and differentiating asset based on a set of accelerators, complemented by services. HIA helps clients assess the full end to end impact of transitioning from current SAP ERP to S/4HANA – from data, custom code, interfaces, and down to Level 4 business processes. HIA also helps identify effort for transition, including training and testing – enabling a solution to win. HIA also helps clients understand the value of moving to S/4HANA, and allows for the creation of a value driven business case. Using SAP Transformation Navigator and other IBM accelerator, HIA will shape the IT Roadmap, including identifying quick wins to drive early and incremental value

Whether you are looking for advice on the “what, why, when and how” of S/4HANA, or jump-start an S/4HANA engagement, IBM HIA is a great accelerator to start answering the big S/4HANA questions.

There are more accelerators we can leverage to support customers on their S/4HANA journey. To further accelerate time to value for our customers, we leverage our S/4HANA Industry IMPACT solutions which have extensive business process flows, pre-configured processes and test and training plans. Our IMPACT solutions are enhanced with digital transformation solutions integrated with SAP.

This enables our customers to take advantage of enriched data like IoT and Weather, our advanced cognitive solutions such as Metropulse or Truven, our deep automation for Support and Business Processes, Machine Learning, Blockchain, etc. These digital solutions cut across industries and lines of business, and many we are partnering with SAP to develop and market. For example, SAP and IBM are collaborating jointly to transform procurement with Ariba, SAP Leonardo and IBM Watson. In another example, IBM and SAP collaborated to offer a new co-created industry solution for retail and consumer packaged goods industries based on IBM Metropulse, SAP IBP, and S/4HANA.

Do you have more questions? Visit our website to learn more.

“IBM’s HANA Impact Assessment tool is a great way to start your journey to SAP S/4HANA. This market leading tool helps SAP customers rapidly identify opportunities to get, and stay ahead of the value curve. It’s clear today that companies cannot rely on yesterday’s technology to meet today’s business needs.”
Uwe Grigoleit, Senior Vice President and General Manager of SAP S/4HANA

To request a HANA Impact Assessment please submit a request here.

Distinguished Engineer, SAP Global CTO

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