In order to maximize your success in the SAP S/4HANA environment, you need to assess where your business stands in terms of data modernization and the underlying systems that support it. There are five levels on the “Road to Simple” that indicate organizations’ ability to successfully adopt and realize value from S/4HANA.
Level 1: Compliant. This level indicates that your business is technically compliant and able to move data and processes to HANA. This means that you have already assessed your systems and environment and made sure that an upgrade is technically possible. If not, you need to spend time optimizing your IT infrastructure to prepare for a move.
Level 2: Right-sized. This is the time to address which data is relevant to running your business processes, so that you only move relevant data instead of the entire legacy data available to your business. This step saves an incredible amount of cost and time, in addition to providing some insight into the status of your critical data. This is the first stage for using innovative new solutions, such as the SAP Data Services Migration Accelerator, which minimizes time and cost to achieve a successful data migration.
Level 3: Modernized. Once you’ve migrated the data into the new S/4HANA system, it’s time to address data quality and data governance. With a new system comes the ability to design new modern processes using best practices. There are a number of ways to automate the discovery and remediation of data errors and then load data back into SAP, with workflows that automate processes to prevent data errors from entering the system in the first place. SAP delivers another ground-breaking application for this, called the SAP Information Steward Accelerator. SAP also has completely redesigned its ERP user interface with Fiori and simplified the process for users to achieve task completion with the Accelerator.
Level 4: Performant. At this stage, you are ready to re-platform your S/4HANA implementation either on-premise or in the cloud. Taking advantage of either of these platforms, or taking a hybrid approach, offers maximum system flexibility and reduces your IT time, workload and stress through a more efficient approach based on your company’s requirements.
Level 5: Simple. At this point, you are empowered to launch SAP’s most innovative solutions, the first of which is designed for Financial Services, called SimpleFinance. This level enables you to adopt the refined and simplified S/4HANA processes, which reduce the time, cost and effort of both your users and stakeholders in achieving accurate ERP results and decision-making. Upon achieving this level, you have enabled “future-proofing” and maximized the investment value of your systems, so that you are prepared to quickly address any changing business conditions in the future.
Steps to Determine Your Path to S/4HANA Success
Here are four steps to get you moving in the right direction.
- Take time to assess your systems and data. Knowing where you stand before you make a decision on how, when and where to move data is important information. Think about what data is critical to running your business and make sure you can identify it.
- Identify and map your business processes in data. This could be a whole-enterprise effort, so look for experts in data who can help. You will also need to identify the stakeholders and their success metrics.
- Develop a “Data Strategy”. This is key to orchestrating all the work and traffic required to pass through the five levels discussed above.
- Prepare and advocate your statement of business benefits and measurable results for moving to S/4HANA. This will help you champion the solution, get buy-in from relevant departments across the company (who will be integral in supporting your program), and raise the funding needed to make these changes.
SAP has taken significant steps to address data complexity and business success using their solutions. It’s an opportune time to look at S/4HANA and see how your organization can achieve maximum value with your business data.