Prepare Like an Athlete for Your Journey to SAP S/4HANA

November 5, 2021 Rex Ahlstrom

SAPinsider: Survey on RISE with SAP

 

I can’t believe summer is over already and we’re well into fall! It was very nice where I live in the U.S., with most activities and venues back to normal following the COVID-19 lockdown last summer. As a big sports fan, it was especially nice being able to attend baseball, and now football games, with a full stadium of cheering fans. I am sure that the athletes enjoyed it even more! Last summer, the athletes had to play games in mostly vacant venues, with manufactured fan noise. Regardless, they had to stay on top of their training to compete at the highest levels. Most of us will never achieve that level of perfection in our own sporting pursuits, but that doesn’t stop us from training and competing. We do it to stay healthy and to take on the challenges we face in everyday life.

 

Helping Enterprises Deliver Data They Trust

I was thinking about this in the context of what we do here at Syniti, helping enterprises deliver data they trust to ignite growth and reduce risk. What does trust in data have to do with training for a professional sporting event? It may seem like a stretch at first but think about what athletes do to prepare for an event. They don’t just get up off the couch and execute a personal best. A lot of planning and preparation goes into being ready for a major competition.

 

A complex migration to something like SAP S/4HANA also requires planning and preparation.

 

We are excited to be working with SAPinsider on a survey that digs deeper into the areas around planning and preparation, such as:  Where are you on your journey? What’s driving your strategy? What’s most important to you with regards to business transformation?  The survey is completely anonymous, and results will be compiled into an SAPinsider report with insights and performance benchmarks to see where adoption is related to the move to S/4HANA. 

 

 Take the Survey Today!

 

From my lens, there are many strategic business reasons why a company might choose to move to S/4HANA. Maybe it’s being driven by an instance consolidation across multiple legacy applications. Maybe it’s because you are going through a merger, acquisition, or divestiture. Maybe your legacy ERP implementation simply can’t keep up with the demands of the business, and you are looking to streamline operations and shed complex, legacy processes.

 

In all these cases, you will need to “get to optimal performance weight” – identify, remove, or archive unnecessary data. There is no point in dragging old legacy data forward and loading it into your new shiny system. It will not only cost you more money to do so, especially if it is cloud-based, but it will also slow your new system down. You wouldn’t put on unnecessary weight before competing in an athletic event so why would you move more data than necessary when migrating applications? Unfortunately, too many businesses have a “lift and shift” mentality when it comes to data migration.

 

Another thing you will want to do is “train and develop your most important physical skills” – shed legacy custom code and optimize against a streamlined set of business processes. Most companies have spent years operating and customizing their legacy applications. Do you still need all those customizations? Some may be critical to your business or give you a competitive edge. However, most are probably unnecessary and ultimately, are holding you back from leveraging standard processes that are simpler to upgrade and lower cost to maintain. You would never overload your training on a limited number of muscle groups if you were preparing to perform in a physically demanding position that required your whole body to be ready.

 

Lastly, you should “take advantage of your natural strengths” – don’t rework legacy capabilities that are working well. There is a balance between what should ideally be refactored but there are also a lot of aspects of your legacy applications that contribute to your success as a business today. This requires a solid understanding of what business processes and modules are in use today and what data is required to support them. How can you possibly establish a proper training regimen if you don’t first analyze your strengths and weaknesses?

 

About the Author

Rex Ahlstrom

Rex Ahlstrom, Chief Technology Officer, EVP Innovation and Growth at Syniti, has over 32 years of technology industry leadership experience. He specializes in enterprise software within the data integration and information management space. Rex is responsible for Syniti’s current product strategy and technology in addition to analyst engagement and partnership development. Rex is a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

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