SAP S/4HANA Migration For Maximising Business Value

Cloud-based deployments are gaining momentum among SAP-centric enterprises looking to drive agility in their business operations. Gartner predicts the global public cloud end-user investment will rise 21.7% to $597.3B in 2023, up from $491B in 2022.

According to a study by the independent Americas’ SAP Users’ Group, 56% of SAP customers have plans to move to SAP S/4HANA at some point. And, 44% of those who are ready to migrate, or are migrating, prefer a cloud model: S/4HANA SaaS or a hosting environment like AWS or Azure.

In addition, SAP’s declaration to phase out its mainstream support in 2027 in favour of SAP S/4HANA pushes businesses toward cloud migration. As a result, the enterprise resource planning (ERP) business suite hit a record 77% revenue increase in the first quarter of 2023, driven by the persistent strong adoption of RISE with SAP. In light of these reports and Saphila 2023–AFSUG’s Biennial conference for SAP users,–IT-Online, in a recent article, discusses the substantial benefits of embracing S/4HANA.

In today’s rapidly evolving world, modern businesses face numerous challenges and imperatives. Companies need to bring agility in their operations to adopt new business models, boost efficiencies, and transform their mission-critical systems. While digital transformation remains crucial, enterprises must also consider technological, environmental, and economic transformations, as noted by the article.

SAP’s product strategy for 2023 focuses on the cloud ERP as the core of its business technology platform (BTP), which is a unified tool to drive the master data strategy. Encircling the cloud ERP suite are industry-defined systems backed by business networks, customer relationship management, spend management, and human capital management. Ecosystem solutions are positioned on the next layer–all supported by the BTP, the article claims.

Again, the SAP S/4HANA Modular Application Portfolio includes modules catering to various business units. These include maintenance, service, design, sales, procurement, finance, supply chain, manufacturing, people management, and more. These unique business processes within the cloud ERP infrastructure facilitate transformation by helping address the conditions of the digital economy. By including capabilities for service-based enterprises while supporting emerging industry trends, SAP S/4HANA processes improve organisational flexibility within a manageable framework, with new algorithms supporting complex scenarios.

User-friendliness has been marked as another factor pushing S/4HANA migration. With the cloud ERP environment accessible from any device, users can access the Intelligent Enterprise Suite from anywhere. On top of this, running on the HANA in-memory database, S/4HANA improves performance exponentially. Its smart data design minimises data redundancy and aggregates tables for greater efficiency.

S/4HANA’s embedded business transactions, analytics capabilities, as well as AI modelling, and process automation speed insights, are aimed at strengthening decision-making. With S/4HANA, SAP aims to extend the backbone and digital core by embedding intelligent tools directly into the system. Enterprises can further extend the system with custom code development and integration with SAP BTP services.

Lastly, the article concludes with SAP Signavio, a cloud-based process transformation suite empowering SAP enterprises to comprehend, enhance, and modernise their business processes rapidly and at scale.

Migrating to the S/4HANA environment from legacy ERP systems offers multiple benefits – scalability, cost savings, flexibility, and improved security. However, S/4HANA is a major rewrite of the SAP ECC system, not just an upgrade. Executing successful S/4HANA migration to drive business value requires organisations to address the challenges involved in the migration process. For example, highly involved, custom SAP installations may need retooling, which inflates costs and timelines. For such critical migrations, large enterprises are leveraging managed and professional services from certified SAP partners, like Protera.

A high-end managed service provider evaluates a client’s current capabilities and enables a safe and right-sized migration to the cloud ERP, integrated with ancillary SAP systems. All in all, The RISE with SAP–a bundling solution including S/4HANA Cloud (private edition), Business Process Transformation, Business Platform and Analytics, and Outcome-driven Services–helps businesses accelerate their digital transformation journey.

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