future s4 hana sap change [shutterstock: 1512025121, ImYanis]
[shutterstock: 1512025121, ImYanis]
Blog SOH and S/4

Are You Actively Shaping Your S/4 Hana Implementation?

Companies are struggling with the natural generational shift from baby boomers to millennials, from R/3 to SAP S/4 Hana. How can this complexity be mitigated and the change actively shaped?

Successors are currently dominating events: On the executive floor, Generation X is following the baby boomers. Among employees, millennials are taking over. And in corporate IT, SAP S/4 Hana is replacing Business Suite or even R/3. What’s remarkable is that while everyone keeps talking about how we need to be innovative and constantly reinvent ourselves, we have a hard time dealing with the natural generational shift.

It could be so simple – a new generation of people shapes a new generation of software. Instead, the current market situation shows that historically evolved structures persist and are highly complex, making transformation a rather challenging task. So, how can this complexity be mitigated and thus the change actively shaped, instead of just reactively managing SAP’s product cycle?


SAP offers several approaches: “RISE with SAP” is the latest initiative out of Walldorf. It combines several intelligent enterprise modules into a single subscription model. SAP and partners manage the technical complexity, while customers concentrate on their business challenges. Rise is a single-contract offering that provides a path to the intelligent enterprise for every customer, regardless of starting point or complexity. Subscription-based offerings have a single responsible contractor for service level agreement (SLA), operations, and support. The holistic approach goes beyond a technical migration to the cloud to enable a continuous transformation towards the intelligent enterprise.


The intelligent enterprise is not a finished product, but rather a holistic approach to establishing a system architecture that makes business insights transparent to all. Meeting the end-to-end needs of business users, even though data reside in silos – that’s the challenge. Making the information available in a visually concise way on all channels at the push of a button is a clear expectation of users.

In this regard, a new generation of IT leaders and a new generation of SAP users can shape different ways of approaching and working with innovative technologies. And it is precisely this combination that is driving change. Instagram-style work requires a smartphone, Google-like response times require in-memory technology, end-to-end thinking no longer accepts hurdles posed by system boundaries.

No longer mere administrators

Also new are the possibilities of the intelligent enterprise in terms of understanding the value that a new generation brings. After all, success is no longer defined exclusively by sales and profit, as COVID-19 has shown. Rather, the focus is on employees, including values such as sustainability and social commitment (corporate social responsibility). Because – and this is what concerns us all – what use is all the technology if it does not add value to people’s lives? When IT leaders with a millennial’s understanding of values focus on people and sustainability, the vision of the intelligent enterprise can become reality. A new generation of employees wants more, and the new generation of software can do more!

So, the crux of the matter is: There is no blueprint for the intelligent enterprise. Rather, it is a composition of innovation, creativity, and value. An answer to: What do I want to be? How can I achieve it? At this point, IT leaders move from being an administrator to a shaper. What they need to manage this shift is courage, people, togetherness – and if new technologies support this cause, then all the better.

E-3 Magazine May 2021 (German)

About the author

Michael Brecht, Nagarro ES

Michael Brecht is SAP Solution Architect at Nagarro ES.

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