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Blog SOH and S/4

A Comprehensive Strategy For S/4 Transformation

With S/4, SAP has positioned its ERP system as the core of digital enterprise transformation. Important for sustainable implementations is aligning them with corporate strategy and following a structured approach.

Digital transformation poses a challenge to the old economy. Established, tried-and-tested business processes have to be optimized for the digital age. Furthermore, companies have to make sure that their new processes and strategy are easily adaptable to be able to react to ever new digitalization challenges and a fast-changing market.

If companies want to succeed in the digital age, all their efforts have to focus on becoming flexible, agile and fast.

Decision-makers have acknowledged this development, too. According to a study by Arvato and PAC called “SAP S/4 Hana in Germany”, 62 percent of respondents indicated that faster implementation of business cases would be their focus. 48 percent wished for more adaptability and flexibility of their systems.

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The most important prerequisite for a successful digital transformation is an efficient ERP system like S/4. This system serves as the digital core which helps companies develop and implement innovative business processes for the digital economy.

Not surprising, therefore, that many companies are currently looking into the migration to S/4.

Crucial: a comprehensive strategy

One aspect many companies are forgetting in their considerations is to align the implementation of the system with short-term and long-term corporate strategy and goals. However, this is the most crucial task of all – S/4 should be able to tackle ever-changing, complex challenges of the digital age, after all.

A comprehensive strategy is the first thing companies need to be able to decide on their S/4 implementations. Without specifications and precise expectations, S/4 systems won’t do much good.

For example, if companies know that they want to outsource some departments in the future, they will need an effective cloud approach. If they want to build a foundation for sustainable, fast growth, their focus should be on standardizing and optimizing processes.

To avoid complications, it is recommended to not only consider overall corporate strategy, but also plans and goals of individual departments. Additionally, legal requirements and regulations have to be taken into consideration as well. One prominent example would be the European GDPR.

Collaboration is key

To make S/4 implementations a success, IT teams have to collaborate closely with individual departments like marketing, purchasing, HR and finance. Only then will they be able to align the implementation strategy with specific requirements.

Furthermore, all important decision-makers should be involved early on to avoid delays and complications.

Even if companies take all of these things into consideration, finding the right approach to S/4 implementations is never easy. Arvato therefore offers companies comprehensive support for S/4 transformations, leveraging the experience of numerous successful customer projects.

Greenfield or brownfield?

The most important part of Arvato’s offering is the initialization phase, as it serves as the foundation for a detailed and sustainable strategy.

It consists of four steps: identifying core aspects of corporate and IT strategy; analyzing individual requirements and consequently deciding on a recommended transformation method (greenfield or brownfield); planning the different phases of the project and defining a specific goal for every phase; as well as identifying every important decision-maker and stakeholder that should be involved.

This structured approach ensures that companies consider every aspect, making S/4 implementations a success.

Migrating to S/4 is more than just another IT project. It’s the foundation of sustainable and efficient digital transformation.

Source:
E-3 Magazine July/August 2019 (German)
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