The implementation of SAP S/4 Hana is not an isolated IT project. It triggers a comprehensive business transformation process, making it necessary to rethink and adapt corporate goals. This is not a journey that companies should take lightly – they need a comprehensive business transformation roadmap. Six key factors decide if a roadmap leads to success or sets a company up for failure.
Companies need to realize that aligning strategic business goals is a fundamental requirement for sustainable transformation. Only then do they really know which processes and functionalities they require from the new software. Without knowing where you are and where you want to go, even the best next-gen ERP system will not be able to effectively support your business.
However, business alignment also means that everyone involved – from C-level executives to interns – needs to be on board. Companies need to talk to all affected employees and, taking their job level and prior know-how into account, acquaint them with the new technology. Effective change management is key for successful software implementations and business processes optimization.
Internal acceptance and necessary know-how are essential to bridge the gap between IT and business. A competent consultancy and system integration partner is able to facilitate and orchestrate this process. Together, company and partner need to develop a structured transformation plan to make subsequent implementations or migrations as seamless as possible.
For a successful roadmap, it is essential that companies thoroughly evaluate all of their business processes to see which of them really are mission critical, which have more of a supporting function, and which can be optimized (within reason). For example, retrofitting systems to comply with standard best practices can also achieve higher levels of automation and process optimization.
For thorough evaluation, considering the process landscape in its entirety is indispensable. Individual departments like finance, procurement, sales and marketing need comprehensive analysis of their processes to know how to improve and optimize them with the new technology.
Before companies actively start tackling the implementation, it is recommendable to have kind of a test run. This ensures that everyone involved works towards and subsequently benefits from business transformation. A prototype guarantees transparency of changes on a technological and organizational level. By using a prototype, companies can furthermore gain experience and consider what they learned in the actual implementation. This minimizes risk in business transformation efforts.
Business transformation closes the gap between where companies are right now and where they want to be by optimizing the use of software and technology. To be successful, companies need a comprehensive roadmap that considers every area of business and is aligned with strategic corporate goals.