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How to Get Started with the S/4HANA Transformation

This is the framework for organizations to navigate the complexities of their digital journey toward a modern enterprise with S/4HANA

In today’s business world, it is more important than ever to have a modern enterprise that addresses consumers’ and partners’ needs in a vastly growing digital ecosystem. There are many benefits to having a modern enterprise, including increased efficiency, agility and scalability. However, the journey to a modern enterprise can be a long and difficult one. That’s why businesses need a roadmap to guide them through the processes because it’s not only worth it in the end but also a necessary step to drive future growth.

What is SAP S/4HAHA? The Journey to a Modern Enterprise

SAP S/4HANA is a next-generation business suite that helps you run your business in real-time. It is designed to help you drive digital transformation in your organization. The S/4HANA Transformation is a process whereby a company changes its structure and processes to better align with the new S/4HANA system. This process can be daunting, but there are ways to make it simpler.

The journey to a modern enterprise through S/4HANA transformation isn’t easy. That’s why we’ve created four essential questions that organizations need to consider during this process:


1.Why should our organization embark on a S/4HANA transformation?

There is a myriad of potential benefits and value that S/4HANA can bring to the organization, such as improved operational efficiency, real-time insights, simplified processes, better agreement management, settlement management and enhanced user experience. And on the flip side, there are some potential risks of not embracing the digital transformation journey.

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, organizations are constantly seeking ways to stay competitive and thrive. Embracing digital transformation has become a necessity, and one of the key considerations is a S/4HANA transformation. But why should your organization embark on this journey? The answer lies in the numerous benefits and value that S/4HANA can bring. First and foremost, S/4HANA offers improved operational efficiency by streamlining processes and eliminating redundant tasks. With its real-time data processing capabilities, organizations can make data-driven decisions on the fly, gaining a competitive edge. Additionally, S/4HANA simplifies complex business operations, providing a user-friendly interface and intuitive workflows, resulting in enhanced user experience. By leveraging S/4HANA’s advanced analytics and reporting capabilities, organizations gain valuable insights into their business performance, enabling them to make informed decisions and drive innovation. Furthermore, S/4HANA lays the foundation for future growth and scalability, enabling organizations to adapt to changing market dynamics and expand into new markets seamlessly. In short, a S/4HANA transformation empowers organizations to become agile, responsive, and future-ready, positioning them as modern enterprises capable of thriving in the digital era.

2.What is our current state and readiness for S/4HANA?

Before embarking on a S/4HANA transformation, organizations need to assess their current systems, processes and data landscape. This question involves evaluating the existing ERP system, identifying any gaps or limitations, and understanding the level of customization and integration with other systems. It also includes assessing the quality and readiness of data, as data migration is a crucial aspect of the S/4HANA transformation. Additionally, considering the organization’s overall change readiness and the level of employee engagement is vital.

Before embarking on the transformative journey of S/4HANA, it is crucial for organizations to assess their current state and readiness. This evaluation involves a comprehensive analysis of existing systems, processes, and data landscape. Understanding the strengths and limitations of the current ERP system is essential in identifying gaps that S/4HANA can address. It also entails evaluating the level of customization and integration with other systems, as well as assessing the quality and readiness of data for migration. Additionally, organizations need to gauge their overall change readiness and the level of employee engagement. This includes assessing the organization’s culture, change management capabilities, and willingness to embrace the digital transformation journey. By conducting a thorough assessment of the current state, organizations can gain insights into their readiness for S/4HANA and develop a roadmap that addresses specific challenges, ensures smooth integration, and maximizes the benefits of the transformation.

3.How do we plan and execute the S/4HANA transformation?

Planning and executing a S/4HANA transformation requires careful consideration and a well-defined strategy. The first step is to establish clear project objectives, defining what the organization aims to achieve with the transformation. Timelines and resource requirements should be determined, taking into account the complexity and scale of the implementation. Choosing the right implementation approach, whether it’s a greenfield or brownfield approach, is crucial. This decision depends on factors such as the existing system landscape, data migration requirements, and the organization’s tolerance for disruption. Collaboration with an experienced implementation partner can greatly facilitate the planning and execution process, as they bring expertise and best practices to the table.

It is important to engage stakeholders from various departments and levels of the organization to ensure their buy-in and active involvement throughout the transformation journey. Developing a comprehensive change management and training plan is vital to prepare employees for the upcoming changes and enable them to adapt to the new system effectively. Finally, establishing a governance structure to oversee the project, monitor progress, and make informed decisions is essential for a successful S/4HANA transformation. With a well-planned and executed approach, organizations can navigate the complexities of the transformation and achieve a seamless transition to S/4HANA while minimizing risks and maximizing the benefits for the modern enterprise.

4.How do we ensure a successful S/4HANA transformation and sustain the benefits?

Achieving a successful S/4HANA transformation is not just about the go-live moment but also about sustaining the benefits in the long term. Ensuring a successful S/4HANA transformation and sustaining the benefits requires a proactive and holistic approach. It begins with thorough testing, validation, and optimization of the system before deployment. This step ensures that the solution aligns with the organization’s specific needs and processes. Defining key performance indicators (KPIs) and establishing a framework for continuous improvement allows organizations to measure the success of the transformation and make adjustments as needed. Ongoing system maintenance, upgrades, and staying current with new S/4HANA releases are vital to leveraging the latest features and capabilities. User adoption plays a crucial role, and providing comprehensive training and support to employees helps them embrace the new system and maximize its potential.

Armed with these four key questions that provide a framework, organizations can better navigate the complexities of S/4HANA transformation and maximize the value of their digital journey toward a modern enterprise.

Partnering with experienced experts who specialize in S/4HANA transformation can significantly enhance the success of the journey. At gicom, our expertise, industry knowledge, and best practices can guide organizations through the intricacies of the transformation, ensuring a smooth transition and long-term success.


Ready to discover more about how gicom can help your company thrive while transitioning to S/4HANA?

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Jan Pötter Portrait

Jan Pötter, Head of SAP Transformation Management

LinkedIn: Jan Pötter

Get in touch with our SAP Transformation expert Jan Pötter today!