September 23, 2016

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Unleashing the Power of SAP S/4HANA - Benefits & Impacts

SAP S/4HANA – Architecting a Gateway of Value

The next-generation business suite, SAP S/4HANA, is geared to initiate landmark changes through its disruptive and game-changing technology that has taken companies from all industries by storm. Built with an intent to simplify, SAP S/4HANA promises to transform critical business processes in finance, marketing, procurement, supply chain, and practically every other line of business. By combining its digitized core capabilities with the on-premise and cloud SAP solutions deployed within each line of business, SAP S/4HANA could very well transform businesses into more competitive entities capable of surviving in the 21st century digital economy.

Considering the strong potential of SAP S/4HANA, it is little wonder that the following results emerged from the HCL-commissioned insiderRESEARCH survey of SAP end users (with a minimum of $1 billion in revenues): 88% of companies are familiar with SAP S/4HANA and 34% have either already adopted the product or are in the process of doing so. Furthermore, exactly half the respondent companies are keen to know more about the product or determine the viability of its adoption.

While interest levels in SAP S/4HANA are clearly high, a large number of businesses in the large enterprise space are yet to commit to a roadmap to implement S/4HANA. For this reason, SAP S/4 HANA is still on the road to realizing its full potential.

Driving Home SAP’s Perceived Value among Customers

Backed by a strong value proposition, SAP S/4HANA has continued to gain momentum – over 500 companies have invested in this solution in the first quarter of 2016 alone. Of all the benefits, insiderRESEARCH survey respondents believe that simplification and process efficiency have been the primary drivers for SAP S/4HANA adoption. Simplification, in particular, is a sought after benefit, considering that SAP S/4HANA reduces reconciliation problems and creates a single source of the truth.

While 48% cited simplification and process efficiency as key differentiating elements of SAP S/4HANA, another 55% claimed that the product’s ability to drive the SAP user experience was a prime motivator towards adoption. Other benefits enumerated include the ability to integrate new SAP functionalities (52%) and the thrust for SAP S/4HANA to drive a digital transformation strategy (36%).

Increasingly, SAP S/4HANA appears to be the new digital core for 21st century enterprises. This revolutionary suite can enable businesses to gain insights across functions and roles. It can also create a digital value network, across – Internet of Things, workforce engagement, and more in real-time to enhance business outcomes.

Over and above these value-adds, SAP S/4HANA could help organizations boost cross-functional transparency, productivity, and agility. The product could also empower organizations to perform more efficient, real-time operational reporting and gain greater visibility into daily activities to facilitate quicker decisions.

Incidentally, the key benefits of SAP S/4HANAs highlighted by respondents – enhanced user experiences, simplification, and the development of a progressive digital platform – are in line with SAP’s mission statement for the products’ core offerings.

Over and above these value-adds, SAP S/4HANA could help organizations boost cross-functional transparency, productivity, and agility. The product could also empower organizations to perform more efficient, real-time operational reporting and gain greater visibility into daily activities to facilitate quicker decision.

The following chart summarizes the top benefits of SAP S/4HANA that customers cited:

Chart 1.1 depicts the benefit/impact metrics as per the insiderRESEARCH survey

Mapping Capabilities – A Wake-Up Call for Companies not Already on the SAP S/4HANA Bandwagon

Despite the positive implications of SAP S/4HANA, there is still hesitation among some companies with regards to the SAP S/4HANA deployment timeline. Of all the respondents (apart from those who deployed the product and those who are not willing to do so) 36% were uncertain when they could consider the SAP S/4HANA migration and 35% indicated that deployment will not be considered within 12 months while a mere 16% committed to a six-month timeline.

For those companies looking to adopt SAP S/4HANA in the near-term, they are faced with three deployment options – on-premise, cloud and hybrid. While organizations that require the complete range of functionalities and flexible solution designs will do well to consider the on-premise edition, the cloud edition is for organizations that can work within the functionalities of a specific cloud option.

The hybrid cloud option, on the other hand, is for organizations looking to adopt a different integration approach with deeper application programming interface layers. With this deployment option, organizations can enjoy enhanced interoperability and SAP system components can interact better with each other and other solutions.

While the SAP S/4HANA decision might appear to belong to the IT department, it is in fact a business decision rooted in the benefits the solution has to offer the organization as a whole. In line with this insight, only 39% of insiderRESEARCH survey respondents claim that the IT department is the key SAP S/4HANA decision-maker. The rest of the respondents believe that the CIO segment (45%), the CFO group (19%), and line of business (11%) are decision-making authorities in the SAP S/4HANA scenario.

From a service provider’s perspective, the overall aim would be to satisfy the top expectations of these decision-makers – help in drawing up a migration path, developing a non-disruptive migration approach, and building a business case. With these priorities behind them, SAP Partners like HCL are implementing outcomes-based transformation programs that are focused on creating hardcore benefits for organizations.

HCL’s Agile Benefits Creation (ABC) approach offers organizations a non-disruptive approach to realize the benefits of SAP S/4HANA that is aligned with their internal resources and business priorities. HCL’s outcome-based approach goes beyond product implementation to monitor and evaluate the real benefits realized by the project

The market agrees that SAP S/4HANA is the future for the digital enterprise– ready to transform your business, today.