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The Move to SAP S/4HANA Digital Core

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the stakes are now higher than ever for digital. What used to be an innovative and supplementary tool is now fundamental to keep pace with the fast-changing ways of working. If businesses choose to not keep up, they will fall behind in the ever-increasing digital divide. One increasingly relevant tool to success on this front is SAP S/4HANA digital core. SAP’s digital core provides the platform to help companies ride the crest of the digital transformation wave.

SAP S/4HANA Overview

SAP S/4HANA is said to be the most innovative enterprise system, bridging the gap between transactions and analytics to simplify business processes, predict outcomes and execute in real-time to deliver and exploit the power of in-memory processing. Deployment methods are flexible and can adapt to fit for a specific business.  The benefits are unmatched, given its ability to flex and adapt as an organization grows and evolves.

There are a multitude of benefits to shifting to a SAP S/4HANA digital core platform, which include but are not limited to:

  • A simplified in-memory database allows for exponentially faster processing
  • Ease of use and integration of mobile applications leading to higher adoption rates
  • Increased performance, allowing to execute and generate business operations efficiently
  • Embedded analytics reduce the need for full-fledged data warehouse
  • Supporting the transition to cloud optimizing its environment as a digital core
  • Scalable solutions for sizeable growth with no limits
  • Inherent artificial intelligence provides for new array of service options
  • Native Integration equips companies to easily leverage other SAP tools
  • A simplified infrastructure makes adoption and implementation easy
  • Benefit from SAP’s continued R&D investments

How to Make the Transition to SAP S/4HAHA Digital Core

Adopting SAP s/4HANA as a digital core is the key to getting ahead of the game in an already changing playing field. A unified digital core helps businesses obtain a single view of the consumer while delivering true value and protecting data. It is essential to connecting and automating processes within an organization in order to collect and send data across the value chain.

Many tools and resources exist to assist businesses with their transition to the digital core.  SAP Solution Manager is the central component which provides tools including SAP Readiness check, SAP Transformation Navigator, SAP Innovation and Optimization Pathfinder, vRoadmap Viewer, SAP Best Practices Explorer, and KPI Catalog, to efficiently manage SAP and non-SAP systems to serve the enterprise.  Regardless if your landscape includes on-premise, cloud or hybrid solutions, SAP Solution Manager provides the platform to integrate and manage for today and innovate for tomorrow.

In addition, SAP offers Activate as a framework to streamline the process for systems conversion, landscape transformation and new implementations of SAP S/4HANA and helps minimize risk along the way.. The phases, which are based on an agile approach include Prepare, Explore, Realize, and Deploy, and provide proven methods and flexibility to achieve initiative requirements and objectives.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Each business has different needs and therefore requires a different deployment method. Some companies may be situated to migrate to an entirely new greenfield environment, while others are best suited to use existing components with brownfield.

Regardless of the approach chosen, Greenfield or Brownfield, it is crucial to understand the scope of the transformation and possible implications on underlying business processes, systems landscape and the organization for which it will serve. Identifying and understanding these components in the context of the business complexity and capabilities is necessary for successful implementation.

The time required to achieve adoption of digital core varies based on the aforementioned components and are often influenced by other factors such as urgency, budget and resources available to undertake the initiative.  For example, Swiss Property implemented it in just 8 weeks, and Airbus Defense & Space Optronics in just 5 months after launching their transformations.  While each implementation situation shares similarities and differences, SAP S/4HANA Digital Core, along with delivered tools and methods, can be the constant centerpiece for an organization to successfully achieve its digital transformation journey.

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Contributions by Alexandra Hatsios