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Many companies offer S/4 preliminary studies. What really counts is whether the ideas of the IT experts align at all with the management objectives. For anyone looking for a compatible project proposal, every aspect of the system must be scrutinized from top to bottom.
S/4HANA is the subject on everyone’s lips, but for many, it is simply not tangible. However, the impending transition to the new SAP world may provide the perfect excuse to finally take a thorough, analytical look at the entire infrastructure. The goal is ONE Digital Enterprise with globally uniform structures and integrated, digital, end-to-end business processes. Every company wants a Corporate Business Solution 2025.
The IT experts know that there are a host of different factors to resolve, none of which has anything to do with the software. Problems are much deeper rooted; for example, in heterogeneous structures, process definitions, and regulations, and incorrectly maintained master data. It is therefore important to cast the net wider. It is not about focusing on isolated aspects; you have to take into account the entire system and the systemic context.
Based on this understanding, we have developed an intensive workshop for industrial enterprises. Covering two days, with two consultants; entitled: S/4HANA Strategy. The workshop also works remotely; we have tested it. We look at all elements of your organization: processes, globalization, company-wide standardization, apps, data, IT systems, the entire architecture, governance, resources, costs, and time. All areas and inter-dependencies are considered and analyzed. Every element is equally important. We want to open up the globally harmonized Corporate Business Solution system for the customer in a holistic way so that, in addition to offering a diagnosis, we also provide a targeted ‘therapy plan’ with recommendations for the further course of action.
Speed – the key factor
The aim of the workshop is to provide initial guidance in respect of S/4HANA. It will deliver answers to the following questions: How do I introduce S/4 as quickly as possible throughout the company and in a way that adds value? What will my plan look like in reality? Do we need a greenfield or brownfield implementation, or something in between; a selective transition? We are not fixed on a specific scenario. And: How much time should I budget?
Speaking of time. Speed is key! How can I drastically shorten the project time? cbs has a method for significantly accelerating a company’s S/4 migration. For no enterprise nowadays can afford implementing a project lasting several years.
The initial program plan
After the two days of the workshop, we have an initial, high-level program plan, which provides clarity in respect of timings for the S/4 transition. Our customer will also have a better understanding of what needs to be done next and the subsequent steps. We will of course also specifically discuss the most suitable transition approach: How to introduce S/4HANA in your corporate world – whether in a ‘big bang’ or following a more traditional rollout approach. And whether the new platform should run on-premise or in the cloud. We create a risk and potential matrix to evaluate everything covered over the two days.
This is used as the basis for the program plan, which provides a first draft of your future transition program and suggests the next steps that now have to follow. It is useful if C-level executives are also at the table, so we also intentionally invite the top management to this event. Where do you want to be in five years’ time? Do you have an agenda for 2025? How can S/4 help resolve existing pain points? These strategic questions should be asked right at the start by every company.
Trends and drivers changing the process world
Most companies undergoing the S/4HANA transition first take a look at their IT landscape: SAP template, architecture, applications, etc. But before such a fundamental transformation, it is important to first take a close look at the business processes. There are currently many trends and drivers that are changing the process world: customers, companies, stakeholders, new technologies, innovative business models, the competition. During the preparation phase, it is important to consider the impact of these while at the same time being aware of the strategic cornerstones of the enterprise.
What level of governance is required?
Governance organization is also a fundamental part of corporate management. We look at existing structures, discussing global process owners (GPO) and global key users (GKU) as well as local key users, and do the same for the IT side of the business in respect of template owners. We ask key questions, such as; what level of governance will be required in the future? Are all the company’s objectives achievable with the current organization?
By the end, there is clarity: Managers understand what needs to be done to transform the existing process and system world into a ONE Global Corporation on the basis of S/4. We have the following must-dos, should dos and some could dos. And this is our plan! Acquiring an overview in this way gives you a factual basis for everything else. You can proceed in a focused manner and make the necessary adjustments in the right places. Having a clear picture of reality also simplifies business alignment. You can derive the target landscape with greater precision and require less coordination effort with process owners.