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Updated: 10 March 2020 | First published: 6 October 2017
Ignatius Wong, Director, Product Management (Hybrid Cloud & IT Solutions), CenturyLink Asia Pacific
Unlocking more value out of business processes and data is crucial for digital transformation success. Many organizations embarking on digital transformation have looked for SAP solutions, particularly SAP S/4HANA, to enhance customer experience, optimize operational efficiency, and build real-time insights through a simplified architecture and a more unified digital core. Here are some tips to ensure a faster, simpler transformation.
When it comes to digitization, transformation must be applied to all aspects of the business. From sales and engineering to finance and HR, digital transformation is only successful when all business-critical processes have been touched by the power of digital.
That is why managing and migrating SAP workloads are so essential to taking your digital transformation journey to the next level. SAP solutions are integral to optimizing the different functions of business and harnessing the power of data for better actionable insights.
In particular, the latest SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA) is a real-time enterprise resource management suite that connects processes, provides live information and insights, and seamlessly integrates enterprises with the digital world. By migrating to the latest suite from SAP, organizations stand a better chance of accelerating their digital transformation journeys—and achieving the business results they want.
However, several challenges stand in the way. IT complexity, lack of in-house expertise, and legacy systems can hamper migration. Fortunately, moving to SAP S/4HANA does not have to be difficult. All you need is the right mindset, technology, skillsets, and partner. Here are some practical steps for a successful SAP migration:
Before embarking on a digital transformation journey with SAP S/4HANA, your enterprise first needs a clear understanding of how the transition will affect the goals of your digital transformation. When building a case, make sure that business benefits are quantifiable, measurable, and observable. Is your organization looking to achieve a specific objective such as improving sales or rolling out new services for customers? Are there any specific functions the new SAP solution needs to support—such as procurement and finance? Can the SAP migration further reduce hardware and project costs? All these questions must be answered in order to start the migration on the right foot.
No migration is alike. Every business has unique IT requirements for their SAP system. When planning for the migration, you must have a deep understanding of the topology of your network and infrastructure. Take into consideration the required investment, skillsets, and capabilities within and outside of your organization that can support the migration. Once all these factors have been taken into account, your enterprise will be better positioned to select the right SAP S/4HANA deployment option—be it private and public cloud, on-premise, or suites specifically designed for processes like finance.
When it comes to the migration, people are a critical factor. However, SAP S/4HANA charts new grounds with its systems to enable a more digitalized world. As it is a significant development in SAP’s solutions, the migration is more than just a simple port of existing functionalities. SAP S/4HANA opens up more ways of working and forces users to adopt new methods due to the functional and process changes it delivers. Hence, instead of adopting the traditional mindset of “how do we migrate with the least disruption?”, your users and technical staff should be asking “how can we maximize SAP S/4HANA to drive better business outcomes?” In other words, your organizational culture should have a forward-looking, results-based outlook to gain the most out of the solution.
To streamline the migration, you should look to work with a managed hosting provider that offers the requisite skills and technology that will make the journey a success. Many organizations typically do not have the SAP technical skills in-house to migrate to and operate SAP S/4HANA successfully. Experienced SAP technical experts are also hard to find. An effective partner will provide the SAP expertise to help organizations build a compelling business case for migration, certified SAP S/4 HANA experts to ensure a smooth transition, better returns on investment, and a team that relentlessly works to ensure high availability of service through a globally standardized, solution-focused service level agreement.
Take your digital transformation to the next level today. Leverage these four tips for a faster, smoother journey to SAP S/4HANA. Organizations can seek consultation from premium SAP suppliers like CenturyLink for best practices to ensure a seamless migration experience.
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