How to Best Leverage SAP’s S/4Hana in Digital Adaptation


S/4HANA has been called the engine driving digital adaptation. That is a bold statement. However, is that statement marketing hype, or is it true?

To begin to answer that question, we must understand what digital adaptation is, and what it is not.

Digital adaptation is not just another wrinkle in the landscape of process re-engineering. Further, it is not a system or a piece of software that drives incremental change. Business leaders who cling to these outdated ideas soon will see an erosion of their customer-base and a loss of market position.

Digital adaptation enables an organization to predict or perceive quickly evolving business needs, and make critical adjustments through a combination of technology, process and workforce management.

At its most rudimentary level, digital adaptation takes an organization out of a process-defined world and into a data-driven world. Digital adaptation is based on continually delivering new value to every user, raising operational efficiency and accelerating the speed-of-business to levels never before experienced.

Leaders who adapt their operations to the digital economy understand that digital adaptation requires a shift in how business is conducted, and how goods and services are delivered.

SAP – Scaling UP and OUT with Digital Adaptation
Before digital adaptation, concepts such as scaling up and out meant opening an overseas office, merging with another company to run more efficiently, or upgrading data storage/access infrastructure. Now, scaling up and out looks more like digitizing business processes and leveraging data to provide compelling online experiences for customers, employees, suppliers, partners, and the general public.

SAP is facilitating the digital experience by helping business leaders see their entire organizations clearly and focus on operational details that help them to run efficiently. The results are improved agility and better positioning of resources to seize market opportunities.

Three examples of how SAP is helping to drive the digital economy are:

  • For manufacturing, the average dollar value of invoices is decreasing as the number of invoices is exploding
  • In logistics, the average value inside shipping containers is going down while the number of containers transported is growing exponentially
  • For new economy companies like UBER, AIRBNB, and NETFLIX, these businesses are based more on the user-experience rather than the product or service

The digital economy is stretching the supply chain and challenging financial systems. SAP is evolving with the new economy and delivering advanced user-experience and functionality for Accounts Receivable, Inventory Management, Accounts Payable, and Available to Promise functions.

To answer the question posed in the first paragraph of this blog – Yes, it is true, SAP technology is the engine that drives digital adaptation. S/4HANA, Fiori and Personas are proof!

For companies currently using SAP systems or planning to acquire new SAP technology, an entirely new version of SAP ERP is available to support the transformation to digital. S/4HANA is designed to significantly streamline the adaptation process by enabling businesses to be immediate, intelligent and integrated.

S/4HANA – SAP’s Digital Core: The next-gen of ERP supporting operational excellence, business process automation, and seamless integration with core business systems. S/4HANA is a complete rethinking and remediation of SAP code to leverage maximum performance of their in-memory HANA database. It is designed to simplify the underlying database that slowed down R3 and ECC and made it difficult to support the high-speed computing needs of the digital economy. S/4HANA eliminates the locking and latching problems and enables dramatically higher throughput. Moreover, aggregated indexes are gone, status tables and headers are gone, and the entire database collapses into a single digital record. Making S/4HANA easier to support, a single version of the facts, and offering three environment options: off-premises, on-premises or hybrid.

Add to the significant changes in S/4HANA, SAP has replaced the old traditional GUI screens with new Fiori applications and Screen Persona UIs to improve user-experience and streamline business tasks.

Fiori and Screen Personas: SAP’s reimage for a greater user-experience providing personalized and simplified UX of SAP applications. Fiori and Screen Personas deliver web and mobile applications and UIs that are role-based, consumer-grade user experience across all lines of business, tasks and devices. They simplify data access and streamlines tasks for improved business processing.

An intricate system like S/4HANA requires sophisticated and complex skills to design, install, configure and manage. However, to compete in the digital economy, this level of computing power is not just helpful, it is essential.

You Do Not Need to Go It Alone?
To thrive in the digital economy, company leaders must acquire the tools, expertise, and workforce management skills to adapt. Whether these specialized tools and skills come from internal sources or outside the organization, no company can go it alone.

Installing, configuring, and migrating complex systems like S/4HANA, Fiori, Screen Personas, Leonardo, or Business Objects Planning & Consolidation require an enormous amount of expertise. But…companies desiring to move forward with digital adaptation plans are faced with a shortage of technical resources, difficulties balancing the rigors of business transformation with their employees’ daily routines and managing the often-ignored step of QA & Testing.

In a world where the Internet blurs competitive differences, finding a partner who ensures that digital adaptation technology yields real-time operational capabilities, and then supports measurable competitive advantages, is essential. To learn how we can help you with your SAP challenges contact us at SAPinquiry@ruralsourcing.com.


Adam Simpson

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