The digital economy is simultaneously an intimidating and suitable place to be. It sets peculiar demands on businesses looking to thrive within its dynamics, irrespective of their size. The ability to be nimble, compliant, and intuitively responsive to customer expectations is no longer an exception but a strategic necessity to drive non-linear growth and profitability. In a cloud-first world, an obsessive quest to find enterprise management excellence at the crossroads of these priorities led SAP to conceive a SaaS version for its postmodern S/4HANA product.
An enterprise solution built for the Digital Age
Like its on-premise cousin, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud also runs on the company’s proprietary in-memory database technology, allowing businesses to process operational and transactional data at unmatched velocity. Further, it is embedded with intelligent technologies like Machine Learning, Process Automation, and Predictive Analytics at its digital core, making cognitive assistance and simplified functionalities available for the decision-makers alongside standard ERP functionalities. Consequently, with SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, it is easier to orchestrate resources, monetise radical business models, manage change at speed, and consistently outperform peers in closely contested market landscapes.
Things you can expect from SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud
Owing to the sheer ingenuity that went into designing SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud as a product, today, across industries, it is considered a tool to adopt and preempt business risks amidst uncertainties. Notwithstanding the level of your digital maturity, if enterprise transformation is in your cards, here are the ten things you should know before choosing your next ERP investment:
- Recurring overheads, including periodic software upgrades, infrastructure management expenses, and maintenance charges, unnecessarily inflates the TCO of your on-premise ERP stack, undercutting profitability. In contrast, as a SaaS product, SAP S/4HANA is hosted and managed in the vendor’s highly secured Public Cloud environment, with its services available via per-user subscriptions. Understandably, as a cost-effective, integrated application that can be accessed on-demand, SAP S/4HANA presents the fastest path to innovation for your organisation. Also, it is based on entirely pre-configured solution delivery, industry best practices, and next practices, allowing you to commence business as usual at a higher state with minimum downtime
- With SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, you can experience a new way of consuming enterprise management applications, putting behind the days of off-the-shelf purchases with a few relevant attributes. In SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud, lengthy implementation projects have been replaced by outcome-oriented, fit-to-standard workshops where standard delivery processes and features are configured to meet your unique business requirements.
- Embracing the public cloud as your enterprise management platform is essentially a cornerstone for business transition, requiring your organisation to adopt a transformational approach. Consequently, it paves the way for adopting industry best practices, ensuring that your customers and end-users benefit from agile and highly responsive software. Automation will elevate user satisfaction, bringing a new degree of efficiency in day-to-day operations and open and flexible capabilities to adjust to recent market trends.
- Whether you are a mid-market player or a large enterprise, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud has something to offer for everyone. The product is geared to address your concerns for standardisation and cost optimisation. Alternatively, if you seek an implementation for orchestrating your business areas, divisions, and geographic locations with speed and agility, it does not get any better than SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud.
- As a market leader, SAP has long realised that the public cloud will be the new frontier of innovation and growth for specific industry sectors like Professional Services in the digital era. Such learnings, alongside SAP domain experience for decades, have gone into the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud conception. Also, the product is built around SAP’s vision that finance-led ERP scenarios are apt for the public cloud model, allowing you an apparent competitive advantage in the public cloud-hosted enterprise operations.
- SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud projects commence on Fit2Standard mode by default to drive faster value and productivity. However, besides standard deliveries, there is ample scope for accommodating your need for individualisation and unique business process designs.
- As business realities evolve, your ERP stack’s seamless extensibility and configuration flexibility are pivotal to ensure operational relevance. In hindsight, most SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems have been extended to meet specific customer demands. For this, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud can support fast and efficient capability augmentation in in-app and side-by-side extensibility modes.
- SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud offers you a solution and a framework for digital transformation, allowing you to articulate new possibilities as part of the implementation journey. SAP Activate innovation adoption framework expedites the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud implementations throughout the customer lifecycle, simplifying navigation and bringing together ready-to-run SAP Best Practices, proven methodologies, and Deployment Tools. Irrespective of whether you are starting from a legacy SAP or non-SAP system, it auto-schedules configuration and extensibility workloads into specific phases and workstreams, enabling faster deliveries through the best possible path. Moreover, SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), a cloud-based solution for supporting, accelerating, and optimising SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud implementation, is also available.
- Highly customised ERP systems are painfully hard to upgrade and risk falling behind SAP’s innovation cycle through regular updates. Therefore, businesses often prefer a clean ERP core and adopt standard processes first while implementing SAP S/4HANA on-premise or even in the private cloud. It limits the volume of customs codes and modifications, allowing you to absorb the upgrades faster. However, strong governance of your delta requirements and the attachment of the custom codes to the overall value that the new features bring to your organisation is also essential. For this, SAP provides SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud customers with a broad set of tools, capabilities, and guidance. If you have a complex program structure where multiple projects share a specific function, SAP recommends establishing a Solution Standardisation Board, either in the deployment project or as an institutional IT function, to govern your custom codes and modifications. It will allow you to continuously standardise business processes and observe prudence in implementing the system with a public cloud mindset.
- If you intend to continue leveraging your existing investments in on-premise infrastructure but simultaneously want to explore opportunities to build cloud expertise, SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud supports Federated Hybrid Deployments, underscored by Two-tire scenarios. You can also use this cloud-first deployment strategy to bring a newly acquired business up to speed or position part of your business for divestiture. A tangible four-step roadmap for executing such transitions with minimum risk is already available.
Would you like to know more about how SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud can transform your business into a Best-Run enterprise? Contact us today for a complimentary hour-long discovery session to explore the differentiated value your organisation can realise with the SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud deployment.
Author: Prathamesh Bhingarde, Founder & Managing Partner of Percipere