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What if the IT department led the transition to the digital core with SAP S/4HANA?

For many people in IT, the job is managing one crisis after another. And lurking in the background is an existential crisis—the idea that IT can be minimized to a utility where success is measured in how cheaply it can be run. Of course this is not appealing to those in IT. The good news is that most organizations now recognize that IT will lead digital transformation efforts. In fact, a 2016 Gartner report confirmed that next to the CEO, the office of the CIO is viewed as the most important leader of digital business change. SAP S/4HANA provides the best opportunity in a generation for this cooperation to happen. By taking a positive and proactive stance with S/4HANA, IT can not only improve their own operations, but also deploy technology innovation that is guaranteed to bring transformation and productivity gains to the business.

How SAP S/4HANA Makes the Digital Core Real?

SAP S/4HANA certainly can run complex and mission-critical business processes. Simpler data model + Improved User Experience = new business capability & improved productivity. All with a complete choice of deployment: on premise, public cloud, and private cloud.

Simpler Data Model Impact

  • Allow your users to get whatever they need at any level of detail instantly

  • Eliminate the need to reconcile data sources or aggregates with the latest transactions

  • Reduce the complexity and storage requirements of the system

  • Improve the reliability and performance of the system by eliminating locking (HANA is an insert-only DB)

You can only get this simplification and the resulting new capabilities in SAP S/4HANA. Simply running your existing ERP in-memory, even if it is the latest SAP ECC 6, is not enough. Taking what you have today and running it in memory (Oracle 12c or any other in-memory DB) does not result in any benefit other than some improvement in query times. To get a benefit as big as eliminating reconciliation and locking, we must re-architect the system, and that is what sets S/4HANA apart. No other ERP solution is re-architected to take advantage of an in-memory database. This is what we mean when we say “simpler data model.”

Reduce IT Complexity

While it is nice that the business can achieve some awesome benefits from a simpler data model, what is in it for IT? Combined with historical archiving, the database can become much smaller without all that redundant aggregate data. This results in storage savings, faster backup and recovery, and improved reliability (due to less locking). IT stands to benefit just as much as their counterparts in the business. The example on this slide is from an early adopter of Simple Finance, the predecessor of S/4HANA Finance.

Enter SAP S/4HANA 1709

With SAP S/4HANA 1709, SAP has been expa