SAP CIO and head of Cloud Delivery, Helen Arnold, explains in a blog posted today on LinkedIn, what SAP S/4HANA means for CIOs. Full text below: HelenArnold.jpg

“Last week, SAP launched SAP S/4HANA – the biggest innovation since R/3.  SAP Simple Finance marked the first step in our SAP S/4HANA road map and when we deployed it at SAP last year, we saw huge reductions in our data footprint and increases in efficiency in SAP’s IT. Now, we are breaking all limitations of the past, with a completely new suite, which has a new UI, new applications and new configuration.

So what does SAP S/4HANA mean for CIOs? Here are the top three benefits I see:

Systems Go From Complex to Simple

Complexity is the most intractable business problem that all companies face today. Today’s reality is that many companies have system environments that are difficult to manage, thanks to years of modification and customization. I talk to CIOs all the time – and they tell me their core systems are just too complex. This is literally the enemy of innovation.

SAP S/4HANA will remove complexity from these core systems, and help companies return to standard. We have simplified the data model so that there are no aggregates, no indices, no redundancies or discrepancies between systems. Because we put ERP and all the satellite systems in one system, we are talking about getting rid of latency. Over 40% of SAP’s IT load comes from exchange between the ERP and BW systems – we now eliminate this altogether.

CIOs will be able to reduce their companies’ data footprints by a factor of up to 10. By separating current and historical data and having a single system for data entry, we can show a huge gain in performance. And we focus on parallelism and remove locking, which improves throughput.

But these are more than just technical highlights. They also drive a reduction in TCO. With increased efficiency and performance, and a reduced footprint, companies get more for less.

Companies Can Consume Innovation Faster

Custom code and modifications stand in the way of innovation. We will help businesses define which modifications are no longer necessary and help them to remove these. Critical modifications we can host on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.

By removing modifications and getting back to a standard code line, we open businesses up to a much, much faster innovation cycle. We are going to strip the system down to the core of pure ERP. With this ERP nucleus, it will be easier for CIOs to apply innovation packages on a regular basis. We’ve also simplified the configuration process, so that companies can perform 1,000 config steps with one click. CIOs will see a massive reduction in set-up costs.

By getting rid of long upgrade cycles or waiting for enhancement packs, businesses will be able to consume new innovation frequently. This frees CIOs up to become trusted innovation partners to their organizations to keep their systems future-ready in order to keep pace with change.

Companies Become Agile and Flexible

CIOs will guide their company’s decision-making around SAP S/4 HANA deployment – whether they choose to use it on premise or via the cloud. If companies choose cloud, they will have the exciting option to consume new innovation on a quarterly basis via innovation packages delivered either in the public cloud or on SAP’s private, managed cloud – the SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud. On premise customers will also be able to consume updates
more frequently, while also enjoying all the technical and application advantages of speed and simplicity that the new suite offers. And if companies consume SAP S/4 HANA on premise, they are always cloud-ready because the conversion to SAP S/4 HANA on the cloud is simple. This, to my mind, is the biggest win of all.

With complexity eliminated and innovation easily adoptable, companies can become faster and better at what they do. They will be able to create differentiated capabilities for their businesses and engage with their customers in new and more meaningful ways. They are always future-ready. And
CIOs will be there to help them make that journey.”

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  1. Paul Hardy

    “companies can perform 1000 customizing steps with one click”. Talking about the IMG presumably. This is not the first announcement about S4 HANA to make that claim – other articles have said that the days of spending months (or years) with a team of consulatnts going through the IMG making customizing settings specific to your company / country / industry are now over.

    This is like the claim (first made in the 1960’s, and ever year since) that the new tool XYZ will allow you to create custom programs without writing one line of code.

    Amazing. So if I am a multinational widget company and I want to move my IT systems onto SAP all I need to do is look at the screen and say “read my mind, read my mind, this is what I want” and then pess one button and all the customizing settings are made automatically. That’s wonderful.

    That is bad news for all the consulting companies.

    Also presumablt this means we will stop getting all the new stories from places like the Government of Canada or wherever when they have a giant disaster with theri ERP implemntation, which took three years and a billion million dollars and it all went horribly wrong and they are looking for someone to sue the pants off.

    If all they have to do now is press one button then the problem goes away. Bad news for the lawyers this time.

    Anyway time to go now. I intend to find a cure for cancer and discover the secret of faster than light travel before heading down to the pub. Previously this would have been difficult, but now all I have to do is press one button.

    Cheersy Cheers

    Paul

    <CLICK>

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    1. Malolan R

      Agree  with you  Paul   !

      .  Everyone’s  trying to sell Kool Aid  before checking out  whether it  actually works..

      Some of these  optimizations are possible in a vanilla set up with single landscape.. and a very compact set of  like minded users..  Amen  !

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  2. Jon-Paul Boyd

    With regard to “removing modifications and getting back to a standard code line”, it will be interesting to see how closely S/4HANA applications support the business processes of consumers, and how much those standard Fiori-based apps will need to be enhanced via enhancement points to give the customer what they truly need i.e. the complexity doesn’t go away all of a sudden.

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