In 2014 Gartner predicted that by 2016 heavily-customized ERP-implementations will be referred to as “Legacy ERP”.  According to Gartner the ERP suite is being deconstructed into a more loosely coupled ERP environment with much of the functionality sourced as cloud services. Gartner named this “Post Modern ERP”. 

Gartner’s prediction makes sense given the fact that traditional ERP implementations were focused on integration, standardization and transactional power-users. When ERP Systems originally came available, cloud, social and mobile were not available and analytics capabilities were not widely used. 

What does this mean for public sector?

While standardization and integration remains a key pillar for successful use of technology; many public sector organizations are also focusing on simplification, business innovation and agility.  They want to adopt a vision, culture, business processes and technological investments to improve operational performance, policy outcomes and ultimately citizens’ lives. Thus, the concept of Post Modern ERP is appealing.

Recently, several public sector organizations have asked about SAP’s position on Gartner’s postmodern ERP definition. Governments are keen to get the best value for taxpayer’s money and are careful to choose technologies that are proven to work.  So, naturally they are trying to understand if Gartner’s concept is right for them.  Additionally, they want to understand how SAP’s new solutions and future roadmap align to the Post Modern ERP definition.   

Gartner further describes Postmodern ERP as:

  • User centric
  • Data-driven
  • Based on loosely coupled applications not a single product suite
  • Driven by the nexus of forces (Information, Social, Mobile, Cloud)
  • Seamless
  • Connected

How does SAP’s capabilities and roadmap align to the Gartner “PostModern ERP” definition?

Not only does SAP’s transformation align with the “postmodern ERP definition but we exceed expectations with SAP S4/HANA.  S/4HANA is SAP’s next-generation business suite designed to help organizations run simple in the digital era. This new suite is built on our advanced in-memory platform, SAP HANA, and offers a personalized user experience with SAP Fiori. It was designed to break the limitations of the past, based on massive simplification and innovation.

Here is how it aligns to the bullet point descriptions from Gartner:

  • User centric: YES, SAP continues to expand the Fiori next generation user experience across ERP, aimed at simplifying the user experience on any device. SAP’s Fiori user experience recently won the Red Dot Award for Design Concept.   Hampshire County Council (HCC) for example, deployed SAP as a shared service model. As part of its mobility strategy, Hampshire planned the roll out for 55,000 users across mobile devices so everyone has access and can use the new applications.

  • Data driven: YES, SAP combines prediction, simulation and analysis to make data-driven decisions.  For example, the City of Buenos Aires enabled the collection and analysis of real-time sensor data from storm drains, weather reports and SAP systems to reduce flooding in the city. 

  • Based on loosely coupled applications not a single product suite: YES, SAP S4/HANA is a flexible modularized suite based on a digital core. On-premise and cloud editions of SAP S/4HANA offer integration capabilities with other cloud-based SAAS products depending on the detailed interfaces. City of Brisbane for example implemented SAP ERP to unify departments and make employees more productive.  Geospatial maps built on SAP ERP allows field staffers to do far more on asset-maintenance visits.  SAP’s HANA Cloud Platform provides the data and tools to extend, build, deploy, and manage enterprise applications to complement SAP and non-SAP solutions. It helps bring together all enterprise data available on the same SAP platform (e.g., IOT, ERP, social media). Customers can build new or extend existing business processes in the cloud or on premise enabled on any device.


  • Driven by the nexus of forces (Information, Social, Mobile, Cloud): Yes, Hamburg Port Authority for example helps keep traffic and trade flowing smoothly through the Port of Hamburg. The goal was to connect the port’s various stakeholders through a mobile business cloud.
  • Seamless: YES, SAP’s DNA is to provide applications that seamlessly work together. SAP’s committed to providing end-to-end solutions to reduce point to point integration costs.  Fire & Rescue New South Wales for example implemented the HANA platform to improve interagency transparency and use data to protect people and property.


  • Connected: YES, SAP’s solutions connect to people, devices, Big Data, and business networks in real time to achieve the unimagined.  New Zealand Department of Conservation extended their core SAP system with an integrated mobile solution to better protect the stunning New Zealand natural environment.

As growing digitization and citizen demand rapidly change the government landscape SAP is focused on driving value for taxpayer’s money and improving citizens’ lives. We want to help you deliver a better, more seamless constituent experience and revitalize employee engagement through a consumer grade user experience to help you run simply and effectively.   We need to help government organizations Conquer disruption through digital transformation

Key facts about S/4HANA:

 Smaller total data footprint

 Higher throughput

 Faster analytics and reporting

 Less process steps

 ERP, CRM, SRM,SCM, PLM co-deployed

 No locking, parallelism

 Actual data (25%) and historical (75%)

 Unlimited workload capacity

1,300+ customers have begun their transformation using S4/Hana including La Trobe University, Deloitte and European Schools.

 Predict, recommend, simulate

 SAP HANA Cloud Platform extensions

 SAP HANA multitenancy

 All data: social, text, geo, graph, processing

 New SAP Fiori UX for any device (mobile, desktop, tablet)

 Choice of deployment: on premise, cloud, hybrid

The Path Forward – from Standardization to Simple and Innovative

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You need to have a clear vision about what you want to achieve to meet your policy objectives. Adopt innovation in alignment with your business strategy, system complexity, and risk profile. Look at reducing unnecessary process steps without disruption to your organization.

As we approach 2016, public sector organizations are developing strategies to harness the power of digital transformation and re-imagining operational models, business processes and work.  They realize they have a transformational opportunity to place simplicity at the heart of everything they do.


SAP can help break the limitations of the past, based on massive simplification and innovation. To learn more, visit www.sap.com/publicsector

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