SAP S/4HANA, unlike other traditional enterprise systems, natively runs on SAP HANA, a lightning fast in-memory data platform that allows you to act with live intelligence from data while simplifying the IT landscape. This data management choice has a determining impact on your core business processes, which can now rely on real-time insights from data at each decision point, improving productivity and empowering informed decision making.
However, implementing an SAP S/4HANA project impacts and demands changes in all your other data management projects, such as reporting, analytics, IoT, EIM, data governance, Big Data, custom innovation projects, or cloud adoption.
As Bernd Leukert says, real-time data is one of the central components of the intelligent enterprise. Data is the currency of the digital transformation and data-driven applications are the future of application development. An end-to-end process opens up a whole new world of data-driven decision making when it, for example, can collect sensor data to provide new pay-as-you-go business models, while incorporating spatial analytics, machine learning, block-chain, contracting, operations, and billing.
Complex data landscapes present challenges
As data landscapes become increasingly complex, companies face the challenge of trying to manage the influx of both structured and unstructured data from multiple applications, files, databases, data warehouses, and data lakes. They need a solution that simplifies their landscape while also ensuring the highest levels of security. They want to be able to productize new data scenarios quickly and easily and gain a comprehensive source-agnostic overview of their business by combining all sets of data – whether big data, transactional data, or analytical data – into a single data universe. They require flexibility when it comes to their cloud infrastructure and the architecture of their solutions.
To become a successful digital business, you need to choose a data management strategy that empowers you to connect all your company’s data assets and analyze them in context to get the full picture of your business. Only when you achieve real-time situational awareness, can you truly act on the moment, predict future business outcomes with confidence, and devise new business models that can propel your business forward.
A winning data management strategy addresses three critical imperatives
- Trusted data: As data landscapes become increasingly complex, every business faces the challenge of managing the influx of both structured and unstructured data from multiple applications, files, databases, data warehouses, and data lakes. To empower these companies to share data freely and extract meaningful value from it, their data management solution needs to deliver ubiquitous data access while protecting the security, privacy, and integrity of the data at all times. Only when these conditions are met can a company trust their data.
- Connected, intelligent data: With data being produced in large quantities by disparate data source everywhere inside and outside the enterprise, gaining real-time situational awareness is becoming a daunting task. When companies want to productize new data scenarios to gain a comprehensive source-agnostic overview of their business, they have to combine diverse sets of data – whether big data, transactional data, or analytical data – into a single data universe. The data management solution needs to provide the ability to easily connect all this data while avoiding unnecessary data duplications and movements. Companies can take advantage of their connected data universe and extract intelligence from it.
- Architecture flexibility that embraces the cloud: A business must retain the flexibility to decide where to store and process its data. The data management solution needs to ensure you can store and process data in any cloud and on hybrid (cloud/on-premises) environments with no lock-in. Only when these criteria are met can you ensure that business priorities drive your technology choices instead of the other way around.
Colgate-Palmolive: an SAP S/4HANA success story
Take the example of Colgate-Palmolive. By partnering with SAP for SAP S/4 HANA and data management, the company has been able to innovate and leverage the value of data at a much faster pace, expanding the company’s opportunity to drive growth.
As its CEO Mike Crowe said in this video:
- “The goal is to move from periodic structured reviews to be able to review the state of the business at any time in real time using the latest data that allows us to identify issues faster and work together to get a solution sooner.”
- “We want to simplify our computing environment. We want it as efficient as possible. Because we need to free up time to work in what many people call ‘mode 2’– Exploration. Looking for new opportunities. Opportunities that can drive our growth.”
- “We think SAP have got it right. Not just being the provider of the packaged software but also providing those capabilities”
To learn more about how SAP solutions for data management can help you achieve the imperatives for trusted, connected, intelligent data and flexible architecture, stay tuned for the upcoming blogs in our new series.
- Read our second blog in the series, Imperative #1: Business Needs More Trusted Data
- Read our third blog in the series, Imperative #2: Business Needs Connected and Intelligent Data
- Read our fourth blog in the series, Imperative #3: Embracing Architecture Flexibility and the Cloud
Other Suggested Reading
If you’re missing the live launch of HANA Data Management Suite at SAPPHIRE NOW 2018, register for our webcast June 21, 11AM CT/5PM CET to get the latest information.