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SAP S/4HANA Implementation via Greenfield Or Brownfield?

This is a question that is actively being debated in many a conference rooms of companies initiating SAP S/4HANA migration efforts.

Are we able to answer this question with a one-page blog post? Probably not. But what we are going to answer though is how does one arrive at the right decision? What are the criteria that needs to be evaluated and analyzed in detail to arrive at a decision that will be pertinent to your specific requirements? Because the decision and approach that may work for one customer’s requirement may not work for another customer’s requirements.

So, what are the items that one needs to evaluate for a S4 Implementation approach? This blog will identify key criteria and define them broadly.

There is also another question that also comes up frequently – How many criteria needs to be evaluated to arrive at the decision? The answer is – The number of criteria and their priority will depend on what are the most important areas you need to consider for a large-scale project within your organization. One option is to use a priority weight for each criteria in order of importance.

Top 10 Evaluation Criteria for S/4HANA Implementation approach – Greenfield or Brownfield?

  1. Change management to target state – This criterion analyzes an organization’s capability for change management and effectiveness. The implementation option selected would determine change management strategy and level of effort required to implement the option. E.g. A greenfield option would implement a new and improved best practice business process and so the change management strategy for that would need to be ranked accordingly.
  2. Adopting best practice industry standard processes – Criterion to evaluate which option would allow for a best practice implementation using industry standard processes and reducing customization.
  3. Business process re-design – This should help answer the question on which option gives a better option to re-design existing business processes.
  4. Overall time to value – This criteria needs to be evaluated for both options to indicate which option allows for faster value benefit of S/4HANA capabilities including improved user experience, mobile enablement and new capabilities.
  5. Total cost – A cumulative understanding of total cost for both options including hardware, software and implementation services.
  6. Availability of Resources – Evaluation of internal resources requirement and their availability across the scheduling of both options is criteria. Availability should be analyzed with consideration of all business priorities.
  7. Day to day business operations and disruption – Implementation options need to be carefully considered on their impact to day to day business operations and disruption to it.
  8. Technical simplification: Which option allows for greater technical simplification of the underlying architecture should be a critical consideration as it will have an impact on multiple other items including operating cost and risk mitigating.
  9. Implementation risk and approach complexity – Each option would have inherent risk and it is critical to evaluate that risk and quantify it.
  10. Impact to Revenue – Is there a possibility to improve the bottom line if one option is chosen? If yes, then that needs to be considered in the evaluation of the options.
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