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The right approach to S/4HANA – Blog Post #2: Start with a forward looking discussion!

 

What‘s the best way to mess up a date? Compare her/him to your “Ex” all the time. It may come to you as a surprise, but in that aspect there is not so much difference between a date and an ERP (although it is much more common to fall in love with your date though, I admit the relationships to ERP systems are in most cases more … platonic. But don’t ask developers … ).

In so many cases interested parties start immediately to compare S/4HANA to their actual implementation. Is the scope 100% the same? Does it have all the functionalities I have in my present system? Are they exactly the same like now? Are the buttons on the same place than before? Not surprisingly this is not only the beginning of a often very unpleasing seek-for-deltas activities, but also the perfect method to diminish any optimization-potentials you may get from any new technology and can maneuver you in a vortex of never ending delta-search activities that will give you a false feeling of security.

Not surprisingly a backward look is not only the beginning of a often very unpleasing seek-for-deltas activities, but also the perfect method to diminish any optimization-potentials you may get from any new technology and can maneuver you in a vortex of never ending delta-search activities that will give you a false feeling of security.

I had a chat recently with the CEO of a German Company and we agreed that basically there are two personalities in us: A private on and a professional/business one. While the private side of us is mostly curious and eager to test new technologies and is having fun with this process of finding always new ways to optimize our life, our “business side” is completely different. When we enter our offices, we change like Jekyll and Hide, this other side is very often hesitant, overcautious and overly conservative concerning any changes of our processes and workflow.

But it is very often the ambitious private side of us, that is our end-customer and the one we make business with. This progress-loving private side is the one putting pressure on our conservative professional side, because this side of us fancies same-day-delivery, digital offerings, digital business models, while our conservative professional side is still in a backwards looking, four week discussion with the implementation consultant to put that damn button on exactly the same place on the screen where it has been for the last 20 years.

The CEO and I agreed, that this is a one in 20 years chance. It is fairly probable that industries will be disrupted within in the next decade not only once but every 3 years. Furthermore we can not expect the next years to be economical as stable as the last decade.

It is fairly probable that industries will be disrupted within in the next decade not only once but every 3 years.

When we do not take in the chance to set things right now and prepare for the upcoming competition and other storms that may lay behind the horizon, we might get overcome very fast.

So even when you just think about S/4HANA because of “ECC lights out in 2025”, do always ask yourself the questions: What is my strategy, where do I want to be within the next 5 years, how will the expectations of my customers change, what will my competition do, will I my business model change to digital offerings? And with that forward look, established we at SAP can then show you how we can help you to become an intelligent enterprise that does not only react to disruptions, but that will be the gamechanger itself.

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