The awareness and interest in Digital Transformation is slowing picking up. I experienced that the Client as well as Support and Implementation partners want to know more about it. I have teams and clients enquiring – I want to implement S/4HANA. What do you suggest? What they want to know and check – where to start & what should be first step?
My shortest answer has been: Unlike earlier IT Projects, Implementation of Oracle ERP, SAP ECC or ERP projects, the approach to SAP S/4HANA is and should be much different.
Given the recent four years short journey and experience in SAP S/4HANA and Digital Transformation, backed with two decade of IT Industry experience, as per my observation, what some projects or companies are going wrong is, treating SAP s/4HANA ONLY/just as ‘New-Technology’ adoption project.
If one starts the journey with BUYING S/4HANA and simply start to implement it (without doing an assessment or initial-fitment), the WHOLE POINT of DIGITAL Transformation is missed out. In such a case, the whole exercise, then becomes JUST that of moving from one technology platform to adopting another technology platform.
Second, where I find Companies go wrong is Start the Journey, treating it like traditional “Business-Lead” or “IT-Lead” program. Irrespective of who owns it, OWNERSHIP by single-entity will result into a sure-shot miss on the Bigger Benefits and Objective that a Digital-Transformation Program can bring.
So What is Boundary or SCOPE of THE Digital Transformation Program & WHO OWNs it?
Digital Transformation Program should be “Business Supported, IT Facilitated & Partner Consulted, Product-Vendor Contributed” a JOINT-Responsibility Program. Must have Strong PMO and Change Management Initiatives in-line with DT Program. The Program further broken into multiple small parallel or sequential projects covering Discovery, Due-diligence, Business Model and Business Process Reengineering and so on, and last but not the least Landscape transformation and technology-implementation projects, managed in it’s true sense of Transformation with clear OBJECTIVE, multi-year roadmap and achievable agreed business as well as IT goals.
Understand that “adopting S/4HANA” or “starting Digital Transformation” is more to do with “Critically EXAMINING your existing Business practices, challenging the status-q and existing process, your way of doing a current activity and the need of it, What is your FUTURE NEW HARMONIZED Process-should look like. Last but not the least then look at already implemented applications and technology – what fits, what needs to be discarded and which S/w or app or platform best fits (technically) the “NEED of FUTURE”.
And doing so, during Business Process Reengineering (BPR), if one can take benefit of aligning the “FUTURE Processes” from that of available in the SAP standard software S/4HANA, what can be adopted “out-of-box” and what is THAT Specific “Business Differentiator” – converted to “way-of-new-process” which differentiates YOU from YOUR competitors, it would avoid re-inventing the wheel from scratch.
I would love to hear from you about your experience of S/4HANA Adoption and your or your client’s Digital Transformation Journey.
NOTE : This article was Published on July 18, 2018 , by me on Linked-in.