How SAP 4 HANA Transforms Your Organization into an Agile Survivor

In this follow-up feature, we dig even deeper into more of SAP 4 HANA benefits and put it into a practical perspective by defining the steps to get there. Accenture’s Roy Gisberts and Ronald Krabben explain how SAP 4 HANA can help your business face up challenges today’s world throws at them.
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In this follow-up feature, we dig even deeper into more of SAP 4 HANA benefits and put it into a practical perspective by defining the steps to get there. Finally, we’ll present a roadmap to a dynamic and agile - hence: successful - enterprise architecture. In our previous article, we asked you the question: ‘Are you ready to hop on board?’ This, of course, is a rhetorical question – it’s not even a question, really. Whoever doesn’t hop on board will fall off the bandwagon. Game over. The end.

It is a no-brainer: SAP 4 HANA is the way forward . It’s a real-time management platform for any digital business, incorporating all innovations, like intelligent automation, artificial intelligence, robotics and the Internet of Things, to name a few. This platform enables the business to operate digitally, end-to-end. Not in pockets of the business, only on the edges, but in an integrated manner.

The business defines new models, customer’s interaction moments and supplier and employee integration, the platform enables it to become reality. Technology paves the way for endless opportunities. Let’s take HelloFresh, for instance. HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service offering both omnivore and vegetarian options, with farm-fresh ingredients, chef-inspired recipes, and flexible subscriptions – delivered to your door weekly. HelloFresh is an extremely successful original German startup that since its launch in 2011 has taken over ownership of the consumer from large retailers such as Ahold, and defines what families eat 3-5 nights a week. Traditional retailers and FMCG companies need to ask themselves how to end up in the box. Retailers have been deleted from the value chain: HelloFresh decides what goes in the box, and what doesn’t. The Procter and Gambles, Unilevers or Heinz Krafts of the world no longer sell through the retailer to the consumer. HelloFresh does. One doesn’t need to be an economist to know who takes the profit…

How Will S/4HANA Benefit Your Company?

It's the inescapable truth: whoever has the relationship and connection with the consumer is the one making money. Which is why, especially in the age of the Internet of Things, it’s essential to (re)gain a high ranking in the value chain, ensuring you keep the connection with the consumer – or get it back, for that matter. And there’s your must-follow roadmap: the only way to get your value proposition back and ensure you don’t downgrade to only being a commodity supplier.  You need to be in the digital connected world with consumers and your product(s) in the field in order to turn them into new services increasing your value proposition.  

… And 6 Other Benefits of SAP 4 HANA

Which is exactly what SAP 4 HANA does: ensuring you are right at the center of the consumer-, customer- and supplier connection. Moreover, S/4HANA offers organizations the following benefits:

  1. Flexibility in business processes - the simplified data model allows change and flexibility, leading to leaner processes;
  2. Increased customer value - being relevant at the moment of use and consumption, higher availability or only pay for use;
  3. Higher value transactions - with your connected services and products you can tailor your value proposition;
  4. Real-time insights - Minute by minute able to take the right decision, use AI to take decision and Robots to automate the execution;
  5. Speed to market - the agile enterprise structure contains the components to experiment and innovate, try fast, fail fast and accelerate;
  6. Ability to tap into cutting-edge technology - from IoT, to Artificial Intelligence or Analytics. Start using the technologies at hand now.

This is how you get (back) in the connection game: 5 essential steps

  1. Use design thinking to (re) define your value proposition, business model Where do you play in the value chain tomorrow?
  2. Establish the layout of your current enterprise architecture; What are your future needs, business capabilities and Technology
  3. Define starting points, where does your innovation begin? Break it up in manageable pieces - start small and scale fast when proven.
  4. Make choices about the end-state enterprise architecture, set out a roadmap to reach over time into an integrated digital platform: from a transactional system to a digital core, enhanced with innovative, value-driven capabilities;
  5. Ensure it’s not only an IT decision, but include the business as a whole throughout the whole process.

What Does the Roadmap to ‘’Digital Connected’’ Look Like?

The roadmap to 'digital connected' is not one-dimensional; it’s as dynamic as today’s world. Which is exactly what SAP 4 HANA wants to be – and what your organization should be, too. Flexibility and agility within this dynamic roadmap are key to any organization’s success; in fact, they are the fundamental building blocks to ensure your service or product thrives in the ever-changing business landscape.’

More information?
Interested in our SAP 4 HANA success stories? Read 'How SAP 4 HANA Works in Practice: 3 Success Stories'

Author: Accenture the Netherlands