What are we waiting for? - S4HANA
23 May, 2017
Small Chance of Success. What are we waiting for?
No matter your profession, those of us who work for a living are familiar with the “gallows humor” that is specific to what we do.
In over 30 years in IT including 17 years as an SAP Platinum Consultant, Gimli’s words spoken in the “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” capture, for me, the essence of just about every implementation, upgrade, and problem-solving project I’ve been involved with.
It is painful to watch iconic 20th century enterprises, so many brands that I grew up with, struggle and crumble as 21st century newbies show off their triple-I capabilities: Immediate, Intelligent, Integrated.
SAP has always been aware of customer challenges dealing with operational costs and inefficiencies caused by complexity, lack of flexibility, upgrade downtime, unfriendly user interface, long run times, poor online performance, and stale data.
It is ironic, then, to witness many of these same customers avoiding, resisting, and cutting off conversations about SAP S/4 HANA and dismissing the value its simplified data model, real-time insight, and swipe & tap user interface bring to the work place.
Smart devices operated by people and, increasingly, operated without people have transformed the trickle of limited detail once keypunched, typed, and scanned into a tsunami of content-rich data that, used properly, can lead to new and exciting services and very high levels of internal and external customer satisfaction.
In-memory computing enabled by SAP HANA is one of the tools developed to address the challenges. ERP applications have been “reimagined” to improve system performance and simplify business processes. SAP’s core ECC FI module, for example, depends on 15 primary tables but requires only 4 in S/4 HANA Simple Finance. With on-the-fly aggregation, real-time insight is possible. With the Fiori user interface and its embedded analytics, business users know what’s important now. And they can know it on any device. In a private or public cloud environment, they can know what’s important now on any device from anywhere.
By embracing an agile approach to solution implementation and software deployment, it becomes possible to always run the latest version of any software product. That’s right, always.
The point is that lessons learned over the past decade have forced exactly the kind of innovation we need in our business applications and the infrastructure that runs them. The tools are available for us to use right now.