Everyone’s talking about digital transformation these days. You’ve likely thought about its implications for your enterprise by now, and well you should—it’s hard to overstate how significantly it’s changing the face of business. But digital transformation isn’t simply about new technology. It’s about how you use that technology to become more competitive.
As their way of helping enterprises compete better with today’s technology, SAP is moving to SAP S/4HANA by 2025—as we explained in a recent blog post. And while we believe SUSE is the smart choice for any organization making the move, you may be wondering whether making the move to SAP S/4HANA and SUSE is right for your business.
Technology That Transforms
SAP S/4HANA isn’t merely an upgrade of your existing SAP applications. It’s an entirely new generation of SAP Business Suite that offers great process simplification, massively increased efficiency and exciting features such as planning and simulation options in many conventional transactions. It’s a move away from a system that merely records data—to one that gives you real-time data analysis to help you make active, informed decisions.
SAP S/4HANA runs only on SAP HANA, which features advanced technology that connects your enterprise with people, networks, the Internet of Things, big data and more. SAP HANA’s in-memory data platform lets you process transactions and analytics data wherever it resides across your network; simplify operations using a single copy of enterprise data; and use advanced data processing capabilities to build next-generation applications. SAP S/4HANA also offers a personalized, consumer-grade user experience with the SAP Fiori user interface, as well as simplified data models and flexible deployment options.
And if you want to stay competitive and keep a technological edge, a recent Gartner report suggests you make the move now:
“SAP is still delivering enhancements for ECC [ERP Central Component] 6.0 (as seen in the company’s current roadmaps) but it is Gartner’s opinion that most innovation will occur in SAP S/4HANA. Consequently, if your organization views SAP as strategic, you need to plan to adopt SAP S/4HANA by 2025.”
What Needs to Change?
To adopt SAP S/4HANA, you’ll first need to move to SAP HANA, if you haven’t already. That will serve as the digital back end for your entire SAP landscape. You have a couple options when it comes to migrating your SAP applications: You can move to Business Suite on SAP HANA first or make a direct move to SAP S/4HANA. Both choices will require careful calculation of your hardware requirements and some adjustment on the back end.
A significant consideration when migrating is the need to adapt your existing business processes. The SAP S/4HANA platform has some capabilities that go far beyond traditional SAP environments, so some of the processes you developed on SAP Business Suite may not work the same way—or at all—on SAP S/4HANA.
SAP S/4HANA enables you to do things easily that were more difficult in the standard environment, thanks to its speed and the types of ad hoc queries it can handle. You’ll get more of a real-time business environment than before.
Keep in mind that SAP S/4HANA is still developing and being added to. The exciting thing about this is that it can enable new ways of working. Its performance improvements, simplified architecture and real-time analytics can pave the way for real process innovation. As the digital core for your entire business, SAP S/4HANA connects all of your processes, delivers live information and insights, and seamlessly integrates your enterprise with the digital world at large.
Many enterprises will not have to change their existing platforms, especially if they’re using SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications—which delivers optimized performance, less downtime and faster deployment of SAP applications. SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications is hardware agnostic, and it is a recommended operating system on x86 and IBM Power Systems hardware. You can also choose to run SAP S/4HANA on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server in the cloud, as well.
The Time Is Now
Many of your competitors have already set out on the path to complete digital transformation. It’s time to analyze your options and make some decisions. 2025 might seem distant, but in enterprise IT years it’s right around the corner.
Want more information on SAP solutions or migration? Follow me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/dirkoppenkowski/.