Building a business case for S/4HANA: Value

For organisations with long-standing ERP infrastructures, making a business case for moving to a system such as SAP S/4HANA is a complex and challenging task. A traditional approach might cover simplification, real-time analytics, deployment options, agility and user experience, but these often aren’t enough to convince the board of a multi-year project and investment. A better approach to a product-focussed business case is one that is value-led, stakeholder centric and outcome-based.

When building your business case you need to expand the scope beyond the costs, benefits and return on investment. Areas for value-led assessments include risk and compliance, business growth enablement, and software innovation.

Risk and compliance

Moving to a cloud-based ERP removes many possible points of failure. S/4HANA customers can expect lower risks from disruptions from upgrade and maintenance work with on-premise software systems. Should there be any downtime or localised access issues, the recovery period is shortened. By using an industry-templated system, rather than custom-built add-ons and reporting to your current ERP, you reduce non-compliance incidents.

Growth enablement

Moving to S/4HANA removes obstacles for organisations that can put them on a path to growth. This could be through process improvements, a single source of truth in data or the ability to create complex and personalised product variations that were impossible to create and track in previous systems. A move away from disparate systems brings the entire organisation closer. Departments now have visibility and foresight into demand and bottlenecks and can adapt accordingly.

Innovation

S/4HANA removes many of the common gaps found in ERP systems. With a single source of truth and multiple live feeds of data from across the organisation, you are given visibility to product profitability at the granular levels of detail. By linking the entire company to a single system, you enable collaboration across teams, divisions, and locations.

Finding the risk and compliance, growth enablement and innovation value in a move to S/4HANA will require a great deal of investigation and input from around the business. Spend the time to highlight the value to increase the chances of business case success.

Posted December 14, 2020 in