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The Art & the Science of a Strong S/4HANA Business Case

Business CaseWriting an effective S/4HANA business case is both a science and an art. As a business and digital transformation specialist, this continues to be my most important takeaway.

The science part is easier to handle. SAP provides you with tools and you probably have your own that you devise and use such as metrics and KPIs which assist you determine the quantitative aspects of what you want out of S/4HANA.

Art is the more difficult aspect since no two customers are alike. You can't use a one size fits all approach. I approach each business case discussion with a minimum set of success factors or criteria. Here are a few of the key components:


  • Business drivers: Don't forget the word business in ‘business transformation’. You need to derive your business case for implementing/converting to S/4HANA from your enterprise corporate strategy & KPIs

  • Pain points: Most organizations hate this cliché but there's no escaping it. You can rephrase it to challenges or maybe improvements needed. This aspect is related to business drivers but whereas business drivers are strategic, pain points are tactical and emanate from the business user community

  • Key success factors (KSFs): Qualitative key factors such as better user experience, opportunities for innovation and real-time analytics

  • Stakeholder analysis: Even the most air-tight business case will not succeed if you do not have the right level of stakeholder engagement and support. So, it is important that you analyze and ensure that you maximize stakeholder buy-in

  • Organizational readiness: Some organizations do not consider an assessment of their organizational readiness before embarking on a business transformation journey. There needs to be an organic appetite for change

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Let's me move to the science aspect of an S/4HANA business case. SAP provides customers with many tools to help quantify their case for S/4HANA. Among the tools we employ are SAP Transformation Navigator and Business Scenario Recommendations (BSR). Some customers use their own tools, techniques snd calculations. Popular financial KPI's include Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR). KPIs can be leveraged in every functional/business process area the business transformation is covers.

Building a powerful business case for your S/4HANA journey requires extensive planning and execution. If you would like to learn more on this important topic, please attend my session How to Build a Business Case for S/4HANA  during SAP Controlling Conference in San Diego, CA, October 7-10.

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Comments 2

Guest - Sathik (website) on Sunday, 11 August 2019 04:30

What is the difference between SAP HANA and SAP S4 HANA ?

What is the difference between SAP HANA and SAP S4 HANA ?
Guest - Sathik (website) on Sunday, 11 August 2019 04:31

What is the difference between SAP HANA and S4 HANA ?

What is the difference between SAP HANA and S4 HANA ?
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Tuesday, 15 October 2019