September 7, 2018

SAP ERP as a public cloud service. Who benefits and how?

Juhani Sysimetsä

Lead Business Consultant, SAP, Tieto

SAP is investing strongly into cloud based solutions. Now it is bringing companies the possibility to have a full-blooded ERP as a public cloud service. SAP S/4HANA Cloud is SAP’s largest step towards the cloud so far.

The market leader’s smart cloud ERP offers the latest innovations and sharpest industry competence. It supports growth and offers agility and a real-time outlook to business.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud - ERP for the digital era

A public cloud service enables genuinely comprehensive service. SAP S/4HANA Cloud opens up possibilities for utilizing best practices and standardized and ready processes in a continually developing system. It enables SAP utilization for companies that have previously found a traditional SAP solution and deployment too arduous.

The newest SAP innovations are brought to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud environment four times a year and the solution offers ready interfaces to SAP’s other cloud based products, with which companies can advance digitalization and their cloud based strategy at their chosen pace.

Cloud based ERP deployment follows the SAP Activate Cloud methodology, which includes for example a project model (phases, activities, templates etc.), best practices, process models and tools. Deployment is fast and efficient. 

Who should use SAP S/4HANA Cloud and for what purpose?

At present the solution is best suited for organizations seeking an administrative solution that focuses on finance, or as a solution for smaller units in a large company. The solution includes support for component manufacturing industry and expert services such as business consulting. For these companies SAP ERP Cloud offers a very interesting alternative and ready business processes. SAP is investing strongly in developing cloud based ERP and it is continually extending the support that the solution offers also to other industries.

A cloud based ERP will certainly gain broad-scale interest in companies that have an IT strategy that relies heavily on cloud based solutions and for which a traditional ERP is too heavy. Some of the companies that are already utilizing traditional SAP solutions can find from S/4HANA Cloud an excellent parallel solution for smaller units, for which a traditional SAP is not financially or operationally a sound solution.

In short, SAP S/4HANA brings companies at least these five considerable benefits:

1) The investment pays itself back faster, providing better ROI.

2) Businesses can operate in an even more agile and dynamic way.

3) Smaller TCO. Deployment, configuration and maintenance are easier, faster and more affordable.

4) Better manageability and compliance.

5) Smarter ERP.    

Readiness and willingness for change are important

SAP is very adamant in making sure its customers get solutions that match their business needs. This is ensured through meticulous validation. Does SAP ERP Cloud offer all the processes that the company really needs, and are the standardized processes applicable to the company’s business needs?  

Process standardization always brings a chance to inspect your own ways of working. It presents an opportunity for improvement; when a company makes the decision to transfer to a public cloud, it also must have the readiness and willingness for change.

Transferring ERP to a public cloud service requires good and efficient organizational change management and it is a good idea to see the change as something that not only impacts the system, but also the entire organizational culture. The benefits of successful change can be very considerable.

Towards architecture that serves digitalization

Finally, I would like to emphasize three central points!

1) ERP as a cloud service is a natural solution for companies that want standardized processes and have an IT strategy relying heavily on cloud technology. It is also certainly interesting for many companies that have for one reason or another previously decided against considering SAP.

2) Obtaining ERP as a cloud service requires a change in thinking. What does a company need to change in its own operations to ensure it gets the most out of the cloud? Renewing processes also means changes in the roles of employees. Efficient change management and adjusting to how the system works are key success factors.

3) SAP offers enterprise architecture that efficiently serves digitalization. Standardized processes can easily and efficiently be integrated with SAP’s broad product family through SAP’s cloud platform, for example with machine intelligence and blockchain offering SAP Leonardo.

Are you interested in SAP ERP Cloud?

I recommend turning to Tieto experts; we have strong industry knowledge in manufacturing industry, financial services industry, and companies offering consulting services. We help in validation and tell you if the cloud service is right for your business needs. We explain how the solution should be configured, and we know how the SAP solutions should be deployed to ensure you can move to production in a controlled manner in the set schedule. Tieto and SAP have worked together for over 20 years. We know SAP’s best practices and we know how to make the most of them!  

Other SAP blogs:

Will SAP Leonardo transform digital innovation?

Why should you take your HCM system to the cloud?

How agile are your projects?

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