Navigating the path to SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Considering the focus for this month brought to light some key thoughts about the journey to SAP S/4HANA and the many paths that leaders take to jumpstart the planning exercise. My premise is this: Effective planning can lead to amazing outcomes.

Okay, that sounds great, now what?

As you plan your journey from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, have you been experiencing some internal barriers to taking the leap to a modern cloud-based ERP solution? Have you faced opposition to a new user experience due to resources that refuse to transition from the SAP GUI? Are your employees struggling with many questions regarding “Why do I have to change my business processes?” or “Why do I have to change now?” Are you aware of what shifting to the cloud might mean for data security and integrity?

Are you stuck?

If you are stuck and not gaining any momentum with your SAP S/4HANA roadmap planning, then you are not alone. In fact, you may be experiencing a never-ending ailment that I call “Analysis Paralysis.” Analysis Paralysis is when the fear of either making a mistake or forgoing a better solution outweighs the realistic expectation or potential value of success.

As I set out to examine the key reasons that leaders are sluggish or delayed in defining their path to SAP S/4HANA, I realized that people are essentially quite happy to remain in their comfort zones. It became evident that the reasons for the delays were rooted in three words: Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). Basic “FUD” was the culprit. Yes, the dreaded FUD had taken the excitement out of shifting over to a modern ERP solution.

Who wouldn’t want key changes to drive efficiency through the new SAP Fiori apps coupled with embedded analytics and data-driven insights? Who wouldn’t want the ability to leverage new tools to automate and streamline business processes?

When those hopes get reduced to nothing more than an IT project with regression testing, then the value proposition seems less appealing. I hadn’t expected these responses and felt compelled not to take them lightly.

A new focus and mission to drive SAP S/4HANA adoption

This became a new focus in my mission to accelerate higher adoption levels of SAP S/4HANA. We would do it by equipping, encouraging, and enlightening leaders as we assisted in defining their path to success.

With the pace of technological change and our constant discussions on AI, the cloud, IoT, and data analytics, it seems that everyone would want to position their company for this shift. The core ERP solution should be in a state of readiness to support taking advantage of these key changes and new commercial models.

Fear of change also lines up quite nicely with a lack of trust and belief that things could truly be different with SAP S/4HANA. What causes such apathy? I thought that if they don’t believe that the solution capabilities are better or different and innovative in SAP S/4HANA over SAP ECC, then there is little incentive for them to start planning. Some leaders think it is just a necessary upgrade, so they feel no sense of urgency to make the move earlier.

Are you an inspirational leader?

Back to my premise: Effective planning can lead to amazing outcomes. These outcomes can only happen when an inspirational leader jumpstarts the process and makes bold choices that drive organizational change. When this happens, a leader can be influential in strengthening the business by defining a clear path for growth and innovation.

Kimberley Reid is VP of Digital Enterprise, SAP Solutions for Hitachi Vantara. She continues her people focused commentaries for ASUG Executive Exchange. Reid draws on everyday technology, project, people, and leadership experiences of her career. She plans a forthcoming book based on these experiences and reflections.

Interested in More Executive Insights?

Fill out the form below to apply for the ASUG Executive Exchange program, a unique community of executive leaders where connections, lessons, and best practices are shared.

Want to continue reading this article?

Become a member and get access to all ASUG benefits including news, resources, webcasts, chapter events, and much more!

Log in

Not an ASUG member? Learn more