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The awareness and interest in Digital Transformation is slowing picking up. I experienced that the Client as well as Support and Implementation partners want to know more about it. I have teams and clients enquiring – I want to implement S/4HANA. What do you suggest? What they want to know and check - where to start & what should be first step?

My shortest answer has been: Unlike earlier SAP ECC or ERP projects, the approach to SAP S/4HANA is and should be much different.

Given the recent four years short journey and experience in SAP S/4HANA and Digital Transformation, backed with two decade of IT Industry experience, as per my observation, what some projects or companies are DOING it WRONG "AGAIN" is, Treating SAP s/4HANA ONLY/just as New-Technology-adoption project.

If one starts with BUYING S/4HANA and start to implement it (without doing an assessment or initial-fitment), the WHOLE POINT of DIGITAL Transformation is missed out. In such a case, the whole exercise, then becomes JUST that of moving from one technology platform to adopting another technology platform.

Second, where I find Companies go wrong is Start the Journey, treating it like traditional “Business-Lead” or “IT-Lead” program. Irrespective of who owns it, OWNERSHIP by single-entity results into a sure-shot miss on the Bigger Benefits and Objective that a Digital-Transformation Program can bring.

What is Boundary or SCOPE of THE Program & WHO OWNs it?

Digital Transformation Program should be "Business Supported, IT Facilitated & Partner Consulted, Product-Vendor Contributed" a JOINT-Responsibility Program. Must have Strong PMO and Change Management Initiatives in-line with DT Program. The Program further broken into multiple small parallel or sequential projects covering Discovery, Due-diligence, Business Model and Business Process Reengineering and so on, and last but not the least Landscape transformation and technology-implementation projects, managed in it's true sense of Transformation with clear OBJECTIVE, multi-year roadmap and achievable agreed business as well as IT goals.

Understand that "adopting S/4HANA" or "starting Digital Transformation" is more to do with "Critically EXAMINING your existing Business practices, challenging the status-q and existing process, your way of doing a current activity and the need of it, What is your FUTURE NEW HARMONIZED Process-should look like. Last but not the least then look at already implemented applications and technology - what fits, what needs to be discarded and which S/w or app or platform best fits (technically) the "NEED of FUTURE". 

And doing so, during Business Process Reengineering (BPR), if one can take benefit of aligning the "FUTURE Processes” from that of available in the SAP standard software S/4HANA, what can be adopted "out-of-box" and what is THAT Specific "Business Differentiator" - converted to "way-of-new-process" which differentiates YOU from YOUR competitors, it would avoid re-inventing the wheel from scratch.

If you agree to whatever has been said above, well I would encourage you to read further.

In one of my earlier blogs, I mentioned about SAP S/4HANA TRANSFORMER, a tool by SAP which can be used to decide on the "fitment of applications, software and the functionality they provide, with the functionality and Business benefit one is wanting to achieve" While SAP S/4HANA Transformer provides a Directional decision, especially for Installed based EXISTING SAP Customers, it requires a much deeper analysis and I would suggest it as MUST First-step before starting of a physical actual technical project .

Hence, when we talk of Digital Transformation and in that specific light, are trying to evaluate "leveraging the existing-investment", "fitment of existing-process with NEW-ways-available-in-S4", or "simply taking the stock of what has been implemented, what has been customized”, it makes sense to check what are tools available from SAP which can help in this exercise.

So this blog is about the two-tools from SAP which help in the exercise mentioned in above para.

The two available from SAP -- SAP Readiness Check for s/4HANA & SAP Simplification Item checks.

In one of my earlier blogs, I have mentioned technical details about how to use SAP Readiness Check for S/4HANA and also one blog on SAP Simplification item checks.  (Technical implementation and TCODES or process).

What is important to NOTE and know is also the USECASE or when to use which one? or when using both will be required.

I share a comprehensive tabular comparison of the two available options and hope it helps you easily decide which one or both you need to use and in which sequence and purpose.

** SAP S/4HANA Simplification-item check is available from 1709 version of S/4HANA EM On-premise.

S/4HANA Readiness check also covers -  Business Warehouse Extractors and Data Volume Management.

S/4HANA Readiness Check  : https://help.sap.com/viewer/product/SAP_READINESS_CHECK/200/en-US


I would love to hear from you about your experience of using these options and your experience during S/4HANA Adoption and your or your client's Digital Transformation Journey.

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