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donstenk
Explorer
Of course, not all cloud finance is created equal. In principle, any finance work you do in the cloud is a form of cloud finance. For example, you can “lift and shift” a highly customised ERP environment to a hyperscaler like Amazon or Microsoft and call that “Cloud”. However, a pure Public Cloud implementation with SAP S/4HANA is a much more value-added solution. Why?

SAP began its journey to the cloud over 10 years ago, with the introduction of SAP Business by Design, their first true Cloud ERP. Over a decade later, that solution has been updated to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, showing SAP’s ongoing commitment to helping finance professionals keep pace with a constantly changing world. With SAP S/4HANA, SAP is able to deliver software that stays up to-date, integrates new features and changes quickly, and which is not reliant on expensive to build and maintain in-house customisations or on extensive in-house technical knowledge.

Of course, not all cloud finance is created equal. In principle, any finance work you do in the cloud is a form of cloud finance. For example, you can “lift and shift” a highly customised ERP environment to a hyperscaler like Amazon or Microsoft and call that “Cloud”. However, a pure Public Cloud implementation with SAP S/4HANA is a much more value-added solution. Why?

Cloud Finance with SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud offers the following benefits:



  • Simple – One contract with one vendor for all ERP and related solutions

  • Always Up to Date – With the mandatory Clean Core, SAP keeps your tenant up to date in accordance with the latest legislation and security patches.

  • Security – SAP takes on the responsibility for application security and it is a leader in the field with billions invested every year.

  • Open and Composable – An SAP application with an API Hub integrates into diverse financial and ERP solutions with other vendors.

  • Real Time – S/4HANA Public Cloud components such as Group Reporting integrate into other SAP applications such as SAP Analytics Cloud in real time, enabling real-time dashboards and reports.


It is against that background that is makes totally sense that organisations move, where possible, to a standardised solution like SAP S/4HANA and then implement necessary customisations from the multiple options available:

  • Power users can customise data fields and add objects to forms themselves, and then easily use those in reports

  • S/4HANA Public Cloud offers an embedded ABAP environment where you can build SAP-Specific ABAP programming language extensions.

  • If your organization does not use ABAP, low code/no code solutions such as Mendix, Outsystems, Microsoft PowerApps, and SAP Build Tools are all available to SAP S/4HANA through the Business Technology Platform (BTP). These allow you to program for the SAP APIs and extend functionality and may make more sense for your organization than ABAP, depending on your in-house or accessible talent pools.




The SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud is available in four variants. You can extend each of these after your initial implementation. They include; Baseline, Finance-led, service-Centric, and Product-Centric.

I like to add SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for financial planning and analysis to bring a complete and integrated solution to our clients including the SAP S/4HANA Cloud with Group Reporting, Advanced Financial Close, and Receivables & Cash Management.

Personally I believe the push to bring finance to the cloud is taking off seriously with all the finance freemiums included in S/4HANA Public Cloud from march 2023. What's your take? Let me know in the comments below!

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