The Five Golden Rules for Implementing SAP S/4HANA 

Every organization is accelerating its transition to SAP’s intelligent enterprise. If you are one of the transformation partners who have his/her hands in transforming enterprises to adopt the innovations delivered by SAP, this blog is for you.  

Let us discuss the five golden rules for SAP S/4HANA’s cloud and on-premise ERP (Enterprise Resourcing Planning) systems implementation. We are already aware of S/4HANA’s flexibility and extensibility options embedded in the solution along with a complete set of ABAP (Advanced Business Application Programming) environments. But are we aware of our choices made during the transition which might increase or decrease the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) and impact on your client’s future updates? 

SAP has published five golden rules to help your project teams, architects, technical and functional consultants, and key users implement the solution and make the transition easier. 

The Five Golden Rules: 

  • Foster a cloud mindset by adhering to SAP Activate Framework 
  • Use preconfigured solutions and leverage the SAP Fiori UX 
  • Ensure the use of modern integration technologies  
  • Ensure the use of modern extensibility technologies  
  • Ensure transparency on deviations  
Foster Cloud Mindset adhering to the SAP Activate Framework  

If you are planning to develop your own solution based on either SAP Best Practices the enterprise management layer for SAP S/4HANA or through an SAP-qualified partner package which plans your workshops to evaluate the solution developed to the standard functionality offered in SAP software always keep in mind to stick to the Standard approach and follow the agile methodology. The agile methodology for software deployment to explicitly focus on the most valuable capabilities first and deliver the software to the business via incremental deployments to optimize the value of the solution.  

By utilizing the standard packages, the project team begins by presenting a set of pre-delivered procedures to the business customers to get their support and establish delta requirements for capabilities that must be configured or generated during the software’s development.  

Utilize pre-configured solutions and leverage on SAP Fiori 

The rule fosters leveraging on the pre-configured and ready-to-use standard business procedures and adopting standard functionality. More commonly you must come across the scenarios to implement effective change management to convince the organization to adopt the new standard as opposed to customizing the processes that have already been supplied. While adopting standard practices even for simple processes across the organization you can significantly transform your company with innovative technologies like ML (Machine Learning), AI (Artificial Intelligent), and RPA (Robotic Process Automation). 

SAP Fiori displays both analytical and transactional data on a single screen to help you assess the issues and act quickly. The second part of the rule focuses on utilizing the SAP Fiori UX to benefit from the innovation that SAP is incorporating into the software with a new UX that aids in the faster processing of business transactions by providing the user with new ways to access business information. 

Ensure the use of modern integration technologies 

SAP Activate provides your project team with a set of steps to follow while designing an integration scenario. The project team’s tasks direct them to determine the integration requirements, outline the integration scenario, and develop thorough functional and technical designs for integrations that are not provided right outside of the box. Post which, you can utilize various APIs available on SAP API Business Hub to construct the integration during the realize phase. SAP classifies integration scenario types into: 

  • SAP to SAP integration: There are pre-configured best practices suggested in hand by SAP for SAP-owned applications like SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, SAP Employee Central, etc. 
  • SAP to homegrown application integration (both cloud and on-premise systems): SAP recommends using SAP’s Cloud Integration capability, available with SAP Integration Suite. This applies to both cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-on-premise integration scenarios. 
Ensure the use of modern extensibility technologies  

Numerous extensibility options supported by SAP S/4HANA enable enterprises to adapt solutions to their requirements. It is advised to use the following extensibility options: 

  • Key-user Extensibility: Users can do this without using any additional tools to modify conventional functionality to suit their needs. It can be used to make minor adjustments, such as hiding default fields for user groups, or embedding business logic. 
  • Developer Extensibility: SAP S/4HANA Cloud makes it possible to expand functionality without the need for external tools. This allows users to customize standard functionality to meet their requirements. It can be used for making minor changes, such as hiding standard fields for specific user groups, or the integrated development tools in SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA, such as the full ABAP development environment in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, or the ABAP environment for SAPS/4HANA Cloud makes it possible to expand functionality without the need for external tools. This allows users to customize standard functionality to meet their requirements. It can be used for making minor changes, such as hiding standard fields for specific user groups, or for including additional business logic. 
  • Managed extensibility using SAP BTP (Business Technology Platform): The applications created on the platform are integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP S/4HANA, and this extensibility strategy employs SAP BTP (a platform as a service [PaaS (Platform as a Service)]) to extend the application by exploiting the capabilities available via services on SAP BTP. 
Ensure transparency on deviations  

The primary goal of the fifth rule is to ensure that there are no deviations present from rules 1-4 and all the changes are thoroughly documented for businesses to access for either future solution upgrades or when the service center applies system patches.  

The primary activity involved in this rule includes the capacity to comprehend the design choices made during the software’s execution. This is crucial during upgrades that could add new capabilities and call for the reconfiguration of current functions to function with updated software. This holds not just for the settings but also recently added system integrations and extensions. 

SAP advises businesses to use ALM (Application Lifecycle Management) solutions like SAP Solution Manager or SAP Cloud ALM to track significant design choices for configuration, extensions, and connectors. The ALM technologies give users the ability to capture important design decisions for the future as well as process flow decisions, design rationale, and documentation. As the system receives new release functionality and the design is altered, it is also crucial to keep this documentation up to date. 

I hope this blog was helpful for your implementation process! 

To know more about your implementation strategy and best practices, do contact our expertise! 

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