Metaphorically speaking, an ERP system is the heart of a company. Open-heart surgery should not be left to chance. Why this maxim should be given top priority when moving a "traditional ERP system" to SAP® S/4HANA is obvious: Any migration disruption could be catastrophic. What role do current business processes play in S/4HANA migration? How can the risk of the migration project be minimized? Why do experts recommend the accompanying use of a Process Mining solution? Let's take a closer look. Because the enterprise and software group SAP has set itself a deadline for 2025.
S/4HANA – the new rules of the game
The business process environment of the core product has been intentionally slimmed down, simplified and cleansed – and it should remain that way in order to be able to handle administration and updates flexibly and agilely. The core product is no longer "tinkered with" for individual functions. In the past, for example in SAP® ECC, this was normal. Today - or by 2025 at the latest – individual function enhancements take place on the SAP Cloud Platform, the new "place of innovation". For a move to S4/HANA, this means that your own processes must be mapped as close as possible "to the existing bloodstream", i.e. to the SAP standard processes, in order to use S/4HANA efficiently in the sense of the inventor. In summary: The transformation of the IT environment to SAP S/4HANA is not a simple software update, but rather a critical foundation in terms of digitalization and process performance. Even if the 2025 deadline sounds tough, SAP users have a great opportunity to sustainably optimize their process environment.
The question is not "if", but "how"
The typical starting point in many companies does not initially seem very promising with regard to the "new rules of the game" outlined: highly individualized business processes, historically grown, static systems. This is no reason to " cancel" the project. SAP users are not alone with this problem. On the contrary! Individual ERP configurations are the norm, and there are corresponding aids for SAP users, e.g.: an 800-page list, the "SAP Simplification List; a "SAP Readyness Check".
Since the Readyness Check does not prevent users from having to deal with the additional 800 pages of function lists, SAP experts recommend using additional solutions such as Process Mining. On the one hand, to minimize the risk of migration and conserve resources. On the other hand, to accelerate the project and generate sustainable benefits with regard to the company's own process environment.
How Process Mining acts as an operational companion
In order for the migration to succeed, companies need to check how much the individual adjustments deviate from the ideal flow – and this is exactly what Process Mining is predestined for. Using digital traces (SAP raw data / event logs), the actually lived processes are visualized in intuitive analysis interfaces. Process variants and deviations can be easily analyzed and compared with the standard.
It is not a theoretical ERP model that is checked with regard to migration, but the real functional flows including all their variants and workarounds. The transparency gained also leaves no room for subjective opinions. The functions affected by the migration can be filtered out. Thus, 800 pages of "SAP Simplification List" do not have to be searched through, but only the relevant transactions and functions. In addition, based on the automated process analysis, tidying up and a "shit-in, shit-out" can be avoided. The great thing about the technology is that it can be used for any ERP system (or other IT system) and companies of any size, as well as for any process.
After the migration is before the migration
Process Mining supports all "typical phases" of a migration project: concept & planning, template design, creation & testing, rollout, operations monitoring. This means that even in everyday operations, the technology is still worthwhile for continuous Process Performance Management.
A OnePager demonstrating in which project phases of the migration Process Mining can support in which way is available for free download in the Insider Portal ProcessMining BlackBox. In addition, you can find more infographics and technical information about Process Mining and Process Performance Management as well as exciting live webinars.
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