SAP S/4 HANA removes the common obstacles associated with legacy ERP applications, such as batch latency, complex landscapes and manually driven processes. It has been designed to operate exclusively on SAP’s proprietary HANA in-memory database and therefore is intended to significantly improve overall system performance.
This huge architectural change has meant that the application can be redesigned to simplify processing steps. For example, the SAP ECC Finance module relied on many different tables to separate headers, line item details and supporting master data attributes, which made for a very complex data model.
With SAP S/4 HANA, the database is able to cope with greater data volumes and complexity within single tables or views. So the volume of tables and structures are simplified. This should therefore make reporting easier, and as such increase the transparency of information. This simplifies the landscape options, as it means that there is the opportunity to consolidate the system landscape.
Now there is no need for separate SAP Advanced Planning and Optimisation (APO) or Business Warehouse systems, as you have the HANA database. Also, by mandating SAP HANA as the database, you’ll further reduce the complexity of your deployment options, while presenting a cost saving opportunity through the removal of separately licensed third-party databases.
Despite this code base change, there are familiar aspects to SAP S/4 HANA. The table structure is flatter, but the majority of the standard SAP ECC tables still exist. From the user interface perspective, there is still an ABAP user interface, which looks and behaves in a very similar manner to SAP ECC. However, this is intended for use by administrators only. For end users, the intention is to use the SAP Fiori user interface.
With S/4 HANA, SAP has also recognised that customers are expecting more agile deployment approaches, so they have also offered different implementation scenarios to align more with a cloud deployment model. As such, SAP S/4 HANA is available as a traditional on-premise solution but there is also a version available as a public cloud option. There is also a managed cloud option to provide the middle ground
SAP S/4 HANA has been designed with simplicity in mind, although that is generally intended for the end-users, rather than implementers, systems integrators or administrators. From a security perspective, you can expect significant involvement in an SAP S/4 HANA implementation, as there are some fundamental changes to the way in which these simple processes are delivered to users.
Download the rest of this guide to gain a practical understanding of the new security considerations that come with implementing SAP S/4 HANA – helping you side-step the mistakes of the previous ERP implementations.
This article is sponsored by Turnkey Consulting