If there’s one phrase the whole world is familiar with, it’s ‘the new normal’.
We use it with reference to everything: going shopping, staying in touch with friends, paying bills. COVID-19 disrupted our lives to such a degree that we’ve had to embrace a new way of living our lives.
Truth is, I’m not a huge fan of the phrase.
Because ‘new normal’ sort of implies a new temporary normal; that once we emerge from this situation, we’ll slip back into comfortable habits and customs of the past.
That won’t be the case. As time moves on, it’s becoming more and more apparent that things have changed on a permanent basis – and will continue to change going into the future.
Nowhere is this felt more keenly than in business. Business big and small need to be ready to change course to be able to evolve – and even thrive – in uncertain times. For that a Cloud ERP based-system like S/4HANA is a core ingredient.
Preparing for the future
In general, I think SAP customers know the move to S/4HANA is inevitable. SAP themselves have given a deadline of 2027 – after which previous iterations will no longer be supported. Businesses simply don’t have any other choice.
But therein lies the problem. Because with that deadline in place, businesses tend to view the move as a simple IT project rather than a business-critical mission.
But is that even an issue if the output is just the same? As long as a business makes the transition to S/4HANA, their motivation doesn’t really matter?
It does matter, if nothing else because of the timing. Those who see the move as an obligation rather than a real value-adding exercise will never see it as a business priority. Many will put it on the backburner, inevitably leaving it up until the very last minute, or even miss the deadline entirely.
Now is the time for change
Many businesses ask me ‘is now really the time to transition?’ It’s a fair question. Afterall, most companies have enough on their plate just keeping the lights on, let alone going through a redefining transformation project.
To answer that, I’d encourage you to scroll back to the top and look at the title the article: ‘the next normal’. Everyone is experiencing difficulties at the moment. But the ones that are pulling through are those that already have that transformational foundation in place. The agility and insights S/4HANA brings will irrefutably help you weather any (COVID) storm.
But it goes deeper that than. The companies that will emerge from the pandemic won’t be the ones who tried to go back to their old way of doing business. They will be the ones that spent their time reimaging their future.
So I’d argue now is the time to take the plunge. Make the most of the disruption. Perform the heart surgery your business needs now so when you emerge, you’ll be in the strongest place possible.
The next normal
There is always going to be a next normal. Once the conveniences of the post-pandemic generation of businesses become commonplace, society is always going to be asking ‘what comes next?’
There’s no doubling back in business – we always need to push forward.
S/4HANA is a key part of that story. Along with the move to the cloud, it’s one of the most significant steps you can take to make your business future-ready.
It will empower you to take full control over your data, making it the life blood of your organization and enabling you to fully embrace remote working and automation, as well as giving you the power to predict and make smart, data-driven decisions.
So don’t wait for the last minute. You shouldn’t be migrating just because of the deadline. S/4HANA needs to be a priority because it will deliver value to your business from day one. Take a look at this post about how it transforms customer experiences.
It’s also important that you take the right approach to transitioning. At Fujitsu, we have three approaches: Green, Brown, and Bluefield transition. Bluefield is an especially exciting approach. Powered by SNP, it’s a new, fast pathway to S/4HANA that leverages the power of software automation while providing completely visibility. Read more about it here.
In any case, no matter how you choose to transition, every day you delay is a day where opportunity is left on the table.
So start building your business case, and ensure that when the pandemic is over, you’ll be ready for whatever the future throws at you. To learn more the benefits of S/4HANA, please take a look at this IDC whitepaper.