Optimising financial processes

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Something to Consider: PwC Survey Highlights Risks and Opportunities of Cloud ERP, S/4HANA Enabled Transformation

Something to Consider September 2020 1

Transforming a global business on a whole new technology stack is no small feat. This will be the reality for many companies using SAP, with the announcement that traditional SAP ERP will be going out of maintenance in the next few years as they focus on the shift for all customers to S/4HANA.

Like all big technology transformations, it’s not just about the IT changes and latest server updates. Processes will have to be standardized and transformed for the new S/4HANA capabilities to be realised. This is a huge opportunity for companies to improve, optimise and transform but it also represents an enormous challenge.

In a recent survey by PwC about the current migration status of companies to S/4HANA, there was some interesting statistics that came to light:

  • 46% of those surveyed have not started an S/4HANA project and 5% will not go to S/4HANA at all
  • only 8% have completed migration
  • only 37% of those surveyed expect recurring savings
  • 42% of those surveyed expect a 1-3 year project
  • 42% expect a 3-5+ year project

Whilst some of these numbers don’t sound promising, there are some companies that have already successfully implemented and transformed business operations and are reporting positive outcomes. Technology can be a catalyst for process change but there is no point investing in the latest technology if your processes aren’t optimised first.

We were lucky enough to be joined in discussion by the Chief Digital Officer of Global chemicals firm, Arlanxeo, Dr Hermann Schuster, as he shared insights on driving change in the technology led transformation that he is heading up. According to McKinsey 70% of digital transformation initiatives don’t deliver – it was great to hear from Arlanxeo who are part of the 30% exception.

Hermann discussed his experiences and lessons learned the hard way, as well as a roadmap of the future, taking into account the current crisis, in their ongoing transformation program.

As one of the trailblazers in this area of success, his insights are worth a read or listen to, you can find them here

If you would like to read the further survey findings and recommendations you can find the PwC full report here

Our ‘Something To Consider’ snippets are framed as small, digestible, ‘dashes of insight’ around the pillars of what we define as “World Class Finance” – Process Optimization, Financial Control and Compliance, and Risk Assurance, all underpinned by technology enablement and integration.