The Future of Finance is … Great!
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⇨ Amazing technology and process innovations move finance boundaries.
⇨ Modern adoption options allow everyone to participate.
⇨ Incredible scientific advancements change the nature of finance service levels.
The future of finance for SAP organizations has never been brighter. Today, many process and technology innovations are available that allow users to do more with less. Crucially, these innovations can often be adopted without significant disruption and risk.
Critical innovations include in-memory databases, high data-volume and data-dimensionality processing, and data models optimized for the data capture in a single place. Being optimized for reporting and analytics, including simulation and predictive capabilities, are the standard today.
There is also an ever-larger stream of functional improvements and highly-disruptive finance process innovations. These cannot be introduced into existing legacy system environments. This is even more complex where they are heterogenous – a mix of SAP and non-SAP source system technologies and release levels.
Of course, there is the cloud. What took months and quarters to provision a new technical infrastructure is today, thanks to SAP and other key hyperscalers, is a matter of a name, address, and a credit card. And if you go, within minutes or hours. And all that at a lower cost, and higher service and security levels – what’s not to love about that?
Various options exist to deploy these innovations, from brownfield, selected data transition, and greenfield, to an even easier deployment using the public cloud version of S/4HANA. These can be suited to your organization’s specifics and complemented by implementation methodologies from SAP and the key SAP system integrators. Some even use robotics and machine learning to build new systems!
A central deployment of S/4 (SAP Central Finance) allows Finance to use intelligent finance capabilities without disruption at lower risk and with accelerated availability. With available replication capabilities for non-SAP ERP source systems, you can bring your finance together to a single source of truth on the latest capabilities without waiting until corporate rollouts have been completed.
Composable, two-tier architecture which negates the full deployment of an all-encompassing month allows for adoption of new innovative and intelligent capabilities. In many cases it comes as an addition to an existing installation, even where those are still on an SAP ERP/ECC release level.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning has made its way into various SAP finance processes and process execution where no rules exist, to support and improve decision making. And where rules do exist, robotics and rules-based processing capabilities have been added or can be set up to move the more trivial, low-value added work to the machines. To address or overcome the finance talent challenges, low-code or low-code workflow and app building capabilities have been added to ease execution and be built by anyone, not just experts in IT.
A great position to be in
All together, these innovations allow finance an unprecedented ability to support the business in its business transformation. They can provide insight on where to act and how to enable new business models, like participating in the subscription economy with corresponding billing and revenue recognition services. They also come at a lower finance cost, allowing these services to be brought to market.
They allow finance itself to transform, the way to execute processes, as well as transform their very own business model by leveraging self-service, shared and global services, and automation in the way those processes are orchestrated within the organization.
Much more to come in detailed articles on each of those topics above … stay tuned.
Make sure to download and read our SAP S/4HANA Finance and Central Finance Benchmark Report, available for all members of the SAPinsider Community.