SAP S/4HANA: what’s in it for the public sector?


by Pierre Blauwart - SAP Director
by Vincent Forge - Client Executive - Public Sector
| minute read

In recent years, cloud computing has gained a lot of momentum in the business world. To the point that it brought along the move of enterprise application software to the public cloud, with SAP’s ERP business suite S/4HANA serving as a prime example. All of which probably comes as no real surprise to anyone, since cloud computing today is generally known to help large enterprises achieve increased speed, performance, security and reliability. But does that apply to the public sector as well?

One question frequently being asked, for instance, is whether organisations in the public sector should adopt SAP S/4HANA? The fact is that quite a number of public enterprises are equally working on complex financial and accounting structures. For those enterprises, transforming to SAP S/4HANA could very well be the ideal move. 

“New Generation of Intelligent ERP”

Launched in 2015 and promoted by SAP as the “New Generation of Intelligent ERP”, SAP S/4HANA has been tagged as the biggest update to SAP’s ERP strategy in over twenty years. It features an integrated ERP system for large enterprises that is optimized for and sold as a package with SAP’s own in-memory database SAP HANA. In fact, whereas SAP’s former ERP solutions were all designed to run on several database platforms, including those from other suppliers like IBM, Microsoft and Oracle, the current SAP Business Suite 4 (S/4) only runs on SAP HANA. In addition, with SAP Fiori, this ERP package boasts a user experience (UX) that makes the entire solution intuitively easy to use on any device.

General benefits

SAP S/4HANA helps businesses effectively perform day-to-day activities such as procure-to-pay, request-to-service, order-to-cash, etc. It also drives efficiency and establishes business continuity by allowing businesses to run their IT management more smoothly. Furthermore, it can help them protect their information assets and enhance their enterprise security by detecting and eliminating business threats.

    Then there’s the S/4HANA database solution. Not only does it offer the best way to store data in real time, but it also offers real-time analysis of given data, so that company procedures can be reformed and optimized with intelligent automation. Better and faster decisions are guaranteed with embedded analytics and digital assistants.

    Making the case for the public sector

    Of course, as in the private sector, SAP S/4HANA can also be used to strengthen finance teams in the public sector. Just as SAP S/4HANA machine learning and predictive analysis can be used to observe, improve and control the overall performance of any organisation – whether private or public.

    The public sector can, however, take particular advantage of SAP S/4HANA to meet the increasing demands of its clients and improve the quality of its customer services. By using this innovative technology to deliver updated and excellent services, public enterprises can effectively improve their customer experience and satisfaction. More particularly, they can use SAP S/4HANA as a vehicle for new service delivery in the areas of proximity and citizen participation (e. g. e-government), quality of life improvement and transport (e. g. real-time measurement and control of traffic flows) and safety and environment (e. g. intelligent street lighting management). Those use cases alone should make the merits of transitioning to S/4HANA quite clear to everyone in the public sector.