In this constantly changing world, it is vital for businesses to prioritize business functions and align them toward achieving higher revenue and profitability goals. One effective and efficient way to do it is with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. This ingenious next-generation ERP solution from SAP offers businesses a competitive edge and provides complete control over business functions.

SAP S/4HANA features undoubtedly offer truly unique benefits. But whether SAP S/4HANA Cloud is right for you is still an open issue. Knowing everything there is to know will help you make the right decision and support the development and achievement of your business’s objectives. In this definitive guide, we will explore whether SAP S/4HANA Cloud is the right choice for your business.


What is SAP S/4HANA Cloud?

Maintained by SAP, S/4HANA Cloud is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP solution that is hosted on SAP’s servers. It is available for businesses in both public and private editions. The public cloud offers the full functionality of ERP, running in shared environments so that you can exploit efficiency and affordability. The public cloud is essentially operated in a multi-tenanted environment – meaning SAP runs your service in a shared environment. The private cloud has full S/4HANA capabilities, allows for partner add-ons, and specific customizations are basically single-tenanted systems. The SAP HANA database serves as the foundation for the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, which benefits from its in-memory processing and real-time data access.


SAP S/4HANA Cloud Over On-premise

SAP S/4HANA Cloud and On-Premise offer their own sets of benefits and convenience. Maximum control can be achieved from on-premise, while fast time-to-value can be achieved from the SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP also offers a hybrid delivery option that supports both on-premise and on-cloud situations. The basic recognition between SAP S/4HANA Cloud and On-Promise is:


SAP S/4HANA Cloud EditionSAP S/4HANA On-Premise
Infrastructure & Maintenance ModelThe system is provided by SAP, which is also in charge of maintaining it.Deployment and maintenance are implemented and managed by businesses with their own IT team.
Functional ScopeKey scenarios, integration with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central, Embedded ERP scenarios, SAP Fieldglass, SAP JAM, SAP Hybris Marketing, and SAP Ariba NetworkFull ERP Scope, SAP JAM and SAP Ariba Network, integration with SAP Hybris Marketing
ImplementationIt is quicker than S/4HANA On-Premises as the cloud version employs a ready-made platform that has already been supplied, installed, and tested by the cloud providerIt requires setting up a new environment which takes time, effort, cost, an IT team, and, in some cases, additional software and hardware purchases to integrate new features.
CustomizationIt is relatively customizable but provides far less freedom than On-Premises.Since the business handles all customization in-house, there is much more flexibility and control.
IntegrationsDue to the complexity and increased security threats associated with sending data over the internet, integration between different business systems can be challenging.It provides faster data transfer among systems and simpler integration over the internet.
Licensing ModelSubscription LicensingTraditional Licensing
ScalabilityScaling up or down is easier, faster and cheaper to meet the company’s changing needs.Needs long-term planning and commitment for scaling.
Upgrades and Support PackagesLess control over an upgrade schedule compared to On-Premises.Although time-consuming and expensive, businesses can choose whether to apply the most recent support packages as well as the frequency and timetable of software upgrades.


Who Can Choose SAP S/4HANA Cloud?

The SAP S/4HANA is the ideal ERP solution for large and mid-sized businesses looking for an effective and flexible database platform to scale. It is perfect for businesses that demand a high-performance service supporting their key business strategies while offering more agility, flexibility, and a quicker upgrade cycle. For businesses that are expanding quickly and need a platform that can alter and grow with them, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud version makes sense.

To reap the full benefits of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you will need to decide between its private and public editions. As far as the benefits are concerned, some are the same, but others are restricted in the Public as to the Private. The essential factors between the two editions are:


Essentials of SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private and Public

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private EditionSAP S/4HANA Cloud Public edition / Essential Edition
EnvironmentA single-tenant environment where a provider runs services in a dedicated environmentMulti-tenant environment owned and managed by a third-party provider
Cloud ConceptServices are maintained on a private network that is secured by a firewall.Services are provided to clients over a network that is accessible to the whole public.
Software as a Service (SaaS)It’s not a SaaS product of SAP. Only the infrastructure of deployment uses Cloud technology.It’s a completely modern SaaS ERP solution.
Lifecycle StabilityConditional. Depends on the level and type of modifications.Stable.
TCO and ROIHigher TCO.Lowest TCO and Highest ROI.
Core Components

  1. BPI (Business Process Intelligence)
  2. Tools
  3. SAP Business Network Starter Pack
  1. BPI – SAP Best practices Explorer and Digital Discovery Assessment, SAP Process insights Discovery Report, and Collaboration hub.
  2. Tools – SAP Launchpad service & mobile start app, SAP Learning Hub & SAP Cloud ALM, SAP Enable Now, and SAP Readiness Check and Custom Code Migration (migrations).
  3. SAP Business Network Starter Pack – Asset Intelligence Network, Ariba Network, and Logistics Business Network.
  1. BPI – SAP Best practices Explorer and Digital Discovery Assessment.
  2. Tools – SAP Learning Hub, SAP Cloud ALM, and SAP Enable Now.
  3. SAP Business Network Starter Pack – Ariba Network and Asset Intelligence Network.
Infrastructure ProviderThe customer’s preferred infrastructure supplier hosts S/4HANA’s deploymentSAP is the default infrastructure provider based on SAP S/4HANA Cloud
ImplementationBrownfield, Greenfield, and Selective Data transitionGreenfield
SAP Best Practices ExplorerYou can decide when to install the latest updates to the SAP Best practices material as long as they adhere to standard maintenance (5 Years)Customers with the necessary procedures running in their quality and production systems are automatically sent SAP Best Practices updates.
  • Customize and modify the SAP source code
  • Complete oversight and control with access to the system’s backend via the SAP GUI
  • Full access to the on-premise extensibility framework
  • Full IMG access
  • Customizations through SAP Fiori apps
  • SAP source code cannot be modified
  • No access to the backend GUI
  • Readily available SAP Business Technology Platform extension suites
Tools for Configuring and Managing S/4HANA DeploymentsTools for Managing the Business Processes:

  • SAP Solution Manager with SAP Best Practices Scenarios
  • Methods of Configuring SAP S/4HANA:
  • SAP Activate Methodology and SAP Best Practices content
  • For your system setup, use the SAP Activate Methodology and SAP Best Practices material as templates
  • Use only the Implementation Guide to configure your system
With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP Central Business Setup provides the system provisioning and configuration of RISE
Data Migration Options for New Implementation Using “Migrate Your Data-Migration Cockpit

  • New Implementation
  • System Conversion
Migrate data using staging tables

  • Transfer data using template files
  • Transfer data using a separate HANA staging database

Migrate data directly from the SAP system

Transfer data from the SAP ERP source system to target SAP S/4HANA system

  • Transfer data using template files
  • Transfer data using a separate HANA staging database
SAP PO IntegrationIntegrations for SAP Process Orchestration are created in SAP NetWeaver using the Advanced Adapter Engine Extended (AEX). In order to build up integration scenarios, AEX offers the connectivity capabilities of the Advanced Adapter Engine (AAE) in addition to design and configuration tools (ES Repository and the Integration Directory).Not available
Release CycleThe annual release of SAP S/4HANA On-Premise, considering the installation of at least one upgrade every five years to stay within mainstream maintenance.Two major releases per year. The installation of upgrades to a customer’s current scope is carried out automatically by SAP whereas

Continuous Feature Delivery (CFD) Update is delivered monthly.



How Does SAP S/4HANA Cloud Benefit You?

SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers endless and essential benefits for both business and IT spectrum. First, it frees businesses from in-person IT teams, IT hardware, and software maintenance. Instead, it is hosted on SAP’s servers. Second, you can profit from cutting-edge advancements, quick data processing, and flexible pricing structures. The cloud service also includes Machine Learning, Blockchain, Virtual and Augmented Reality, and voice-enabled technology that adds intelligence to ERP systems. And because S/4HANA runs in the cloud, businesses may access all its features without investing money in hardware or databases.


What Are the Challenges of SAP S/4HANA Cloud?

For as many benefits as it offers, the SAP S/4HANA Cloud also has a drawback. Its biggest and only drawback is that it usually cannot be modified and has fewer capabilities than the complete on-premises S/4HANA. Due to this, it is less appropriate for large enterprises that demand specialized capabilities and have complicated and variable business process requirements.


How Do You Ensure Seamless SAP S/4HANA Migration?

You have two choices when migrating to SAP S/4HANA. Enterprise architects distinguish between the brownfield and the greenfield methods in this context. The SAP system is built from the ground up using the greenfield approach. Even though all data is transmitted cleanly, procedures must be rebuilt and modified. Companies must overcome this effort when upgrading to the S/4HANA Cloud version since the entire system landscape needs to be redesigned. A system conversion occurs in the brownfield approach, frequently used in the on-premise solution. In other words, existing procedures are embraced and improved.


Final Takeaways,

65% of businesses surveyed in 2018 by LeanIX and PwC cited that SAP S/4HANA migration was a critical component of their digital development plan. That is why you need to start preparing for the S/4HANA migration immediately. It is, however, a multi-step process in that, a difficult one. We, Techatalyst, can help you make the journey to the SAP S/4HANA cloud seamless. We are one of the top SAP implementation companies in Mumbai and India, dedicated to making the SAP journey and experience easier.

Call Chaitanya Kagal (CK) to know more on +91-98924-56002 or drop a mail on

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