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SAP S/4HANA migration, deployment hot topics in 2018

What do CIOs need to know when migrating or deploying SAP S/4HANA? That seemed to be front of mind, based on our top 10 most popular stories for 2018.

Organizations with SAP systems to buy or maintain have an eye on SAP S/4HANA migration and deployment options. At least that's how it appears based on the top 10 most popular stories of 2018, where half the stories focus on these topics.

The articles in this list offer up strategic and practical advice from experts detailing what readers should expect from an SAP S/4HANA migration or deployment, how they can best prepare, and what questions they need to think through before pulling the trigger. Interspersed throughout are pieces on the Qualtrics acquisition, a new cloud services pricing model and how to make the most of SuccessFactors.

Based on page views, here is a countdown of the most-read SAP stories of 2018, starting with No. 10.

  1. What CIOs should know about S/4HANA public cloud vs. private cloud

For CIOs looking to deploy S/4HANA, choosing between a public or private cloud version is a big decision. This tip by Jawad Akhtar, an SAP logistics and supply chain management expert, outlines the considerations CIOs will have to think through, from cost to deployment timelines to industry support.

  1. SAP's Qualtrics acquisition adds CX to HR and transactional data

SAP made headlines in November when it announced plans to acquire Qualtrics, which makes customer experience management and voice-of-the-customer software. Maybe it was the deal's price tag that drew so much attention -- just a measly $8 billion. Or maybe it's the push SAP seems to be making to combine experience and operational data together -- and the uncertainty of whether the move will pay off.

  1. SAP Cloud Platform architecture is glue for new technologies

SAP seems to get the importance of having a flexible cloud architecture. This story details how the vendor has invested in building out its SAP Cloud Platform to not only bolster mobile back-end services, but to integrate cutting-edge technologies such as an IoT platform, blockchain as a service and machine learning capabilities. The story touches on SAP Leonardo, a collection of software and services that's meant to make implementing newer technologies more intuitive.

  1. Deployment options -- SAP S/4HANA Cloud vs. on premises vs. hybrid

SAP S/4HANA deployment is a running theme in this year's most-read stories. This tip, also by Jawad Akhtar, breaks down eight areas IT professionals should research -- from cost to scalability -- when considering SAP's cloud versus on-premises offerings. Separately, it also provides a bulleted list of things to consider with a hybrid option, which is a mix of on-premises and cloud-based services.

  1. What can employees do with the SAP SuccessFactors mobile app?

In this ask the expert piece, consultant Luke Marson gives a detailed description of how employees and HR leaders can use the mobile application from SAP's SaaS human capital management platform. Employees can perform day-to-day tasks such as search for colleagues or submit a time sheet, and management can perform a mix of duties from team management to signing a performance review. The mobile app can run on Android or iOS, and Marson helpfully breaks down app functions by operating system.

  1. SAP debuts consumption-based pricing model for SAP Cloud Platform

At the Mobile World Congress in Spain, SAP unveiled a new way to pay for cloud services. Rather than a flat monthly or annual subscription fee, the new pricing model charges by consumption. As this story reports, SAP Cloud Platform customers buy "cloud credits," which gives them the freedom to use any application. Usage is tracked, metered and billed accordingly, and SAP sends customers a report of services used and their balance of remaining cloud credits.

  1. SAP S/4HANA Cloud and indirect access will dominate 2018

What should customers expect from SAP in 2018? Consultants from the likes of Gartner, IDC and Constellation Research sound off in this story on how they expected SAP to emphasize machine learning and artificial intelligence, sharpen its SMB strategy and play up SAP S/4HANA migration to the cloud. Another issue they thought SAP needed to settle in 2018? Policies around indirect access to SAP software.

  1. What are the top three barriers to SAP S/4HANA migration?

Despite SAP's ending support of its ERP Central Component (ECC) in 2025, customers aren't making quick moves to undergo an SAP S4/HANA migration. In this story, SAP expert Jawad Akhtar lays out three reasons why. One reason? CIOs don't have enough information to make a compelling business case.

  1. Pros and cons of SAP Cloud Platform integration tools

SAP Cloud Platform offers a variety of integration tools, but governance, risk and compliance requirements are helping muddy the waters as to what tool is best for the job. That's where this story starts. It ends with some insight on how artificial intelligence may help solve that problem.

  1. SAP S/4HANA migration: What you need to know

The No. 1 most-read SAP story of 2018 by far isn't a story at all. Instead, it's a collection of stories dedicated to answering the most pressing questions readers may have about the SAP S/4HANA migration. As the editor's note for this essential guide makes clear for readers wedded to SAP ECC, the decision to migrate is not an if but a when. These stories were written and compiled to help customers map out a strategic plan that makes an SAP S/4HANA migration work for them.

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