What does SAP Digital Core mean?

Digital Core is a concept according to which all applications in the company are networked with each other – the prerequisite for being able to use data throughout the company and beyond, in real time. This concept is currently being expanded with the demand for a "Clean Digital Core": in-house developments in the core are to be minimized – or better yet, eliminated – in favor of cloud-compliant adaptations. SAP sees both of these guiding principles as the basis for a continuous and sustainable digital transformation of companies.

All data, all business areas, everything in real time

SAP S/4HANA as Digital Core is SAP's technical and conceptual response to the global digitalization trend. Against this background, Digital Core is not an SAP product, but rather an IT concept that offers companies the highest possible degree of agility, flexibility, and responsiveness.

The idea of Digital Core

In the Digital Core environment, all applications are interconnected. This is the only way that data can be used in real time throughout the entire company and beyond – both the front end, i.e., the applications, and the back end, i.e., the IT infrastructure, are transformed accordingly.

Digital Core also extends the company's current business processes by connecting to networks of suppliers, customers, devices and machines.

"Having a digital core such as SAP S/4HANA will drive the transformation needed to compete in today's digital economy."

SAP S/4HANA is the next generation business suite that enables companies to reinvent business models and drive new revenues and profits. The new suite is able to easily connect to people, devices, and business networks in real-time to deliver new value in the digital economy.

From: Digital Core for the Digital Age, SAP News 2015

A digital core for digital transformation

SAP S/4HANA brings with it a simplification of the system architecture and the data model. Data from all specialist areas can be processed in fractions of a second.

The elimination of the separation of transactional and analytical systems now makes it possible to analyze even large volumes of data at the smallest granular level.


Together with the simplified data model, an intuitive and role-based user interface is provided.

The goal of the SAP Fiori design system is to simplify the use of SAP software and enable individuals and teams to collaborate more effectively, quickly and efficiently.

Improved performance and speed

SAP coined the term Digital Core together with the deployment of SAP S/4HANA as a Business Suite on the SAP HANA platform and was intended to underline the current positioning in terms of openness, flexibility and extensibility in technology, business and ecosystem.

Simulations, predictions and decision support now in real time are the result of the unified, simplified data in SAP S/4HANA.

From Digital Core to Clean Core

SAP S/4HANA is constantly being further developed. With each new release, new and innovative functionality is added to the core of the software. Classic expansion methods, especially core modifications, often get in the way of smooth software upgrades or conversions and entail extensive maintenance efforts. SAP calls the new principle, which is designed to ensure speed, security, stability and all possibilities for updating, "Clean Digital Core".

Clean Core as a concept for modern, flexible and cloud-compatible ERPs

"Clean Digital Core" is an approach pioneered by SAP that aims to keep a company's ERP system "clean", i.e. free of customizing code.

This is usually achieved by decommissioning or replacing legacy systems, reducing complexity, and standardizing processes and technologies. The advantage is better maintainability, easier transition to the cloud and lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

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