What should companies consider when migrating to S/4HANA Cloud?

April 4, 2022 ZTalent

Although conventional SAP S/4HANA implementations are a combination of technical migration and business transformation, SAP customers approach these projects separately. This, for SAP Inside, is a pity, as a combined step offers several advantages: digitization of the IT landscape with high innovation potential, new components and shorter workflows, as well as reduced costs, durations and system failures.

In this way, simultaneous migration enables companies to combine two strategic transformation projects and reduce the overall workload. So what should companies consider when migrating to S/4HANA Cloud? In this ZTalent blog post we tell you a series of recommendations.

1- Plan carefully and with enough margin

To begin with, it’s important to identify the reasons for wanting to use the cloud. Companies want to free themselves from the burden of a large local data center and find a simpler alternative that allows them to save costs or respond to unforeseen events quickly.

On the other hand, they also need to have an overview of their current IT landscape. Questions such as the size of the system, whether it can be completely or partially relocated or what data and applications are used must be answered. Based on these, it will be possible to plan the project in line with your corporate strategy, decide on the ideal cloud infrastructure and select a suitable provider.

In addition, it may be worthwhile to clean up the existing SAP environment before migrating. If companies can reduce the volume of data in their systems, they will need less cloud storage later on, resulting in considerable cost savings. This cost reduction potential is often overlooked.

2- Better safe than sorry

Serious mistakes can occur when deciding to migrate to S/4HANA Cloud. Thus, it’s highly advisable to try to foresee potential pitfalls in plenty of time. In turn, companies are advised to set aside sufficient resources for the testing phases with S/4HANA Cloud. In order to properly plan or document a migration and ensure that balance sheets are not distorted, close coordination with auditors is essential, especially when migrating financial systems.

One example of such potential failures is not taking into account the interfaces that exchange information with internal and external communication partners. There are usually several thousand of these digital connection points, and they should all be identified before migrating to S/4HANA Cloud and converted or updated during the project.

3- Never underestimate technical issues

It’s no less important to weigh how to perform the migration to S/4HANA Cloud on a technical level. It’s advisable to use a transformation software and an automated procedure. This way, companies can migrate data quickly and securely and avoid system downtime, as business processes need to be stopped during the conversion.

Companies with continuous operations or operating globally must minimize system downtime, as it quickly generates huge costs. A modern migration approach enables SAP systems to be converted with almost zero downtime, allowing operations to continue largely uninterrupted. In contrast, the same migration with a standard approach would take well over a weekend and disable the system for that entire time.

Finally, the software chosen must also provide a vision for the future. How will the anticipated changes affect your systems? By simulating these changes prior to migration, companies can minimize costs and risks and always remain in control.

A strong partnership thanks to Cloud

The giant public cloud provider Microsoft has decided to rely on the services of RISE with SAP on Microsoft Cloud. It’s the first public cloud provider to adopt RISE with SAP to internally transform some of its large SAP ERP implementations.

Charlotte Yarkoni, president of Commerce and Ecosystems at Microsoft, said their goal is to “simplify and accelerate our own migration to S/4HANA Cloud. Leveraging the power of the RISE with SAP solution on Azure will give us the flexibility and agility to scale quickly, meet our own business needs and share that expertise with our customers.”

For his part, SAP’s Chief Digital and Information Officer, Florian Roth, explained that Microsoft’s move to RISE with SAP is a “sign of the commitment and strength of the SAP and Microsoft partnership to simplify the customer journey to the cloud by accelerating the adoption of SAP S/4HANA Cloud on Microsoft Azure.”


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