Saturday 12 August 2017

The Journey to SAP HANA or S/4HANA: Choose Your Own Adventure

For any company moving to SAP HANA or S/4HANA, choosing a data management strategy is an essential part of the journey. The first step on the path to migration, though, is choosing which path to take. And of course, like any journey, a properly planned itinerary and a map are critical to getting to your intended destination.

One approach to the move to a HANA environment is migration from a source environment. Deciding when to start the migration to SAP HANA or S/4HANA will impact the process. For most companies, the answer should be “now” – but there are a number of important factors to consider. Using proven SAP best practices for data management is the best way to combat the size, cost and complexity issues you’ll face, but different data strategies can be used depending on the size of the SAP system. So, which path is right for your organization? Here are two scenarios you can take on the road to SAP HANA or S/4 HANA when using a migration strategy.

1. Large Data Volumes: A More Complex, Time-Consuming and Costly Migration

Compared to companies with smaller systems, if the data volumes in existing SAP systems are 10 TB or more, migration will take longer(in some cases, even not being able to complete the final migration in the allotted time) and will be more complex and expensive. To ensure the migration costs remain low while still meeting the intended go-live date, it’s important to start planning now and utilize the correct tools.

Shrinking the size of the system is critical in this scenario. But how can an organization remove several terabytes of data from its system – and quickly? Data archiving before a system change will solve the size, complexity and cost problems you will be facing with a large database. Automated software solutions are available to streamline the complete archiving process. These solutions enable organizations to run multiple archiving jobs in parallel, around the clock. This not only reduces the time it takes to archive the data, but also allows IT and business teams to focus on other tasks.

2. More Time, Less Data: A Phased Approach

Data management strategies aren’t just beneficial or necessary for companies with large systems. Companies with smaller SAP systems (less than 10 TB) can also greatly benefit from data management, but may have the benefit of taking a phased approach. This enables companies to reduce data volume, lower IT costs, and improve system performance gradually, giving the company more time to prepare for an eventual migration to SAP HANA or S/4HANA. It also allows IT teams to gain the support of its business users while also maximizing the amount of data that can be archived.

Choosing the alternative “Greenfield” approach to the move to the new HANA environment leaves organizations with a different challenge. Companies that do choose to do a greenfield implementation of SAP HANA should put a data management strategy in place to manage the information that will be left behind in legacy systems. In either case, reducing the size of SAP systems now not only reduces the cost and complexity of the migration process but delivers other benefits such as improved system performance, reduced risk and lower total cost of operating SAP systems.

Choosing which strategy is best for your company is part of the journey and companies should start planning now if they want to achieve the best results. There are best practices that can be leveraged for any given scenario, choose wisely based on your situation and navigate the map that’s best for you.

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