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Why government departments must find the right SAP S/4HANA cloud migration approach

By Contributor, Fri 1 Oct 2021

Article by SNP managing director for A/NZ Brent Paterson.
 

Cloud continues to be a critical factor in keeping pace with digital transformation and maintaining productivity among the workforce.

In 2019-2020, more than 55% of organisations were using paid cloud services, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This trend is expected to continue as organisations increasingly leverage remote working due to the ongoing pandemic response.

According to Roy Morgan, in June 2020, 51% of Australian public sector employees were working from home, demonstrating the need for government departments to have reliable cloud software to support employees working remotely.
 
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a significant turning point in the accelerated adoption of cloud. This is especially true for departments that rely on enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and are preparing to transition to the SAP S/4HANA platform. However, to fully harness the benefits of cloud, government departments must start on the right foot and find the most appropriate cloud migration approach for their needs.

One critical success factor is identifying the most suitable cloud migration approach for government departments to take as they transition to SAP S/4HANA. This will give government departments more support to harness the opportunities of digitalisation. But systems and data must be moved efficiently and securely before this happens.

The choice of a migration path can significantly impact a transformation project, including the time it takes to implement. Government departments require highly reliable planning and have previously relied on the two traditional approaches of integrating new implementations (greenfield) or transforming existing systems (brownfield).

While greenfield and brownfield approaches each have benefits in terms of successful cloud migrations, most government departments require a more flexible approach to their digital transformations. The public sector relies on data being reliably stored and accessible — and maintaining secure access to this information is crucial as departments transition to new technologies.

Leveraging a more flexible approach to cloud migration provides government departments with considerable advantages in cloud migration, with no downsides. The right approach means minimal risk and disruption throughout the project to completion. Most importantly, more flexible approaches let government departments access the most relevant historical data in the upgraded S/4HANA system. Simultaneously, they can archive remaining data, thus dramatically reducing the production systems database size.

The right migration approach can have lasting benefits for government departments. Transitioning to SAP S/4HANA faster means the government department can quickly realise the advantages of cloud, which is increasingly valuable when it comes to ongoing lockdowns and the increased reliance on remote working practices. 

Additionally, accelerating the digitisation of government records ensures that these are recorded efficiently and securely for use as and when needed by government employees, regardless of their location.

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