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Why selective data transformation is the best way to transition to S/4HANA

By Contributor
Mon 5 Jul 2021

Article by Acclimation technology practice manager Frank Magliozzi.


Since SAP announced last year that it would extend support and maintenance for the Business Suite 7 software through to 2027, business executives have been preparing for the transition to S/4HANA. One of the biggest challenges for organisations migrating to S/4HANA is identifying the best migration approach to take, and getting this decision right is critical for success.

Classic migration processes like greenfield (undertaking a new implementation from scratch), and brownfield (a technical conversion or upgrade where minimal process re-engineering is undertaken), often require companies to refurbish legacy systems. This can further complicate the migration to new enterprise resource planning (ERP) environments like SAP S/4HANA. 

However, companies can access the advantages of both processes by instead utilising SDT for a smoother, more efficient migration.

SDT combines multiple projects and requirements into one central project. It lets organisations more comprehensively align project requirements with business requirements and ongoing technological needs to future-proof their organisation more effectively.

Technology migrations can be complex and overwhelming. Therefore, business executives need to make strategic decisions early on to ensure the migration approach they take to S/4HANA creates a reliable base for digitisation while also minimising potential risks.

Companies that harness the power of the SDT can incorporate broader business transformations, such as cloud migrations and process re-engineering, into the SAP S/4HANA migration for a more efficient transition. This reduces the need for transformation projects to be conducted independently, significantly reducing the time and costs required for a S/4HANA migration.

SDT lets companies archive historical data while simultaneously migrating and using master data and transactional data in the new, upgraded system. This means companies that opt for a more streamlined SDT approach will have access to S/4HANA quicker than they would by taking a more classic greenfield or brownfield approach. 

Additionally, the SDT approach provides a higher level of security, as it relies on automated processes — reducing the potential for errors from more manual approaches.

While SDT is a better and more efficient way to transition to SAP S/4HANA, it can still be challenging for business executives in organisations conducting wider business transformations. Engaging the services of specialist migration partners can help to streamline projects, facilitating access for organisations to industry and migration expertise.

Ineffective migrations can significantly impact business success, particularly if there are delays resulting from the transition to SAP S/4HANA. Engaging a migration services partner will provide organisations with additional support from dedicated migration teams to facilitate a smooth transition to SAP S/4HANA at every stage of the migration process.

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