Migrating to SAP HANA is a big step. Migrations are complex processes that can interrupt production and create the risk of losing data. Many companies have put off planning for their SAP HANA migration because of the pandemic. PricewaterhouseCoopers found that only 25% of companies surveyed have already migrated to S/4HANA. However, the longer such a major project is delayed, the greater the chance for error.

Preparation is the key to making a successful move to the latest generation of SAP HANA technology, if that is the right path for your company. To prepare for your SAP HANA journey, there are 3 steps you can take: building a business case, performing a technical assessment, and choosing an approach to implementation.

Here’s an overview of the 3 steps to laying the groundwork for SAP HANA migration:

Step 1: Building a Business Case

Before your company moves to SAP HANA, you need to convince business leadership that the move is a good idea. Company leadership wants to understand what the impact of the move will be on the business, what the related costs will be, and how it will benefit the business. Leadership needs to know that all the changes to processes, time, and expense are worth it.

Many organizations have an inflated view of the level of customization they need and mistakenly believe that S/4HANA is functionally incomplete. An SAP Business Scenario Recommendations Report (BSR) will give a more accurate picture of how current business processes map onto the new version of SAP HANA. By combining the findings of the BSR with a Technical Assessment, you can show business leaders how much customization, testing, and training is really necessary to make the transition.

Step 2: Performing a Technical Assessment

Along with the BSR, a Technical Assessment is an important way to prepare for SAP HANA migration. The Technical Assessment determines what customizations your company has and what T-code really needs to be changed based on usage and business impact.

Technical Assessments help remove fear and uncertainty by showing which transactions don’t need customization. Of the thousands of customizations most companies think they need, only 25% are actually required. In S/4HANA, some functions have been associated with other business processes and renamed. Out of the 25% required customizations, many are used infrequently.

By putting the information from the Technical Assessment in a graph or chart, you can visualize the findings, making it easier for business leadership to see where business impacts are going to be felt.

Step 3: Choosing an Approach to Implementation

Before moving to SAP HANA, your company must select the right approach to implementation. Clear Tech calls the 3 main approaches to implementation Bluefield, Greenfield, and Brownfield.

Every time SAP releases a new version, your company needs to perform assessments that extract data from your system and compare it with what is available through SAP HANA to determine the ideal approach to implementation.

The Bluefield approach is a hybrid approach that combines the Greenfield and Brownfield approaches. With the Bluefield approach, your company can retain the value of your existing solution while segmenting the go-live process for less potential disruption.

The Greenfield approach is a new implementation. With Greenfield, your company re-engineers processes and implements a new solution, surrendering all your historical data and starting over. This approach is the most disruptive and potentially expensive and should be undertaken if your current system really isn’t working for you.

The Brownfield approach is a migration that allows your company to leverage its existing solution. Tables are populated with data from your current system for a faster, less disruptive implementation.

Guidance Through the SAP HANA Migration Process

SAP has provided tools to help your company through the 3 steps needed to lay a foundation for an SAP HANA migration. Turning to a technology partner for guidance in choosing an approach and a hosting option may provide an unbiased second opinion about migration.

Clear Tech can take on the role as your trusted advisor. We offer many workshops and assessments related to SAP HANA migration, including an SAP HANA Readiness Assessment. We encourage you to involve your business stakeholders in these workshops.

Get more details on how to prepare for your SAP HANA journey. Read the Clear Tech eBook The Complete Guide to Upgrading to SAP HANA.