Back in 2014, the European software giant made a bold statement of ending maintenance of the older SAP solutions platform by 2025. This meant that the SAP user now had no choice, but to gravitate towards the SAP HANA platforms. 

Since the announcement, migration to SAP S/4 HANA platform built atop of in-memory database, SAP HANA became a norm. It was all about embracing changes and making the most of first-mover advantage. 

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SAP HANA stats 

According to an IDC survey, 73% of SAP users accepted that they were thinking of switching to the SAP S/4 HANA platform. On the other hand, 18% of the SAP users were in the process of deploying the migration plan. If we do the maths, only 9% of the users were not keen on migration. 

Migrating to SAP HANA 

The act of switching from an older version of SAP platforms like ERP central component and SAP R/3 to S/4 SAP HANA is not just about merely updating the system. There are diverse variables that need an assessment before implementing the change. 

The list of variables includes the assessment of the data stored, analysis of the business process, and finally, considering the infrastructure which will be the base of migration. We will look into three crucial challenges in SAP HANA migration, which also presents itself as an opportunity.

Challenges in SAP HANA migration

1) Evaluation of the business process 

As much as the challenge, the SAP HANA migrations also give the business to recuperate and assess the state of the working mechanism. The business can run checks on the working and evaluate the components that are of utmost importance so that it remains consistent with the new setup. 

The judicious selection saves a lot of time in the migration process. On the flip side, a business has an opportunity to track elements that are trivial and have become obsolete. So, the extra clutter does not stick in the system.  

A proper testing mechanism also helps gauge the performance of the components. Frequent reporting becomes with the new setup, to assess the effect of migration on the functionality. 

2) Take charge of security and performance

The innate nature of SAP platforms is to pool-in data from various and assign some sort of meaning to the data through the analytic reports. A proper analysis of the data helps to diagnose the bug and fix it. So, the performance of the business process is not hampered. 

In this entire process of data collection, security also plays a key role. Risks associated with the security of data is a crucial factor that demands attention before taking the migration decision. 

A business organization with a proper assessment of security measures has better a chance to reap benefits from the migration. The best way to approach the security assessment is to bring in the SAP S/4 HANA, and trained security experts to map out the plan for migration. 

3) Include changes as and when possible

A surface-level understanding of any software development project leads to an underestimation of the work which goes into the development phase. So, there is an inevitable delay in the completion of the process. Somewhat similar scenarios can arise when an organization is ready to go ahead with the SAP HANA migration

The best way to avoid such delay in the final output is to roll out the component of the system as and when available. Waiting for the entire set of systems, and then rolling out will only delay the process. 

In fact, business organizations can stick with existing components that are not developed. So, the natural process of working is not interrupted. This approach might not stop the delay. but it will subside the effects of delay. 

Conclusion 

The bottom line is that every business process interacts with the SAP either directly through the UI or indirectly through SAP-related platforms. An unplanned SAP HANA migration can stunt the growth of the organization with a negative impact on performance. So, going back to the drawing table before implementing the migration is the sanest approach to sync with the upgraded SAP eco-system.