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February 16, 2023

De-risk SAP S/4HANA migration to the AWS Cloud in 3 Phases

The shift in IT cloud spending

Gartner predicts that by 2025, a “cloud shift” will occur, shifting over 50% of enterprise IT spending from traditional IT to public cloud computing. While cloud adoption is expected to boom, so will the associated challenges, complexities, and costs. 

SAP cloud migrations are no exception - they often encompass hundreds of servers, spanning multiple regions and teams with intertwined dependencies. The programs are resource intensive and can be multi-year projects, carry a high risk for delays and going over budget. A recent article by McKinsey anticipates “approximately $100 billion of wasted migration spend is expected over the next three years.” 

To manage the overall migration process, enterprises struggle with spreadsheets, emails, and siloed project management solutions which often leads to costly delays. 

SAP S/4HANA cloud migrations with Cutover and AWS

Cutover, an AWS Advanced Partner, helps organizations accelerate and de-risk SAP S/4HANA cloud migrations with a Collaborative Automation cloud platform that connects people, applications, and technologies. Mapping dynamic, automated runbooks to AWS’ three-phase migration process, Cutover provides a platform for enterprises to plan, orchestrate, and execute activities with real-time visualization across wave migrations down to the task level.  Whether through a native migration (rehost) or the RISE with SAP solution, Cutover’s dynamic runbooks can help.

The Cutover platform helps customers during the most critical phases of the project to ensure they aren’t missing deadlines, upstream and downstream dependencies, tasks or milestones. Removing the silos that spreadsheets and disparate systems create, Cutover provides one solution (a single source of truth) that combines human and automated tasks during a migration. From cloud migration planning through to final decommissioning steps, Cutover orchestrates complex database and application server migration tasks across different teams and technologies with real time visibility and governance.

‘Using Cutover, we have total alignment, visibility, and success in all objectives across our SAP rollout and full confidence that we will complete the program early.’ 

Global Lead - Major Pharmaceutical Organization 

SAP S/4HANA assess and mobilize phases: precisely plan cloud migrations

During the Assess and Mobilize phases of the AWS migration process, it’s critical to set the foundation for your SAP cloud migration journey. AWS provides prescriptive guidance on migration strategies, known as the 7 Rs model, to help enterprises safely migrate to the cloud with speed. Typically, a native SAP cloud migration to AWS will be either a rehost (lift and shift) or replatform (lift and reshape). 

Instead of planning tasks in spreadsheets or disparate tools and referencing documentation in multiple locations, Cutover provides one solution for all of your migration needs. Cutover’s automated runbooks and pre-configured lists of tasks (i.e. application server migrations vs. database migrations) helps orchestrate the following SAP HANA migrations: 

  • AnyDB database (IBM DB2, Oracle Database, or SQL Server) to SAP HANA on AWS
  • SAP HANA from other platforms to AWS
  • SAP HANA on AWS to an EC2 High Memory Instance
migrating SAP HANA from other platforms to AWS

Planning the right way requires dependency mapping, cross-functional team collaboration and precise budgeting. Done correctly, this can be the lengthiest phase of a cloud migration. Imprecise planning can doom the entire project. 

Cutover can help. Advance the assessment and mobilization phases of your cloud migration with Cutover’s workspaces and runbooks to organize migrations across multiple environments and ensure customizations and integrations will work after cutover, no pun intended. A pre-configured runbook template, following AWS prescriptive guidance, safeguards the migration and includes a list of tasks in a certain order with dependencies assigned to an individual, team, or technology. For example, In-application tasks outline AWS MGN setup guidance to guide application teams. 

What about a cut-over rehearsal before the live event? A spreadsheet doesn’t easily illustrate conflicts and overruns. With Cutover, use the detailed map of activities to check for conflicts and dependencies during a program rehearsal. Validation tasks streamlines the migration and requires task owners to input information or make a decision on tasks including final go/no go, approval processes, regulatory oversight, migration region, and more. 

‘As a Project Manager, not having to spend all of my time speaking to stakeholders and instead being able to focus on the cutover - it's the first time this has been possible, it's the first time that I have not spent all of my time chasing. We had time to do our jobs managing the cutover.’

Project Manager - Major US Healthcare Provider

SAP S/4HANA runbook template
Figure 2: The SAP S/4HANA runbook template with a dynamic task list for the migration

SAP S/4HANA migrate phase: gain efficiencies in orchestration

Orchestrating work across a complex, multi-year SAP S/4HANA cloud migration which encompasses thousands of tasks requires streamlined communication and collaboration across people, applications, and technology. It’s important to remove unnecessary delays and gaps which enable organizations to: 

  • Compress timelines
  • Have more time to course correct
  • Pre-empt risks  
  • Identify conflicts across the program

SAP S/4HANA cloud migration visibility

Visibility is crucial during any IT cutover and an SAP S/4HANA cloud migration is no different. Cutover helps you minimize risks and downtime while accelerating the speed of your SAP cloud migration with complete visibility, collaboration and built-in communication capabilities. Unlike spreadsheets with lists of tasks, Cutover’s node maps help you quickly identify parallel vs. sequential tasks and dependencies between servers so you can manage the critical migration path, and stay on schedule. The dynamic editing capabilities during the migration enables you to change the order of server migrations, on the fly.

SAP S/4HANA migration Cutover node map
Figure 3: The node map illustrates task dependencies in an SAP S/4HANA migration

Use the rehearsal mode to test the migration process, reducing risks in advance. Receive automated notifications letting users know when a task requires action, guiding all teams through each process (monitoring, testing, validation, etc.) even when they’re scattered across different locations. 

SAP S/4HANA cloud migration integrations 

Integrations are complex and time-consuming, but a necessary evil. No enterprise runs on one system alone. ERP systems are often the epi-center of a company’s technology ecosystem with integrations feeding data in and out, enabling smooth operations. During your migration, use Cutover’s pre-built integrations with AWS Service Catalog and AWS System Manager (SSM) to provide  seamless interface between AWS and Cutover - saving time, automating provisioning and increasing efficiency. The custom integration capabilities enable you to connect your SAP S/4HANA system with any third-party application.

Secure & efficient SAP S/4HANA migration management 

Keeping all stakeholders fully aware of activities and progress throughout the migration is a job in and of itself. Sharing spreadsheets with complicated pivot tables and manual charts provides information that is instantly outdated, creating a gap in knowledge and unclear view of true migration progress. Cutover’s real-time dynamic dashboards provide complete visibility throughout the entire migration - from planning through decommissioning. Free up your project management time and enable more effective steering - less data entry into a spreadsheet and more time proactively identifying issues and making decisions to move the migration forward.

Security & accessibility during SAP S/4HANA migration 

With any complex project, assigning rights by roles and using least privilege best practices helps ensure overall security. With Cutover, maintain control and security by role, runbook or workspace with permission-based access. 

runbook permission-based access

SAP S/4HANA modernize phase: optimize workloads and business processes

An IT team’s work is never done. After go-live and debrief sessions, the next step is often to optimize and extend your SAP S/4HANA with AWS native services. Reuse Cutover’s templated runbooks and make any necessary adjustments based on lessons learned from the dashboards or audit trail, providing task-level evidence of every activity completed, by individual, team or technology.

Cloud migration dashboards

Accelerate your SAP S/4HANA journey to the cloud

Cutover can help teams efficiently migrate SAP S/4HANA to the AWS Cloud with dynamic, automated runbooks. Here’s three key takeaways from this blog post:

  1. Precise planning is crucial to successfully migrating SAP S/4HANA to AWS. Spreadsheets and disparate tools lack the real-time visibility, task and milestone details and collaboration needed.
  2. Provide the right people, the right task-level details and an efficient way to communicate throughout the migration process to reduce risks and downtime.
  3. The project doesn’t end with the cut-over, but you don’t have to start from scratch. Identify latencies, apply lessons learned, optimize plans and then reuse runbook templates to gain efficiencies. 
About Cutover

Cutover is the leading cloud provider for Collaborative Automation, interconnecting teams, applications, and technology to successfully manage the estate of IT applications and services. Learn more about how Cutover can help you accelerate your journey to the AWS Cloud check out X, Y and visit www.cutover.com

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