This year has seen a rapid acceleration of digital transformation in organisations across the globe. While companies have been making slow and steady progress in their transition to the Cloud, Covid-19 has shown a light on the need for flexible, digital first processes that can securely supply information wherever its needed. As a result, SAP modernisation has become one of the first priorities for many businesses. So how can you plan and execute a successful migration of your SAP systems?

Deadlines can only be extended so long!

Allied to the need for digital processes, everyone knows that the long-term strategy for SAP is the Cloud. The recent announcement to extend mainstream maintenance for its core applications of SAP Business Suite 7 until the end of 2027 can be seen as a stay of execution – but it’s little else. At one point, every SAP customer is going to have to migrate to S/4HANA in one shape or another. If you miss the 2027 deadline, you can expect hefty fees if you want continued maintenance of your on-premise systems.

SAP reports recent surveys showing almost 50% of customers plan to migrate to SAP S/4HANA within the next three years and the number with no plans has fallen to zero. Everyone familiar with the ERP system knows one thing for certain: SAP migration can’t be done in a day.  It takes a lot of planning and involves numerous different departments, as it concerns big topics such as licenses and your Cloud strategy.

Best advice is that you should start now.

Building the business case just became easier

In considering the core modernisation of systems and migration to S4/HANA, organisations need to build a solid business case. Prior to the pandemic, it may have been difficult to build a sense of urgency in the migration process but now things have changed.

Pillsbury Law puts it like this: “Notwithstanding the current COVID-19 crisis, companies should consider moving forward with S/4 HANA migrations to take advantage of the potential benefits of reduced operational risk and enhanced digital capabilities and to mitigate the risk of qualified SAP implementation resources becoming increasingly scarce as the deadline approaches.”

With ERP so pivotal to most businesses, the need for the flexibility, resilience and responsiveness to change of the Cloud becomes more pressing than ever. Starting with ERP, applications and overextending processes need to be much more self-aware and intelligent. Dealing with real time data and bringing much more insight to decision making processes is becoming a core criterion of competitive success.

Building the case for AWS

The first decision that needs to be taken is which Cloud platform you’re going to migrate to?  A growing number of UK and EMEA organisations are experiencing the hyper scalability, cloud native services, performance, security, cost effectiveness and efficiency of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With multiple cloud native services, on top of AI, ML, IoT functionalities and PaaS to PaaS integration, AWS allows you to transform how you conduct business with state-of-art tools to drive innovation.

Its hyper-scalable Cloud environment delivers ‘total modernisation’ where you have an integrated and automated environment using machine learning and advanced analytics to achieve intelligent and predictive decision-making. This is only achievable via a seamless flow of data across front-office systems and ERP and employing an “innovation first” mindset with the cloud native services at your disposal.

The proven track record of AWS on security, accompanied with third party validation and compliance frameworks ensures that your environment is not compromised. In addition, it provides the highest levels of business continuity and resiliency to ensure that your infrastructure capabilities can be extended quickly and securely to connect with everyone who needs them – both inside and outside your organisation.

Changing the way you think

SAP migration shouldn’t be viewed only with the terms of re-hosting or lift-and-shift.  Application modernisation offers the potential to re-think your goals for migration and your strategy for operations. There’s a plethora of possible routes that you can follow; re-factoring partially, re-architecting the landscape and replacing some environment components with SaaS.

Migrating to the Cloud offers a means to seamlessly integrate your SAP systems with your the surrounding digital ecosystem and break down information siloes to deliver full cycles of insights based on end-to-end access to data. Undoubtedly, this surrounding ecosystem will be dominated by digital services and apps developed on cloud native services in the very near future. Mobile applications, content delivery networks, IoT applications, AR/VR, bots and SaaS services will be the mainstream externally facing services of the modern organisation.

This is something that would not be possible with previous generations of SAP and migration becomes essential to enable the smooth PaaS to PaaS integration that will be the backbone of the modern architecture.

How can Runibex help?

The challenge of migrating your mission-critical systems and SAP installations to the Cloud can seem daunting. A qualified partner will ensure a smooth and cost-effective transition, and offer comprehensive managed services afterwards. With Runibex, you can minimise the risk and accelerate the time to value when migrating your SAP environment to AWS.

Runibex holds AWS SAP Competency Partner designation, which is awarded to partners who have demonstrated technical proficiency and proven success in SAP implementation, migration, and innovation. No matter what SAP system you run, we have the experience, tooling, methods, and best practices to streamline your migration or transformation.

To find out more about SAP services from Runibex, visit our web page.