ERP migration planning: Do these 5 things first

SAP S/4HANA has many advantages: real-time analytics, better data management, process harmonization and more. However, the path to get there is a difficult one for many organizations.

10/26/2020  |  3 min


  • S/4HANA

It's all about preparation

From hybrid IT environments and downtime to unpredictable project duration and a lack of resources, there is never a shortage of stakeholders who would rather wait. With adequate preparation, there’s no cause for alarm. If you educate your senior leaders, take a hard look at your data, test your migration in a sandbox system, and get the right people involved both internally and externally, you’ll be well on your way to a successful and smooth transition to SAP S/4HANA.

Get senior leaders on board early

Migrating an ERP system is a huge undertaking, and it will disrupt the business ¬– there’s no way around that. Making sure your senior leadership understands the long-term benefits of migrating your SAP ECC system to S/4HANA will make it easier to get the resources you need to make the migration a success with as little downtime as possible. Share with them the improved functionality your organization will be able to take advantage of with the new system, including better transparency and a deeper understanding of the historical data you already have.

Decide what data needs to move

Not everything needs to come with you to the new system. This a great time to take a look at your archiving requirements and go through all those in-house developments and customizations to see what is still in use, and what can be left behind. You may decide to only move a few of the most recent years’ worth of data to your new system. Some organizations also use their ERP migration as an opportunity to check all the documentation is up-to-date and complete for any in-house developments as well.

Make your testing automated

While testing is an important part of any migration process, it doesn’t need to be a labor-intensive process. Automating your testing and data consistency checks accelerates the validation of data. There will always be elements that need individual attention, but with automated testing, you can get an overview of any potential problems without taking up too many team resources and work hours.

Dedicate a team to the migration

No one person can make an ERP migration succeed, it takes a team to get this kind of ambitious project to its final phase. Too often, organizations underestimate the resources required, and end up scrambling. Having a dedicated team managing your ECC to S/4HANA migration means you can adequately test and prepare ahead of time, leading to fewer fires to fight when it comes to the big move. Depending on the size of your migration project, you may need to earmark more staff resources for the actual migration period as well, and for handling any errors that might crop up post-migration too.

Invest in expert guidance

Organizations don’t migrate legacy ERP systems every day, but there are experts out there that do. SNP used its experience in thousands of migration projects to build and continually improve automated migration tools like BLUEFIELD. In just a day, an SNP expert can assess your systems and explain the best way to migrate to SAP S/4HANA, taking into account your archiving, data integration, compliance and security needs.

Find out how other organizations are approaching their SAP ECC migration to S/4HANA in our white paper, with over 30 pages of insights from 400 successful projects.


  • S/4HANA