There are many compelling benefits to SAP cloud migration, from cost savings, to scalability to improved security. However, like any migration, moving to the cloud requires careful planning and coordination across your entire organization — particularly when it comes to your data.
Here are three SAP data migration best practices that will help you keep your business running smoothly.
1. Bring in Key Stakeholders Early in the Project
Preparing for cloud data migration requires organizational expertise along with third-party support. Data that isn’t required for daily operations should be identified and purged or archived as appropriate. Likewise, critical data needs to be properly sorted and formatted.
Cloud migration can pose security and compliance considerations as well. For example, you may have to put extra controls in place on records of EU customers to comply with GDPR, which could have implications for how you structure your new landscape and execute the migration.
To address these considerations, SMEs should be recruited from various departments to help properly identify and process data. You’ll also need input from your IT security and compliance personnel to identify current controls, and make sure they’re matched (or ideally, exceeded) by cloud controls, from planning to post go-live.
2. Use Automated Tools for Data Mapping
Data mapping is the process of planning how data will be transferred and translated into the new SAP system. Your database is like a giant collection of spreadsheets that stores everything that happens in your business, from a customer making a purchase to a manager authorizing a vendor payment.
With SAP data migration, you transfer all those records to a new set of books, organized in a new way. Multiple datasets will be merged into one structure and records will have to be transformed to meet a new set of bookkeeping conventions. Data mapping is the set of rules that are used to move and transform all your data from where it is in the current system to where it needs to go in the new system.
Traditionally, this has been a laborious and time-consuming process, with built-in uncertainty. It’s hard to anticipate issues like inconsistent records or formatting, which can lead to unexpected costs and delays in the project. Additionally, manual mapping can introduce mistakes via human error.
Automation can decrease uncertainty, improve efficiency and results in a speedier, less costly project overall. You can identify needed changes and scope the project at the start, allowing you to set timelines and budgets accurately. Execution is also much faster and more reliable.
Protera FlexBridge is an ideal tool for automating SAP data migration. For a typical SAP migration, Protera FlexBridge reduces costs and project time between 45% and 60%. It also automates documentation and compliance with SAP migration best practices, dramatically reducing risks and making tracking, benchmarking and management easy.
3. Coordinate SAP Data Migration With Strategic Needs
You should look at SAP data migration best practices in the context of ongoing IT growth and transformation. Your approach to migration should not just meet IT needs, but provide the maximum benefit to your organization as a whole.
In some cases, that means an accelerated migration to meet organizational deadlines. In other cases, you may need to delay or stagger the migration to maximize ROI on existing investments, or consolidate data in a pending merger. The right partner will help you weigh all the factors, and design a best-fit SAP data migration for your organization.