4 key steps before migrating a SAP environment to the cloud

An ERP is a system that interfaces with many business processes, so it is at the heart of many companies’ systems. This has sometimes been a reason for postponing its migration to the cloud. However, with cloud now firmly established as the foundation of digital strategies, companies are exploring the possibilities of moving management systems to the cloud and, more specifically, to the public cloud.

More and more companies are considering a migration to the public cloud for their SAP applications because of the maturity of the platforms and the attractiveness of the services that companies expect for more efficient, flexible and modern systems. This is a field that is led by Amazon Web Services, which has worked with its partners and more than 5,000 customers worldwide to improve their user experience by moving their SAP workloads to the infrastructure, resulting in the SAP Migration Acceleration Program (SAP MAP).

Syntax, as a specialist in migrating SAP environments to AWS, has put together a set of guidelines to help ensure the success of these projects.

Keys to migrating from SAP to AWS

Our experts offer these recommendations for successful initiatives that meet organisations’ objectives.

1. Have a ‘cloud first’ strategy

Generally speaking, it is essential for any company that its cloud projects are integrated into a comprehensive cloud strategy, no matter where it operates its workloads, whether in a private, hybrid or public cloud.

To design it, you first need to assess the IT environment and how the migration may impact the technology organisation and business units, and consider the whole technology landscape, as there are many systems that communicate with SAP.

When designing a strategy for moving SAP to the public cloud, the project objectives must be defined in terms of cost savings, technology transformation, performance, agility in management operations, etc., but the risks and total investment cost of the migration must also be taken into account.  This strategy should also be part of the long-term transformation plan for applications, business processes and the IT environment.

2. It is a technology and business strategy

Interfaces to SAP ERP systems impact virtually every department in an organisation. Therefore, a successful migration requires an accurate inventory of all interfaces and their impact on the business.

The IT team must not stand alone, but must work with the other units and management to ensure the company’s commitment to the migration strategy.

3. Know the most appropriate technical alternatives

In a SAP migration project to AWS, following the SAP MAP methodology, the process should start with understanding the technical options by conducting an assessment of the existing systems in the enterprise and the cloud capabilities that can benefit from them. At this stage it is important to take the following steps:

  • Confirm the base version of SAP from which you are starting.
  • Assess the right target architecture based on AWS offerings and SAP requirements.
  • Find out if the databases are supported in the cloud, as well as the operating system.
  • Find out how SAP and non-SAP systems are supported, and identify possible integrations that need to be made.
  • Assess your functional environment.

This initial analysis should also assess business processes to ensure that the functional environment, including SAP and AWS, can generate new capabilities to enhance and optimise the support of a digitised corporate environment. During this step, it is possible to inspect custom SAP code and SAP Fiori applications, identify how the technology environment can be simplified, and see which processes are no longer consistent.

Once these validations are carried out, the scenario to be migrated is defined, the automations to create the infrastructure are designed, the configurations to streamline the provisioning of the environments and the tools to be used in the project execution to put it into production. An example of this is the success case of Cepsa, which we already talked about in a post.

4. Data and user security

As we have explained in previous articles, AWS is one of the platforms with the best security guarantees as, through a security model shared with customers, the security of the systems is reinforced, recovery times and availability are improved.

To sum up, a project to migrate SAP to AWS is an opportunity to optimise the company’s internal processes and ensure that the applications offer more value to the business through the use of Artificial Intelligence, automation, Data Lakes or Business Intelligence, but it should not be forgotten that this process can be simpler with the right partner and with experience in moving SAP environments to AWS.

At Syntax, as SAP experts on AWS, we are committed to delivering projects that realise the full benefits of the cloud for SAP workloads.