Virtustream Blog

Make the Trek to S/4 HANA in the Cloud with a Trusted Guide


in SAP, Managed Services, Enterprise Cloud

The impending deadline by SAP to discontinue support for SAP Business Suite products in 2025 is pushing organizations, including those running SAP applications as well as those running other mission-critical applications, to consider the benefits of undertaking the journey to adopt S/4 HANA.

While the looming deadline is more than five years away, decisions need to be made much sooner as the roadmap to S/4 HANA can span several years depending on the scope and size of the migration. Like any attempt at a difficult trek, having a trusted, expert guide leading the way can make the difference between a smooth and safe journey or one with pitfalls at every turn.

Organizations looking to pursue S/4 HANA in the cloud may also find themselves on a path filled with more potential stumbling blocks than anticipated. This includes organizations running some or all workloads in the cloud today, or those looking to move new workloads to the cloud to modernize their digital footprint. Whichever the case may be for you, there are a series of initial assessments you can make along the way to help drive a successful migration roadmap and properly planned decision-making.

10 Steps to Cloud Migration Success

  1. Assess any potential business risks that come with adopting S/4 HANA. Your goal should be to have a clear understanding of how any changes will affect your business processes, and whether your roadmap should focus on adopting S/4 HANA in the next year versus a few years out.
  2. Ensure your infrastructure is up-to-date and compatible for move to S/4. This should include confirming that your application extensions are compatible and that your hardware meets the necessary configuration and sizing requirements. For example, SAP’s Business Suite products run on top of most databases, whereas S/4 must run on HANA, which comes with large performance requirements. Is your current infrastructure ready? Have you also you fully validated that the cloud infrastructure you are moving to can support your availability and performance requirements?
  3. Assess the level of customization within your current SAP environment. Large amounts of customization will ultimately lead to a more complex transition to S/4. What will happen to your customization through the transition process?
  4. How is your organization going to tackle data management and change management to preserve data integrity?
  5. When is the latest possible date for your organization to successfully begin moving to S/4? Determining key milestones like this in your cloud migration roadmap will enable your company to see how long the overall journey may take.
  6. Find a guide who you can trust for your cloud journey and provide dedicated support. You’ll want to consider a cloud partner with years of expertise and know-how when it comes to moving business-critical workloads. The potential for pitfalls and complexities that can hinder a smooth S/4 HANA adoption journey are numerous, and you want to make sure you are working with a cloud service provider (CSP) you can trust with your critical business data. Ensure they have the securities, compliances, and best practices in place that coincide with your organization’s specific needs.
  7. They should also provide a fully dedicated team of SAP experts who can complete your S/4 adoption successfully with minimal downtime. With more than 2,500 SAP application migrations under our collective belt and countless prior cases available to reference, this is where a CSP like Virtustream can provide value to your business. 
  8. Choose the right migration strategy for your business needs. Outsourcing the infrastructure and application management to a CSP like Virtustream removes a large burden from your organization and internal IT team. Work with your CSP to choose the right migration strategy – Greenfield, Brownfield or landscape transformation – to ensure that the migration to S/4 causes as little business disruption as possible.
  9. Check the SLAs (Service Level Agreements). Ensure your CSP offers contractually-enforced SLAs to guarantee that your applications experience as little downtime as possible.
  10. Prepare for worst-case scenarios. What happens in the event of a disaster? Choose a CSP with a disaster recovery strategy that meets your required RPO and RTO times. Virtustream’s SLAs, RTO, and RPO are among the best in the industry along with our wide array of xStreamCare professional and managed services.

A closing thought to keep in mind as you set-out on your trek to S/4 HANA in the cloud: experiencing just a few hours of unplanned downtime for mission-critical systems can translate into huge hits to your company’s market reputation and trust, as well as the potential for significant financial losses. Is it really a journey you want to take on your own? Click here to learn more about how Virtustream can help you run SAP applications in the cloud more efficiently, more economically, and more resiliently than ever before.