Data Migration Strategy for SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA

A data migration strategy is essential for organizations looking to undergo a digital transformation. The first step on the path to digital transformation with SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA, though, is choosing which path to take for data migration. Like any journey, a proper map and a planned itinerary are required to reach the destination. In this blog, we’ll see the two data migration scenarios you can take on the road to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA. 

One approach to reaching the HANA environment is a migration from the source environment. It is important to decide when to move in order to reduce potential negative business disruptions. The answer is not always a simple “now”.  There are far too many factors to consider. The SAP best practices for data management help to ease the process and combat size, cost, and complexity issues. But, different data strategies can be adopted based on the size of the SAP systems.

Approach for Large Data Volumes 

If data volumes of your existing SAP systems are more than 10 TB, migration will take considerable effort and time. Moreover, the process will turn into a complex and expensive affair. To minimize the migration costs and achieve the planned go-live date, it’s important to use the right tools and start planning now. 

In such a scenario, it’s critical to shrink the size of your system. But how can an organization quickly remove several terabytes of data? Archiving your data before a system change will solve size, complexity, and cost difficulties. Automated software solutions such as KTern are available to guide the complete archiving process. They enable organizations to run multiple archiving jobs in parallel. This reduces the time it takes to archive the data and allows IT and business teams to focus on other tasks. 

Approach for Small Data Volumes 

Data Management strategies are applicable for companies with smaller SAP systems as well. Companies with data volumes of less than 10 TB greatly benefit from data management. In addition, they have the added advantage of being able to take a phased approach. This helps to reduce data volume, lower IT costs, and improve system performance. This gives the organization enough time to prepare for an eventual migration to SAP HANA or SAP S/4HANA. It also allows IT teams to gain the support of its business users while also maximizing the amount of data that can be archived. 

The “Greenfield” approach to move to the new HANA environment presents a different challenge. Organizations which select the “Greenfield” approach should adopt a data migration strategy which manages the information left behind in legacy systems. Regardless of the approach, it’s clear that reducing the size of SAP systems now reduces the cost and complexity of the migration process. It also delivers more benefits such as improved system performance, reduced risk and, lower total cost of operating SAP systems. 

data migration

Choosing the ideal strategy is part of the journey and companies should start planning now if they want to achieve the best results. A high tech manufacturer was able to reduce their database size by almost 50%. You can learn more about the project in our whitepaper.

If you would like to replicate the success for your enterprise or would like a consultation on the ideal approach to take, send me an email at


Aspiring digital marketer with a specialization in Content Marketing, SEO, and Social Media Marketing, working towards the proud title of CMO while also strategizing and working with SAP architects to guide enterprises on the optimal path towards SAP S/4HANA and digital transformation with tailor-made enterprise-specific tools and accelerators to reduce capital expenditures and maximize business value in a risk-free manner.Ping me on LinkedIn or mail me at if you would like talk regarding the ideal paths to SAP S/4HANA.

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