As the mainstream support for SAP ECC or SAP ERPwill end by 2027, enterprises that are currently using ECC or SAP ERP need to start considering moving to S/4HANA. Due to existing configurations, integrations, transactional, and master data, migration to SAP S/4HANA is by no means a simple process and often causes great anxiety to corporate leadership, CIO, IT managers, & IT heads.
The only solution to ensure risk-free migration is “testing”. With “test” focussed migration strategy, enterprises can ensure that business processes are running fine post migration without any disruptions.
In this article, we’ll discuss how enterprises can gain certainty in their roadmap to S/4HANA. We’ll also present a recommended testing approach to avoid false starts and unexpected costs along the way.
ECC to SAP S/4HANA Migration Pathway
1. Greenfield Approach
In this approach, enterprises need a new implementation of SAP S/4HANA. This approach consumes a lot of time and effort as enterprises need to start everything from scratch. The main benefit of this approach is that business processes’ re-definition and simplification can be done to take full advantage of S/4HANA capabilities.
2. Brownfield Approach
This is the recommended S/4HANA migration approach for existing customers of ECC and want to migrate to S/4HANA but still keep their investment in the current system(System Conversion). This approach results in less disruption as no major changes in the operations of business processes take place.
3. Landscape Transformation/ Hybrid Approach
In this approach, selective parts of the business process are migrated. It means that customers may select a particular process which they think may give them the best and fastest ROI. For instance, they can embrace S/4HANA capabilities for Central Finance.
Whether you opt for any of the above given S/4HANA migration approach, you cannot ignore the importance of testing. In fact, the impact of transition to S/4HANA on current and expected business flows must be tested at several levels.
Thorough risk and readiness assessment helps enterprises to clearly see where the technical and business risks lie ahead in their S/4HANA migration journey.
Current testing practices are more like bottlenecks rather than a viable migration strategy
Though the manual testing approach is still prevalent, it cannot be considered as a viable testing solution in ECC to S/4HANA migration because of the given below points.
- ECC to S/4HANA migration may bring huge technical, functional, and business process disruptions. Manually testing will consume lot of time and can’t ensure adequate coverage.
- Lack of visibility in manual testing approach can have a direct impact on the proper execution of project plans, phase closures and phase signoffs.
- During ECC to S/4HANA migration, lot of changes take place including data field changes, process simplifications, etc. To validate, at least 4-5 rounds of rigorous testing is required which can be a costly and time/ resource consuming preposition.
- Testing should cover processes that are getting impacted and are critical to the business. For this, enterprises should know i) What gets impacted when the move to S/4HANA is made? Ii) Who can estimate the criticality of the business processes?
Discovery Based Continuous Test Automation Is Your Roadmap to Success
Discovery based SAP test automation approach is all about representing end-to-end business processes that can be re-engineer to bring optimization in the workflow. Although manual process discovery is still prevalent, it cannot be trusted anymore as it is based on individual experiences.
However, with automated process discovery, you can pull data from SAP ECC by mining logs and transactions to create a virtual twin of your existing processes. Having a baseline business process model, QA teams can easily identify bottlenecks, redundant processes, process deviations and other problematic issues.
QA teams can use this approach to visualize existing process models and also to validate business processes. Once you’re ready to migrate, you will have all the test cases needed to validate the migration. Not only will it reduce test execution time but also risk associated with S/4HANA migration.