The changeover to in-memory technology with S/4 Hana involves many aspects, such as decommissioning legacy systems as well as backing up the data and transferring them to the new system. In addition, there are also structural requirements that need to be considered and integrated. ERP processes need to be adapted to the changed requirements from the specialist departments with increasingly digital business processes. The use of cloud computing will play an important role in SAP applications, which must also be taken into account in planning. Furthermore, the COVID-19 crisis plays a role in the changeover, as it has delayed and, in some cases, postponed projects, as well as forced companies to adapt to new requirements due to more employees working from home.
A reliable, certified data backup solution for mission-critical SAP systems is essential both before and after the transition, enabling disaster backup and recovery. SAP systems require a comprehensive business continuity plan that focuses on Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) based on the needs and policies of the company.
A certified hybrid backup and bare metal recovery solution is an important component of a solid business continuity plan. This ensures that SAP data are backed up before the switch and are not lost during the migration for whatever reason. Only with a backup solution can the data be restored in the event of logical errors, as this is the only way to access the last non-corrupt dataset, which is not possible with a high-availability solution.
With the switch, new requirements must be included, for example if the processes are better suited for on-premises or cloud solutions, for physical or virtual environments, as well as which service level agreements (SLAs) and legal requirements (GDPR) must be adhered to.
Data security is important, too!
It is crucial that data security can keep pace, which means choosing a backup solution that can cover all requirements. It should be emphasized that the backup solution should be SAP certified, as this is the only way to ensure SAP support. In addition, it is advisable to choose a solution that can ideally back up the entire IT infrastructure, so that everything can be supported by one backup tool, which greatly simplifies management. Companies often have more than one virtual platform, so a suitable backup solution should also support multiple providers.
The cloud capability of the backup solution must also be taken into consideration. Even if no cloud solutions are currently in use, there is a high probability that they will be in the near future, as an increasing trend towards the cloud has been observed. Companies often even go one step further by considering solutions from managed service providers (MSP) for SAP applications and their backup. Due to the new circumstances following the ruling on the Privacy Shield agreement with the USA, companies must ensure that the rules on data protection according to the GDPR are complied with, which is most securely guaranteed by opting for European providers.
Another important aspect concerning data security of backup solutions is that no backdoors are implemented in the software (as the U.S. may demand from American providers). There are European backup providers like SEP that guarantee that the software does not contain backdoors and is BSI-compliant – an important aspect regarding legal certainty.