For many SAP customers, moving to the cloud marks the transition from a legacy, capital-intensive landscape to a cost-effective, high performance future. The rate of transition varies, but as companies upgrade SAP ERP and migrate to HANA, most inevitably leave their aging on-premise servers behind.
The reasons, as we’ve said before, aren’t because of shiny new features, but good old-fashioned cost benefit analysis. Basic factors like hosting costs, scalability and agility just make on premise to cloud migration the logical choice.
But there is another set of features with the power to add unanticipated benefits, while supercharging the basic cloud advantages causing SAP users to migrate in the first place. Whether they’re part of your planning or a happy surprise, these are the hidden benefits you’ll find in an SAP public cloud.
Hyper Innovation Empowers the SAP Cloud Community
The Innovation Cycle for the public cloud is breathtakingly fast. New products within each vendor’s public cloud are announced almost daily, and made available automatically, without any action needed.
The competition between AWS, Azure, and other public cloud providers has been particularly helpful in the SAP community. SAP customers require high memory, speed and throughput, along with the ability to customize and fine-tune their landscapes — all factors accelerated by this competition.
The top cloud players continuously outdo each other, offering larger and larger virtualized and bare metal instances, greater power and a better range of options. At this point, the limit might as well be infinite for the vast majority of enterprises — vanishingly few will find off-the-shelf public cloud hosting inadequate.
Cloud innovation in other areas has been just as rapid. New tools support better analytics, IoT, integration, machine learning, artificial intelligence and big data. This enables customers to take full advantage of HANA’s data processing, real-time visibility, and native analytical power.
Integration Unifies the Public Cloud
The most dazzling accomplishment of the public cloud may not be hyperscale computing or cost effectiveness, but integration. In the old days, adding a new tool or function to your enterprise landscape was extremely time and resource intensive.
Companies without the internal expertise would be forced to either hack together their own software solutions, or make do with off-the-shelf products. There were fewer choices, and a lack of compatibility forced clients to work with a narrow subsection of those choices, controlled by the vendor.
Integration has transformed this situation for the SAP public cloud, enabling customers to turn new cloud services and applications into an invaluable part of their own infrastructure. With integration, the features of the public cloud are available for every server provisioned within it, and can be freely used with other components according to the user’s needs.
Any server can instantly use new public cloud services like machine learning, serverless computing and data lakes, as each new service added into the cloud becomes part of the whole. The public cloud vendors work out the complexities of connecting tools and technologies, making harnessing new technology quick and cost-effective. The public clouds themselves are compatible with each other, providing even more options.
This can be extremely helpful for landscape transformation. Companies may have different departments or offices operating on different clouds, and multiple groups of developers using very different tech stacks — particularly after a merger.
Integration makes it easier for organizations to connect their applications and platforms, while allowing them to bypass unifying their entire technology stack. That means you can focus on high-priority SAP upgrades and transformation, while allowing different teams to continue using the technology that best fits their needs.
Platform Supports Proactive SAP Administration
Many on-premise SAP users struggle to manage their landscapes. Over time, they’ve adjusted them to meet immediate needs pragmatically — for example, by adding custom code to tweak the workflow or enable features that weren’t available at the time. Because SAP landscapes have complex dependencies, upgrading and updating these legacy landscapes has historically been a challenge.
Additionally, many members of the SAP user community are in the early stages of the cloud migration process. Their landscapes are still built around on-premise components, which in turn depend on high CapEx investments that depreciate quickly. This maintains a strong incentive to only install new hardware when they absolutely need it, rather than preparing for future projects.
These factors come together to create a culture of break-fix SAP management. Companies tend to keep legacy hardware and software around for as long as possible to maximize investments. While this approach made sense in the pre-cloud era, now it holds companies back from harnessing new technology, while forcing them to sink capital and human resources into keeping legacy systems running.
An SAP public cloud can help companies transition from this reactive approach to technology to a strategic, proactive approach through a central platform. The platform delivers computing systems and applications to users, and provides a simple method to deploy, manage and secure computing services. That helps companies go beyond maintenance to start treating SAP as a strategic solution.
Building on Core SAP Public Cloud Benefits
The advantages of Hyper Innovation, Integration and Platform (HIP) are substantial, but many companies only discover them once they’ve moved to the cloud. Fortunately, these benefits serve to multiply the core CAESARS benefits that typically motivate cloud migration — cost savings, agility, efficiency, scalability, abstraction, resilience and security. Here’s how:
- Cost savings: Hyper innovation accelerates cost savings. As companies compete to provide new services and bigger instances, they naturally drive costs down. A recent study by RightScale measured costs across 26 price points across the major cloud vendors, In six months, Google’s prices dropped for 4 of 26 price points, AWS’ decreased at 19 points, Azure’s dropped prices in 24 instances, and IBM’s prices decreased in all 26 instances. Along with cutting cost, that gives companies the ability to freely experiment with new cloud tools and services, driving their own innovation.
- Agility: All three HIP benefits accelerate agility. Companies have more tools, can deploy them easily through the platform and combine them together through integration to create an optimized featureset and workflow.
- Efficiency: As cloud platforms have matured, it has become easier for SAP public cloud users to measure usage, and improve efficiency. Hyper innovation also introduces new pricing options and resource allocation models which companies can use to control costs and get more value from their hosting.
- Scalability: As we said earlier, public cloud innovation has pushed the maximum size limits of instances far beyond the needs of most SAP customers. Whether you need to spin up more instances or expand a data lake to accommodate massive stores of unstructured data, scaling is rarely a serious challenge.
- Abstraction: HIP benefits abstraction in numerous ways. For example, new innovations in containerization, virtualization, serverless computing and other technologies free cloud tenants from the hardware layer.
- Resiliency: Integration and platform enable administrators to combine multiple clouds and on-premise resources into a hybrid cloud that’s more resilient than any of its parts. Cloud DR can protect against multiple failures in multiple regions to a level that was almost inconceivable before the public cloud.
- Security: Better integration enables companies to extend security protections beyond their SAP public cloud through their entire enterprise landscape. Administering from a cloud platform makes it easier to neutralize security threats, and patch vulnerabilities before they can cause harm.
Discover What an SAP Public Cloud Solution Can Do for You
The public cloud isn’t just a checklist of benefits — it’s the basis for a more competitive future for the SAP community.
Whether you’re interested in short-term ROI and cost savings, strategic integration to reengineer your landscape over the next year, or the long-term benefits of hyper innovation and integration, the cloud can deliver.
Contact us to learn what the public cloud can do for your SAP landscape, or check out our Protera AppCare customer success story to see how we’re already helping companies like yours build successful SAP cloud strategies.