Everyone’s Switching to Cloud
The transition to cloud is more than just a passing trend - it’s a significant investment to maximising your IT footprint. As cloud is expected to grow in the upcoming years, many of our enterprise IT decisions will be affected.
Considering how many enterprises rely on ERP software solutions within an IT context, it’s no secret that a move to cloud is unavoidable. This guide shows what to expect with an SAP to cloud migration and the different kinds of clouds you should put in your checklist.
Overview of SAP Cloud
SAP is no stranger to the enterprise IT world. Most probably, you’ve heard of SAP S/4HANA as well. While S/4HANA boasts multiple advanced features the new age applications can depend on, it has its drawbacks.
Some users have noticed S/4HANA taking up huge server space, which can only be supported by ample server bandwidth. To ensure your applications are running smoothly, you’d need someone in your team to conduct advanced monitoring processes. All this requires extra time, costs, and complex deployment - hindering scalability.
But all that changes with cloud deployment, which promises easy scalability and accessibility - without sacrificing security. Not to mention, it’s cost-optimized to better suit your deployment processes.
However, cloud deployment comes with its own challenges. Choosing what cloud to move to is one story, but implementing it is another. The question differs: how do you successfully move your SAP landscape to the cloud without interfering with your day-to-day operations?
Cloud Implementation Checklist
Check your IT requirements
Create a detailed assessment of your current IT landscape. Compile an inventory of your existing on-premise environment. The items you should note in your evaluation include servers, sizing, capacity, performance metrics, and utilisation.
By identifying these aspects of your landscape, you can develop foreseeable future requirements to map out how you would like to shape your cloud architecture design.
Keep it functional
If a cloud cannot function correctly, what’s the purpose of having it in the first place? End-users rely on your businesses’ high availability and accessibility of applications to get things done properly.
While it’s OK to prioritize the availability of SAP servers, focusing on it too much may impact the way your business performs. Instead, you should take a closer look at the criticality of your SAP applications and vulnerability impact, which influences your RPO and RTO metrics.
Pay attention to performance
A frictionless deployment is not a want but a need. Whatever implementation process you’re currently in, be it production or development, you must not let them get in the way of your end users’ access to SAP applications. Having a high-performing landscape is essential, but not at the expense of your daily business operations.
Businesses are recommended to pay close attention to the location of their servers, as they play an integral role in assuring the high performance of your deployment. Additionally, you’ll have to pay attention to the size and expanse of your network, as well as its path to cloud hosting.
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Private vs. Public vs. Hybrid Cloud
After mapping out your current IT landscape and listing out your future requirements, it’s time to take the next crucial step: choosing a suitable cloud platform that’s optimal to your SAP on Cloud strategy.
There are three common types of cloud: private, public, or hybrid. To those asking which one’s the best, unfortunately, there’s no concrete answer. Each cloud choice comes with its own benefits and dependencies - everything depending on the environment of your current IT landscape and business goals.
Before you jump into one of these choices, don’t forget to analyze your current and future IT requirements again. But just to give you a good idea, here’s what you can expect from the type of cloud:
1. Private Cloud
According to research conducted by the IDC, private cloud deployments minimize infrastructure expenses by 25% to 50% - with an average of 32%. There is a substantial reduction in provisioning and deployment time by an average of 35% and 70%.
A primary reason why users opt for private cloud deployment of SAP is to fulfill existing regulatory requirements. With most countries practicing data localization laws, businesses are expected to host their workload within a more controlled environment.
But if your business has limited visibility on your future requirements, deploying a private cloud may prove to be complicated. You’ll also have to reconsider the cloud partner you’re willing to engage with.
Since private cloud poses concerns over the availability of best-in-class security tools and practices, it’s ideal that you get a partner that knows what kind of advanced practices to implement - especially if your IT landscape requires high-quality tools to meet growing changes.
2. Public Cloud
A public cloud is well-known for its easy and accessible scalability, bringing forth an optimal environment for the heavy workload that comes with SAP S/4HANA.
Since you have more freedom to either scale up or scale out your existing services. On top of that, you have the choice of starting simple by bringing down the complexity in deploying new services - complete with regular technology upgrades.
Complete with well-developed API libraries and seamless integration with non-SAP systems, users of the public cloud may experience improved efficiency and increased productivity with minimum resource dependency.
Despite having better security and protection of their landscape than a private cloud, a public cloud may prove to be an overwhelming choice for SMEs who find it more comfortable to operate on limited shared cloud space.
3. Hybrid Cloud
If your future requirements involve complex landscapes and several different Lines of Business, you should make the switch to a hybrid cloud. This cloud suits well for organizations with a central command, but at the same time, a shared services model.
To deploy a hybrid cloud, it’s essential to have a solid architecture at its very core. It’s also worth noting that monitoring an IT landscape that’s vast and distributed poses significant challenges, especially if you’re looking to have as minimal disruptions as possible. You may potentially end up stretched to your limits in ensuring your landscape’s efficiency and obtaining optimal performance.
Start Your Cloud Journey with Software-Advisory
With all things considered, deciding your cloud journey can be a difficult task. Combine your current and future IT requirements, business needs, checklist, and cloud options, you can’t help but feel lost in the market.
Choosing the right cloud fit for your enterprise starts by creating a strategy and ensuring proper alignment of your infrastructure, deployment, monitoring, and governance. Its complexity can be intimidating. But with the right cloud partner, you can get past these difficulties.
Our team at Software-Advisory can recommend suitable cloud vendors based on your business model and requirements. With our existing software knowledge, we help you narrow down your search and make a confident choice.
Book a consultation with us today.
Check out our previous blog: A Quick Overview of Robotic Process Automation (RPA)