By now everyone has heard that cloud computing is the “be all end all” of enterprise computing. While there is no doubt that many workloads are a perfect fit for running in a cloud environment, large scale enterprise applications like SAP have lagged behind in cloud adoption primarily due to their unique IT characteristics and importance within the corporate IT family.
SAP runs your business, and contains the most highly sensitive business critical data your company has. SAP also offers the most highly complex cloud migration scenario when you take into account database sizes, downtime requirements, and interface complexity. For SAP workloads, nothing can be left to chance when considering a change to the infrastructure platform on which they reside.
As cloud offerings mature, however, one thing is certain… The benefits of moving even your core ERP systems to the cloud are both clear and tangible. But, what are those benefits?
Benefits of Core ERP in a Managed Cloud
The commonly held belief is that cost is at the top of the list. However, for enterprise applications, cost does not seem to be the main driver. Instead, it’s the ability of a managed cloud platform to deliver flexibility and scalability to your ERP application stack to enable the increased agility and performance that today’s ERP applications demand.
As an on-premise application, an organization’s SAP application suite is typically the most challenging to plan for in terms of capacity because the applications can stress every component of your IT infrastructure. You have to think about compute capacity in terms of both processing power and server memory, as well as primary storage capacity, backup storage capacity, and network bandwidth capacity to support frontend, server to server communication, and backups. If a bottleneck is reached in any of these areas, the impact to your SAP end users, and therefore to your business, can be severe.
Transform IT from Bottleneck to Business Benefit
To mitigate the risk of business impact, IT organizations are forced to buy ahead of demand so that they can ensure that capacity is available when needed. This results in capital dollars that are expended for resources that may “sit on the shelf” for very long periods of time. Because those resources are finite, IT organizations must have very tight controls in place to make sure they are prioritized and spent in the areas that have the highest benefit to the business. This can potentially lead to long lead times for standing up new systems or adding resources to existing systems, all of which can lead to decreased productivity.
In order to transform IT from bottleneck to business benefit, organizations must find a way to improve their ability to provide flexible and scalable resources. One way to achieve this is to leverage an experienced Managed Cloud provider who focuses on the special requirements demanded by your business critical SAP workloads.
Your SAP Managed Cloud provider will have the tools, infrastructure scale, and expertise required to put together a solution architecture that will meet your business’ KPI requirements. Even when the IT requirements dynamically and unpredictably fluctuate due to common business activities such as monthly and quarterly close, temporary project requirements, normal yearly growth, seasonal demands, acquisitions and rollouts, and more, your Managed Cloud provider will always be able to meet that need quickly and efficiently.
Instead of laying out large capital expenditures for IT resources today for that 5-year growth worst case scenario, you can sleep comfortably knowing that you are able to pay on a monthly basis only for the resources that your unique SAP environment really needs in that given time period. You can also rest assured knowing that as unexpected business needs arise requiring additional servers or entire landscapes, your SAP Managed Cloud provider will have the ability to quickly and efficiently provision the required resources for immediate use by your business.
Is your business suffering from flexibility and scalability limitations that hamper its productivity? If the answer is yes, now is the time to talk to a trusted SAP Managed Cloud provider to see what they can do to improve your IT operations.
Also, check out some of our free resources including our Executive Brief: What to Look for in a Managed Cloud Provider and our short Self-Assessment: Are You Ready for Managed Cloud?