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ERP on the Cloud: How to Migrate Mission-Critical Applications

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From sales and accounting to HR tasks, ERP applications form the foundation of modern business operations, with SAP serving as the go-to software for enterprise resource planning. Unfortunately these mission-critical applications are often the last applications to move to the cloud — even when those responsible for SAP recognize the value of transformation.

Ensono data reveals that 70% of IT leaders feel migrating SAP to a public cloud like Microsoft Azure or AWS provides more benefits than keeping it on premises. Yet most organizations still house SAP applications on premise. 

So, what’s holding them back from running ERP on the cloud?

For many organizations, it boils down to an IT skills shortage, unexpected changes to business priorities and uncertainties about the migration path.

While the pandemic and the shift to remote work may have stalled transformation plans, these same circumstances underscored the importance of cloud adoption. Digital operations demand the flexibility and agility of cloud computing. While IT leaders recognize the value of housing SAP on Azure, realizing this goal requires careful planning and expert assistance.

As business evolves and adapts to a digital world, running ERP on the cloud is becoming a necessity. Of the UK IT leaders we surveyed, 61% say migrating SAP to public cloud is critical to business success. The right partner and framework will ensure you’re prepared to migrate mission-critical applications, setting your organization up for long-term prosperity.

The benefits of SAP on public cloud

While many organizations hesitate to move ERP applications to the cloud, migration offers a wide range of benefits. Compared to data centers, the cloud offers unconstrained computing power and new opportunities. Running SAP on Azure (or another public cloud platform) allows you to extract maximum value from your organization’s data — one of your most valuable resources in today’s business landscape.

ERP on the cloud also unlocks business and technical advantages. On the business side, moving to public cloud platforms like Azure helps improve operational efficiency, deliver better customer experiences and generate cost savings. On the technical side, cloud computing elevates and accelerates your organization’s IT environment. Moving to the cloud allows you to take advantage of IoT, access cloud data analytics, enhance data security, use artificial intelligence and machine learning, and more — perks that IT leaders identify as motivators for migrating business-critical applications.

As more work becomes digital, the advantages of SAP on Azure become more appealing. Organizations can leverage the cloud’s flexibility as they grow with the agility to reduce deployment timelines or create nimble development environments. Companies that migrate tap into the cloud’s efficiency to improve resource allocation and streamline costly, time-consuming activities like data archiving. Cloud-based computing also aids in cost-effective disaster recovery, helping ensure business continuity.

With a long list of promising benefits and widespread internal support, adopting a public cloud platform for ERP seems like a natural step. But several factors prevent companies from leveling up their environment. In Ensono’s survey, 58% of IT leaders cited COVID-19 as the culprit thwarting planned migrations through redirected priorities and reconfigured budgets. But beyond unforeseen world events, some underlying IT issues form a barrier to easy cloud adoption.

After security concerns, SAP and public cloud skills shortages rank as top roadblocks on the journey to public cloud adoption. In addition, 1 in 4 IT leaders said they struggled to define a clear migration path. With a lack of expertise on both sides of the migration process and no clear roadmap toward ERP on the cloud, it’s clear why organizations hit pause.

But these barriers aren’t insurmountable, and they point to a clear solution. To house SAP on Azure and accelerate digital transformation for business-critical applications, companies must team up with a managed application services provider.

Moving forward with managed application services

By enlisting a managed public cloud service provider, you leverage SAP and cloud expertise to ensure a smooth transition to the cloud. Providers like Ensono allow you to advance your business and technical operations without the challenges of acquiring the right IT talent and maintaining the relevant skills in house. Your organization benefits from a provider’s industry partnerships and knowledge, along with a time-tested path for SAP migration to Microsoft Azure.

As a managed application services provider, Ensono has a proven framework for moving organizations through their cloud journey. Regardless of where you stand on the road to cloud computing, our services are designed to meet you where you are and ensure a steady transformation. This framework includes several steps, delivered together or individually:

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1. Activation

This stage includes a workshop, discovery, design, deployment and user acceptance testing. During activation, you get a preview of infrastructure upgrades and understand how SAP can run on public cloud. This phase lays out the plan for migration, with Ensono assessing your environment and developing a tailored strategy.

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2. Migration

The migration stage is tailored to your environment, using cloud tools and best practices to move ERP applications to the public cloud securely and efficiently. Ensono’s standard, repeatable process automates migration, further simplifying a project that is often daunting.

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3. Operation

Once your SAP on Azure environment is established, we’ll help you run and manage this landscape. Flexible managed application services allow you to take varying levels of control, including fully managed, co-managed and self-managed. These options ensure your level of involvement in ongoing operations matches your skills, bandwidth and organizational needs.

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4. Innovation

As business and technology evolve, so do your cloud requirements. Ensono’s team of SAP and cloud consultants ensure you are up to date, compliant and secure. By staying proactive about updates, we take the burden of continuous evolution out of your hands. The right cloud strategy enables you to grow while your infrastructure scales with you.

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5. Optimization

Our cloud expertise serves your organization long after migration. As part of our
managed ERP services, Ensono reviews cost, performance, security, best practice and fault tolerance for SAP workloads every month. This ongoing application performance monitoring keeps your SAP applications secure and performing at high levels.

Ensono is your partner for ERP on the cloud

Ensono understands the importance of secure, seamless and efficient migration — and we use our expertise to power a smooth cloud transformation for your organization. With a proven framework for moving business-critical applications to the cloud alongside in-depth cloud and SAP expertise, we are ready to help you become competitive in the age of cloud computing. We have more than 100 Microsoft-qualified technical associates and more than ten partner designations, giving us the background and skill set to provide expert managed ERP services.

IT leaders in our survey reported skills shortages for SAP, public cloud and legacy technology in nearly identical numbers. This IT talent drought presents major barriers to both ongoing operations and future growth. With Ensono, your organization benefits from in-depth SAP, cloud and legacy computing knowledge, freeing your internal IT team up for important day-to-day needs. We support your in-house team and build your organization’s resilience through cloud migration.

Cloud migration for critical ERP applications is understandably intimidating for organizations lacking the specific skills, strategy or resources to approach it correctly. As your migration partner, we help you overcome these barriers and realize the promise of ERP on the public cloud. Ensono has worked with organizations across the globe to deliver SAP on Azure transformation designed around their business needs.

The right path toward cloud-based ERP shouldn’t be a mystery. Contact Ensono for a free infrastructure assessment and migration roadmap.

Continuous innovation starts here.

So, what’s holding them back from running ERP on the cloud?