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COVID-19, skills and Brexit slow SAP to public cloud migrations but 79% plan to migrate within 2 years

With SAP applications being migrated to the public cloud, has it finally reached a state of maturity?

Ensono conducted research into business’ SAP environments and found that, while the majority of SAP applications are still housed on-premise, 70% of those responsible for SAP believe migrating to the public cloud will be more beneficial than keeping it on-premise. In fact, 61% stated that migrating SAP to public cloud is critical for business success.  

There was consensus amongst the 100 IT leaders responsible for SAP within UK enterprise that public cloud provides businesses with opportunities. Almost 20%of those surveyed had one or more SAP application already hosted on public cloud and this is set to increase by 79% in the next 2 years as enterprise organisations launch their migration plans. This indicates that, following many years of barriers to public cloud such as security, loss of control and regulation, we are edging towards public cloud maturity.

The respondents highlighted the following benefits of migrating SAP to the public cloud:

  • 59% believe it will improve operational efficiency and performance
  • 51% said it will deliver a better customer experience
  • 33% cite cost savings
  • 30% said it will improve compliance and regulation.

Additionally, 16% of respondents felt migrating to public cloud would address the needs of business leaders, showing an appetite and involvement from business leaders with SAP, often a mission critical part of the business. This is especially true in an era where operations have had to focus on digital due to the changing requirements brought on by the pandemic.

In addition to business drivers, respondents identified clear technology drivers, too. When asked what technology benefits migrating SAP to Azure would bring, the IT leaders confirmed they will be doing so to take advantage of IoT (44%); for security advantages (37%); to take advantage of AI and ML (33%); integration with other workloads (29%); scalability (28%); complexity reduction (23%); accessing data lakes outside of the SAP ecosystem (21%); to prepare for SAP S/4 HANA migration (17%).

Given the dominance of public cloud for other applications, it is little surprise that this transformation is imminent. 85% of respondents stated that cloud technology, above all others, is the most important technology for the future of their organisation.

Sean Roberts, General Manager, Public Cloud at Ensono said: “SAP is the lifeblood of many businesses and represents the centre of gravity within the IT estate. As organisations mature in their cloud journey, many are facing a fundamental question; to continue to invest and renew their SAP hardware and software assets where they are or make a strategic shift and move these to the public cloud.”

However, 27 % of those surveyed still felt it would create more issues to migrate to public cloud than it would fix. And while 4 percent have completed the SAP journey to public cloud, nearly 50 % have yet to start. While there is clear enthusiasm, there are barriers slowing enterprise organisations down. The most common barriers stated were:

  • COVID-19 creating changes to the agenda (58%)
  • Security concerns (43%)
  • SAP skills (35%)
  • Public cloud skills (31%)
  • Brexit (23%)
  • Insufficient budget (22%)

The research also uncovered that, while many felt SAP migration to the public cloud was critical for longer term success, 1 in 4 were struggling to define a clear migration path. 1 in 6 also confirmed there was uncertainty or issues regarding integration with legacy SAP applications and fear the time it will take to migrate.

Sean Roberts said: “Developing a clear migration path is not simple. Planning is the most important part of successful migrations. You need a good understanding of the application today, what changes you’re going to make, and you need to make a detailed assessment of how you’re going to make the change. This, combined with business stakeholder alignment and constant communication throughout the process, means you will ensure a successful migration and enable you to start taking advantage of the benefits of SAP on Azure.”

With strong partnerships with Microsoft and SAP, as well as significant industry recognition, Ensono has worked with many enterprise organisations – from City & Guilds Group to Arco – to deliver SAP on Azure transformation. Ensono managed SAP on Azure offers a safe and reliable path for companies to move SAP workloads to Azure. It has over 100 Microsoft qualified technical associates and over 6 partner designations to ensure clients’ migration to Azure meets its goals.

For more information on the research, you can download the full report:

For media inquiries, please contact Beth Burghgraef at: [email protected].

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