Why businesses are more eager than ever to migrate SAP onto public cloud
October 3, 2020 | Technology trends
Sean Roberts General Manager, Public Cloud
A new era for how businesses manage their SAP applications is on the horizon
There is a key milestone approaching for all SAP users: in 2030, SAP will completely drop its support for SAP ECC software forcing organisations to move to SAP S4 HANA. As such many organisations are already in the advanced stages of planning their move to HANA. At the centre of this planning, is the strategic dilemma of where to place this workload. Research by Ensono shows SAP workloads are set to triple on public cloud over the next three years.
But this isn’t because of the impending end of life event.
The real driver for migration simply has to do with the advantages of being on public cloud. According to our research, 70% of companies believe that migrating to public cloud will provide more benefits than keeping SAP on private cloud or on premises. Furthermore, 61% say that migrating SAP applications to public cloud is critical for the success of their business.
The case for moving
Transferring SAP applications to the public cloud is, undoubtedly, no simple task. Migration of SAP applications can be a complex process, requiring careful management of any dependencies, the implementation of cloud services; all whilst ensuring the business has the structures and skills in place to utilise cloud successfully when it is up and running.
Nevertheless, organisations seem prepared to push through the barriers to realise the benefits of being on public cloud. So, what exactly is motivating businesses to make the move – often to Microsoft Azure?
As SAP workloads increase, public cloud has the flexibility to scale resources to meet the demands of the business, supporting expansion and cutting costs in periods of contraction. In turn, this makes the business more agile in its operations and in its decision-making processes. The COVID-19 pandemic, and new scalability requirements that have come with it, have no doubt added to the appeal of cloud.
By running an IaaS set-up, SAP on Azure, for example, offers enterprise-grade security and privacy built in across the physical data centre, network, and hosts. Public cloud providers make use of encryption techniques, access control, extensive testing and network hardening to ensure that data is as secure, if not more secure, on cloud than it is on customer premises.
Performance and productivity
59% of SAP application owners say that operational efficiency and performance is a driver for migrating SAP to public cloud, while 39% are driven to migrate to support efficiencies in the supply chain.
Moving to the cloud allows organisations to operate their SAP applications in a way that provides superior performance, availability, and reliability. It’s a highly suitable infrastructure for SAP which can provide benefits right through the business and its supply chain, through which organisations can expect higher application performance and efficient management of SAP services.
With Azure, for example, Microsoft’s longstanding partnership with SAP includes integrations with Office 365, which helps customers enhance productivity, too.
SAP’s suite of innovation tools, centred on SAP Leonardo, realises its full potential on cloud. New, closer integration between SAP Leonardo and Azure offers organisations a chance to combine SAP Cloud tools with Microsoft Azure’s Platform as a Service capabilities, becoming a launch-pad for innovation and enabling cutting-edge applications in areas like IoT, AI, and Big Data and analytics.
In Ensono’s research, 44% of respondents said they wanted to take advantage of IoT, 33% wanted to take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and 18% wanted to take advantage of blockchain in migrating SAP to public cloud. Cloud based technologies like these for SAP can help businesses not only operate, but also remain competitive in the digital era.
53% of those surveyed for Ensono’s recent SAP research said they would be looking to achieve cost savings in moving their SAP applications to public cloud. These savings are often not obtained simply by moving SAP to the cloud but entail full scale closure of data centre facilities.
The right cloud strategy for your business
Seeing the possible advantages, companies have ambitious plans to move their SAP applications to public cloud. Ensono’s research found 32% expect their SAP ERP application to sit on public cloud within three years, even though currently, fewer than 10% of organisations have this infrastructure set-up.
The question now is not “can companies get there” but rather “when can they get there.” A considered, strategic approach is needed, and the time to put strategies in motion is now.