Cloud computing has revolutionized the way IT is delivered. At its core, cloud computing has always been about meeting the changing business needs of organizations. Whether it’s enabling flexibility, increasing agility, cutting costs, or improving performance, organizations can leverage this revolutionary technology to address unique business needs and adapt to changing market conditions.
A growing number of organizations have already migrated or are planning to migrate their business applications to the cloud. The most mission-critical among these applications are SAP applications. For organizations looking to migrate SAP applications to the cloud, it is important to have a general understanding of the different aspects of cloud computing and their relevance to SAP applications.
Migrating an existing SAP systems & applications to the cloud is a complex and laborious task. Despite the barriers to adoption, the attractiveness of cloud is on the rise. Here are some key benefits of migrating your SAP applications:
· Address unpredictable application demand- Business demand fluctuates. With cloud systems,organizations can rapidly scale up and scale down resources to meet any kind ofdemand.
· Fuel growth- The cloud improves business agility, flexibility, and scalability. It also enables service innovations.
· Improve budgeting and bottom-line economics- With your SAP application on the cloud,you only pay for what you consume, the productivity of employees increases, and resource utilization becomes more efficient.
Cloud services have three deployment models: public, community and private. A mix of these deploy mentmodels is what we call a hybrid strategy. Each deployment model has advantages and disadvantages. Customers must decide which advantages address their specific needs and which disadvantages they can live with.
Public clouds are owned and operated by third-party service providers that deliver their computing resources over the Internet. Under the public cloud deployment model, all hardware, software, and other supporting infrastructure are owned and managed by the provider.This allows organizations to transition from CAPEX to OPEX.
Hosting SAP applications on thepublic cloud can offer organizations cost and performance benefits. A major drawback to this option, however, is security. Companies need to decide which type of data can reside in the public cloud and which data must reside internally for security purposes.
Private cloud is a deployment model in which computing resources are provisioned over a private IT infrastructure for the dedicated use of a single organization. In this set up, the responsibility of buying, maintaining, and managing hardware and software falls on the customer. Because of these responsibilities, private cloud doesn’toffer much cost savings. What it offers is an increase in performance and securityof the data across SAP Applications.
The performance of SAP applications will be higher on private cloud because its infrastructure uses private connections, which are faster than the web connections used in public cloud. In terms of security, private cloud has the edge because it gives customers more control over security and compliance.
If you can’t choose between public and private cloud, you can have the best of both worlds by adopting a hybrid approach. A hybrid cloud is a combination of public and private. Itgives organizations the ability to migrate their SAP systems and applications to the public cloud and host sensitive data privately on the private cloud.
The hybrid approach offers greater business flexibility and helps optimize an organization’s existing SAP infrastructure,security, and compliance. The only drawback is that the hybrid SAP on Cloud model is the most difficult and complex model to implement.
If you plan on moving your SAP landscape and other parts of your business to the cloud, here are some things to consider:
Data security against loss- When planning a backup strategy for your data, always think of the worst-case scenario: a natural disaster, human error, an employee looking for payback,etc. From this vantage point, attempt to understand the disaster recovery concept of your potential cloud service provider.
Performance-Ask potential cloud service providers about service level agreements(SLAs) that guarantee the service’s performance.
Availability- Your SAP applications are critical to your business processes. The SLAs for service availability must be strict.
Complexity- Because of the inherent complexity of the SAP application, cloud migration will introduce a level of complexity that you have not dealt with before. When planning your migration strategy, speak to experts who have deep technical expertise on the SAP application, SAP systems migration and cloud infrastructure.
Legal Requirements- Before a migration, you must know the regulations that protect data in your industry. Certain hospitals running SAP IS/H, for example, are prohibited from storing patient data off premises. These are the kinds of regulations that you must thoroughly understand to avoid legal ramifications after a migration.
Cloud migration is a viable option for businesses looking to increase the performance and flexibility oftheir SAP applications. Executing a successful migration, however, is far from easy. That’s why choosing the right service provider is key.
Wharfedale Technologies is an SAP-certified cloud service provider that specializes in SAP infrastructure integration services as well as private, public, and hybrid cloud solutions. As the very first SAP-certified cloud service provider in North America, Wharfedale brings a deep level of expertise implementing SAP solutions such as SAP high availability, disasterrecovery, advanced sizing for virtualization, backup/recovery integration,systems refresh automation and landscape optimization.