Once upon a time, there was a joke that the only things you could rely on were death, taxes and ERP program failure. Things have changed a lot since then. CIO Magazine noted that in 2015 only 58% of organizations rated their latest ERP project a success but that figure had grown to 88% by 2019. However, moving to the cloud and getting the most from cloud services remains a challenge for SAP users.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been one of the most popular cloud platforms for SAP migration and Amazon has been very enthusiastic about the results for companies migrating their on-premise SAP systems.
AWS has said: “Growing numbers of organizations have already supercharged the performance, flexibility, and security of their SAP applications while simultaneously cutting their costs by moving their SAP instances to AWS. For many, the marriage of mission-critical SAP applications with the proven and multifaceted AWS Cloud has become a central element of their digital transformation initiatives.”
Indeed, the benefits of selecting AWS as the platform for SAP on the cloud are well established.
There are, of course, many public and private cloud options available for any company looking to transition its enterprise applications. AWS has a range of advantages especially for SAP installations.
AWS is perhaps the most established and successful of all public cloud infrastructure providers. A report from McKinsey has shown that maturity in the cloud capabilities is a significant indicator to the success of its approach to transformation programs. Mature cloud installation are as much as three times faster for time to market – in as little as 30 minutes – and offer twice as much cost reduction.
We now inhabit the world of hyperscalability and AWS offers one of the most high performance, stable hyperscale cloud environments available. It provides almost limitless compute resource that will scale smoothly up or down depending on your business requirements. This feature allows SAP users to select only the compute resource they need knowing that they have the flexibility to meet changing demand requirements in minutes.
AWS has addressed all the security issues of cloud deployment. In many cases, the cloud service can deliver higher levels of security than on-premise deployments while ensuring that security capabilities are always up-to-date. The Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (AVPC) adds another layer of security for SAP installations. It enables you to create a private virtual network within AWS. IN effect, you can securely link your on-premise data centers through the AWS infrastructure.
AWS have developed several varieties of the elastic compute cloud that are specialised to meet specific workload demands. These have been designed to enable high data throughput with extremely low latency that facilitates the transmission of virtually any volume of data.
Amazon Web Services keeps all relevant user data in the cloud and therefore provides a suitable backup for your data at no extra cost. In addition, with literally hundreds of thousands of servers across its global data centres, AWS delivers complete redundancy and fail-over for a level of business continuity that even the largest enterprise will struggle to match.
If we return to our original joke then every SAP user will know that nothing in life is simple. Any transformation is a challenging exercise. ERP transformations are likely to be time consuming and complex. As Mckinsey reports, challenges like misaligned activities, poor project management, lack of business-IT integration or a missing focus on business value have the potential of making an IT executive’s life very miserable indeed.
But, that does have to be the case with cloud installations. Mckinsey suggests that focusing on investing and developing organizational capabilities, rather than “choosing specific technologies” creates the most value. While aiming for the performance, flexibility and scalability of cloud platforms, no IT executive is going to undertake an SAP transformation program without fully assessing the security and compliance risks.
Grasping the benefits of cloud means avoiding the pitfalls of cloud transition projects – and that’s something that less and less organizations are undertaking alone.
A recent Frost & Sullivan report found that fully 68% of SAP users were seeking to engage a cloud managed services partner to provide assistance with SAP installations. The correct partner can help put in place a robust strategy for developing organizational capabilities while helping adopt cloud infrastructure that actually delivers business value. In most instances, you’ll find that your cloud transition should be pretty much friction free compared to other ERP transformation projects.
If you’d like to know more about the value SAP on AWS can bring to your business, check out our website
There is of course the old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and whilst your SAP installation may be doing everything you want it to at the moment (is it, by the way - could you be making productivity gains and cost savings?) there's another apt saying "prevention is better than cure".
SAP have announced that they require all their customers to be on SAP Hana if they want to have a support contract. The deadline date is a while off yet, but rather than focus on that, let's consider why a company would make such a bold requirement, given that right now SAP runs on a selection of well known third party databases.
SAP Hana is an in memory database. SAP have looked at the needs of companies over the next decade and beyond and determined that this is the best architecture to meet those needs. Let's face it, they have a pretty good track record so far in meeting needs - SAP is by far and away the market leader worldwide.
So, if you want to continue to trust SAP, it makes good business sense to migrate to HANA. And if you accept that, then why not place HANA where it's going to run fastest and at its most flexible - and that's on AWS.
A good point. There are some horror stories. You've probably read some. This 5 step guide from SAP is a good starting point, and I can summarise it all down to these key points:
AWS have an in-depth look at the principle of a two way door - migration is not a one way, can't turn back road - which you can read on our Linked In page.
Contact us for a no obligation chat about what's involved and how to arrange your low risk high reward migration.