The age of digital transformation has arrived, offering new opportunities and challenges. Businesses now have to contend with a new generation of smart competitors and rising consumer expectations. To overcome new challenges, enterprises will find it necessary to become more agile, cut costs, deliver value-added products, and improve the experience of both internal and external customers.
Many businesses have already realized one way of preparing themselves for the future is through cloud migration. Large enterprises, in particular, are discovering the speed, agility, and compute power of the cloud, enabling them to get the most out of their SAP solutions. Over 50 percent of large enterprises now use infrastructure as a service (Iaas) providers as the primary environment for at least one workload, while 41 percent of all workloads are expected to be run on the public cloud by 2020.
This paper makes the case for SAP cloud migration and outlines a migration strategy.
OPTIMIZE THE COST OF YOUR SAP INFRASTRUCTURE WITH CLOUD MIGRATION
Why Migrate SAP to the Cloud?
According to a McKinsey study, worldwide data storage doubles every two years. If you are like most enterprises today, you face an ever-growing body of complex data to store and analyze. As more data and analytics programs consume space in your datacenter, your company may need to purchase more servers. However, the process of purchasing, setting up, and maintaining new hardware is time-consuming and can be expensive. Once your environments are running on the cloud, you will have the flexibility to scale infrastructure up and down with the click of a mouse.
By avoiding the need to purchase hardware upfront, your company can reduce Capex spend and shift more of the IT budget to Opex costs. This will free up cash flow for the rest of the organization as well as reduce other IT infrastructure costs such as power supplies, climate control, insurance, and more. In addition, your company will avoid the risk of over provisioning or the opportunity cost of under provisioning. This is because in the cloud, you pay what you use.
Companies hosting their own SAP environments, including all the data contained within, are vulnerable if no redundancy systems are put in place. If customer data is jeopardized or business-critical applications are interrupted, millions of dollars can be lost. Cloud service providers safeguard against this with replicated storage in separate geographic locations and failover mechanisms to keep systems up and running.
Migrating to the cloud can help to simplify your IT environment by consolidating disparate systems and unconnected databases. With all applications integrated and updated in real time on the cloud platform, managers will have a truly holistic view of business operations. With the machine learning capabilities available through hyperscale cloud providers, bottlenecks can be resolved before they become an issue and business opportunities can be acted upon.
Forming a Cloud Migration Strategy
Once the business need for cloud migration is recognized, it is key to let those business needs guide the project. There are three key components of every cloud migration strategy: plan, transition, and optimize.
A cloud migration plan consists of an honest assessment of the shortcomings of your current IT infrastructure and future goals. You will need to work with all key stakeholders to determine which SAP environments will benefit most from cloud migration, and consult IT personnel to decide how much cloud capacity your plan requires. Of course, this step also requires careful budgeting to see your plan through.
As you approach the time of your transition, you will have already completed a data cleanse. Start by migrating low risk, less complex workloads. As your team gains confidence, work your way up to migrate mission-critical environments. During the transition period, your team may benefit from workshops to get familiar with the cloud environment and all of the features available on the platform.
Newly migrated systems need to undergo testing and backup before they are fully operational. This includes testing of all business critical processes and failover testing to avoid downtime. Optimization also means automating business processes, scaling use up and down with virtual machines, and using cloud features to unlock business insights previously hidden.