Transitioning from an on-premise IT landscape to a cloud-based landscape is not as easy as it may seem, and several factors — security, high availability, and integration, for instance — need to be considered. Many companies are taking small steps toward the cloud, such as using cloud-based software to store data or improve customer relationship management (CRM) processes. However, to keep up with today’s fast-changing business needs and more efficiently manage complex IT environments, it is becoming apparent that simply using third-party cloud applications is no longer sufficient.
Companies can undergo a smoother cloud transformation by building a cloud landscape from the ground up — starting with the infrastructure, then building a platform, and finally developing or subscribing to cloud-based software.
While the infrastructure, platform, and software layers are starting to blend as cloud computing technology matures, building in this order can help companies get the full benefits of the cloud more quickly. Let’s look at each layer more closely.
Companies can undergo a smoother cloud transformation by building a cloud landscape from the ground up.
Infrastructure as a Service
With infrastructure becoming a commodity, these services are generally outsourced, freeing up a company’s IT department to work on other, more business-focused initiatives. When a company is looking to upgrade or implement new SAP software, it is an excellent opportunity to build or host an SAP server in the cloud. After this model is tested and deployed, it can be extended to the development and QA test servers as well.
Platform as a Service
Once the infrastructure is in place, platform-as-a-service (PaaS) tools can be leveraged to help a company quickly develop and deploy web applications to be used in the cloud. SAP HANA Cloud Platform, for example, allows companies to build real-time applications or enhance current on-premise solutions on a highly scalable, secure platform that leverages the in-memory computing power of SAP HANA.
Software as a Service
Generally speaking, it is easier to adopt the cloud for new applications than to transform existing solutions into cloud-based applications. As business teams look for quick turnarounds from IT, software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications can be the answer. SaaS solutions like SAP Cloud for Customer, SuccessFactors solutions, and SAP Mobile Platform provide a low-cost, reduced-risk alternative to on-premise applications.
While cloud computing takes a lot of the risk and maintenance off of a company’s shoulders, implementing these solutions can cause unnecessary integration issues if not planned properly. Integration can be the most expensive factor in the cloud. To help reduce costs, SAP is already leveraging its existing middleware platform to enable current solutions such as SAP CRM, SAP Landscape Transformation, and others for SAP HANA and cloud-based integration.
When considering integrating cloud solutions, enterprises should take into account monitoring capabilities, security (across the cloud and on premise), IT controls, and the ability to integrate different modules tailored to specific business needs. Working with vendors that have ready-made integration available makes this much easier. There could be data privacy concerns for many companies that need to be addressed by specific contract language with the cloud service providers. MOURI Tech has been hosting SAP environments in the Amazon public cloud for several years and provides a proven best-in-class cloud adoption strategy, along with best-of-breed integration solutions for seamless business process integration between on-premise and cloud platforms. To learn more, visit www.mouritech.com.