The mandate from business to IT has shifted. For decades, CIOs’ chief responsibility was to reduce costs and keep the lights on just enough to run mission-critical processes. Now, CIOs and IT departments are tasked with driving business innovation. To stay competitive in a digital economy, it is no longer sufficient to have a system landscape whose primary role is to keep records.
The unprecedented accelerating pace of technology advancements is matched by a shrinking window with which to adopt new innovations. Lengthy and costly on-premise deployments, significant capital expense, and yearly upgrade cycles do not permit companies to slip through this window before it slams shut.
Set the Stage for Innovation
A private managed cloud is the present-day backdrop that companies must consider as a platform for future IT innovation. The promise of balancing innovation with reduced costs, services, new hardware, and seamless integration with on-premise and software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications is, for many, too attractive to pass up.
SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, the private managed cloud offering from SAP, meets this promise with unique capabilities, services, and flexibility. For many customers, one of the most attractive features that distinguishes SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is SAP’s commitment to choice. This is important because it reflects the reality that each customer’s cloud journey will differ based on a unique set of business objectives. The decision to transition to the cloud is not to be taken lightly, but once that decision is made, SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud provides the conduit for a company’s cloud transition, allowing for continuous business operations with limited to no disruption.
Dictate the Pace of Change
SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud provides an opportunity for quick wins in a few ways. Organizations that wish to take advantage of the power of the SAP HANA in-memory database can move their existing applications over to start experiencing the benefits of both the cloud and SAP HANA. This lowers costs by transferring on-premise hardware costs to an operating expense model, and it affords companies the chance to move closer to the SAP standard by foregoing unused or unwanted customizations and instead turn their focus to mission-critical processes. Companies can then accelerate their cloud journey by quickly moving to newer innovations, such as SAP Business Suite 4 SAP HANA (SAP S/4HANA).
Additionally, moving existing applications or standing up new systems on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud includes unmatched services as dictated by SAP’s predefined reference architecture. This includes clear guidelines dictating a minimum level of data center performance, a minimum baseline of services, and guidelines and rules for performance, availability, business continuity, and disaster recovery scenarios (see Figure 1).
This stringent reference architecture guarantees that the inherent complexity in managing systems is outsourced to SAP, the provider best suited to manage system complexity, while also delivering the best managed software stack. By freeing up the management of the architecture, companies can now balance multiple projects and minimize the risk of disruption that comes when IT departments are overtaxed in juggling multiple projects.
Flexibility in the Cloud
Complexity is further reduced with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud in the flexibility, choice, and options it offers customers. This flexibility includes how customers choose to experience a private managed cloud, the method of moving existing applications or standing up new ones, and the extension offerings available once deployed.
One option for getting started with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud is the Cloud Start offering. With Cloud Start, customers can extend their SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud footprint on a weekly basis, allowing them to transition a stand-up system to a full-scale productive offering at the pace they choose. This unique option to scale a system on a weekly basis all happens in the same data center, limiting service disruption, and from the customer perspective, this is part of the reference architecture and has no bearing or adverse affects on operations.
SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud also has unmatched licensing flexibility. A bring-your-own-license model ensures that customers can immediately reap cloud benefits by transitioning to SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud infrastructure and management. For customers that want to stand up newer offerings, there is an option to convert existing licenses into an operating expense, subscription-based model. With this option, customers can leverage SAP HANA as a database or leverage the full-suite database in addition to application licensing, deploying both in SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud.
These options are all on the table as SAP’s way of affirming that there is no one right cloud model for every customer. Often, the right option is predicated on business outcomes and long-term strategic goals. Companies must decide how comfortable they are with ceding some control over governance, but can still capitalize on cloud benefits while having control over mission-critical systems and applications.
This is why a hybrid cloud model is the reality for the enterprise today. Once a company decides the direction for its cloud journey, SAP can help set it on the proper path that often includes a combination of SaaS-based and on-premise applications in a private managed cloud environment.
Your Business, Your Cloud
Whatever shape that journey takes, the common denominator for customers is concern about how well their newfound hybrid infrastructure can be integrated to ensure zero interruption in end-to-end business outcomes. Integration can be managed via SAP HANA Cloud Integration scenarios. Running on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, the SAP HANA Cloud Integration scenarios allow for a seamless integration between systems running on SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, on premise, or in the cloud. These scenarios can include both SAP and non-SAP solutions.
For many customers, this integration platform is the key differentiator that separates SAP from the pack because it eliminates the need for a multi-year roadmap or a predefined path to the cloud. It hammers home SAP’s commitment to leave choice in the hands of the customer.
IT departments have been given a clear charter: Drive innovation for the business. The digital economy requires an organization to rethink how its infrastructure is structured, and whether it is optimally positioned to enable the business to capture new opportunities and stay ahead of the competition. CIOs have struggled with meeting this new dynamic, but with SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud, they can position their organizations to capture innovative opportunities and maintain flexibility to go in the direction the business dictates. For more information, visit SAP.com/HEC.