Top 5 Reasons to Migrate SAP to the Cloud | SUSE Communities

Top 5 Reasons to Migrate SAP to the Cloud


We’re sitting in March 2021, 1 year after COVID completely changed our lives, but also accelerated the move to Cloud for many enterprises and government agencies. Looking at a lot of industry surveys, many of you are no longer asking the question. The Cloud? It’s a done deal.

However, there are still those that are waiting. Change is hard, why upset essential SAP workloads that work just fine where they are—right? So this post is for you guys.

Why move SAP to the cloud? I think of it as a 2 part question. Part 1 is – why move to the cloud at all? So, many reasons. But the biggest 2? Agility and Cost.

  1. Agility: Way back in the ancient days of the early internet, companies invested in their business by putting in beefy, complex on-premise systems. Those projects took a long time, and developing applications on them sometimes took longer. That is not ever going to be a model we can operate in again. We live in a digital world, where everything moves at lightning speed, everything needs to be frictionless. Enterprises and government agencies are expected to pivot on a dime – changing business models, consumption channels based on shifts in the market. Experts say 25% of the opportunity for businesses out there over the next three years will come from white space. Places that do not exist today. Speed, agility – it’s essential to the survival of our respective organizations. And you can’t get there on traditional architectures, IT processes – the Cloud is a must for unleashing your innovation engine.

I have a great customer story that ties into this so well. Moderna is a household name in our post-pandemic year of 2021. We all know they won the vaccine race and were the 1st out the door with an effective COVID vaccine. But do you know how they did it? They did it thanks to the power of the Cloud. Moderna was able to deliver the first clinical batch of its vaccine candidate to the US National Institute of Health for phase one trials just 42 days after the initial sequencing of the virus. 42 days! That’s because their R&D apps were already in the cloud, prior to COVID hitting us last March, and their R&D teams were able to collaborate and pivot really really quickly. That’s agility for you.

  1. Cost: Granted, the cloud is not a panacea for cost. There are many hidden costs that you may not be aware of, and we have heard stories of customer getting surprised by their bill. But for the most part, companies now have the confidence to right-size their computing resources based on your unique requirements and cut wasteful spending. Don’t worry about correctly estimating capacity needs in advance, you can adjust on the fly and scale up easily if there is a sudden surge in demand. If you look at AWS case studies, customers routinely see TCO reduction of 20, 30 or even 50%.

So yes, there are very good reasons for moving to the cloud in general.

Now specifically for SAP we see 3 additional reasons to make the move.

  1. Staying on prem is getting prohibitively expensive – there is a new hardware barrier to entry. Back in the days, when you first deployed Netweaver, the hardware cost was a reasonable component of the total project budget. But in this day and age, if you want to have the right capacity for on-prem Netweaver or HANA deployment, we are talking major dollars. HANA is going to be even more expensive. SAP HANA DB needs significantly more hardware compared to some of the traditional DBs using in NetWeaver deployments. And, not to mention the headaches involved with procuring everything, especially with the COVID-ravaged supply chain for many of the hardware vendors. Think about all the steps you need to go through: invest upfront in CAPEX to buy servers; guess how much your SAP system may grow over the 3-5 year lifespan of the hardware; buy for the “high water mark”, even though you may not need that full capacity for the first 4 years. With the cloud, that’s not a worry, all of that is abstracted away, and you get to start today, with zero upfront cost.
  1. There is a magic date of 2027 hovering over the horizon for all SAP practitioners. Yes we know SAP has already moved that date/deadline, and they may yet move it again. But regardless, the day of “reckoning” is coming, sooner rather than later. With SAP recommending customers standardize on Linux OS and transition to SAP HANA or S/4HANA on the SAP HANA database, you can no longer put off reconfiguring your applications—cloud or no cloud. Now is a good time to fully think through your long term strategy, not just for SAP, but also hardware, facilities. Do you really want to invest more in the on-prem model when it’s getting harder and harder to justify the money and time you spend maintaining datacenters and your own hardware—especially since they can’t provide the same scaling, compute, or high availability/disaster recovery (HA/DR) capabilities for the same price you could get in the cloud. And don’t forget some of the other stuff beyond servers, power, cooling, maintenance, staff, management. If change is already in the works, make this change the most rational one you can achieve and maximize multiple objectives. The simplicity and convenience of the cloud is hard to beat.
  1. Yes I know everyone says transformation, it seems very cliché to even touch the word in 2021. But, with the newer SAP solutions, there is real transformation. We are talking about advanced analytics, intelligent, real-time applications, harnessing the power of AI/ML… the list goes on. Yes you can move to HANA on-prem, but the cloud gives you a cleaner migration and so many more possibilities. Did you know AWS has over 175 AWS native services? Many of them can tie into your SAP landscape to yield new insights and open new horizons. It’s what AWS calls “moving beyond the infrastructure” – extending your SAP solution and providing more interesting/intelligent/predicative capabilities. A common use case is using S3 to create data lakes for your big data analysis.

So there you have it, my top 5 reasons for moving to the cloud – for SAP users. TLDR? No worries, I got something for you too! If you’d rather watch a quick 5 min video, here’s my video take of this same blog, 🙂

Top 5 Reasons Why to Move SAP to the Cloud – Why Cloud + Why SAP to the Cloud – YouTube

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Thank you for reading my humble blog. Have a wonderful rest of 2021!


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Helen Tang Helen Tang is a worldwide evangelist and runs alliances marketing at SUSE. In this role, Helen focuses on helping customers launch digital transformations in their own data centers or in the cloud. Her team helps customers adapt new infrastructure, modernize applications and implement mission critical workloads with our partner solutions.