THOUGHT LEADERSHIP ARTICLE
SAP ERP Why, when, and how to migrate to the cloud
The migration of a SAP ERP to the cloud needs to be thought through in advance, in order to find the right time and to adopt the right method, a choice between a migration at constant scope of the environment or a complete business transformation project.
Switching your ERP to the cloud is a major trend for companies today. Organizations that were once skeptical about the cloud are now embracing this mode of IT consumption. Nearly 75% of new SAP S/4HANA ERP installations are now in the cloud.
Why migrate to the cloud?
The first advantage brought by the cloud is economic: application of a subscription model, without investment, without infrastructure, and without infrastructure amortization. Capital expenditure (CAPEX) thus becomes operating expenditure (OPEX).
The second argument is quality of service. Hyperscalers offer high-performance, scalable, easy-to-adopt infrastructures with a level of security and data protection that is often out of reach for companies that choose on-premises infrastructures.
The third argument is the rationalization of infrastructures. By concentrating their applications on a hyperscaler's cloud, companies harmonize their IT infrastructures and simplify integration tasks.
The fourth argument is agility. The cloud allows for rapid provisioning of infrastructures, and a much shorter time to market. Infrastructures are modern, and applications are constantly updated. A good way for companies to erase their technical debt.
The fifth and last argument, a means of transformation. The cloud encourages the adoption of standard processes and best practices. It also paves the way for innovative technologies: big data and IoT, advanced analytics, machine learning, AI, etc.
When and how to migrate to the cloud?
The move to the cloud is usually made during a SAP ERP upgrade release, thus allowing you to pool your testing efforts by combining two projects into one. It can also be scheduled at the end of the hosting or maintenance contract of the ERP. Or when the limits of the current IS and the new needs of the company become too critical.
There are three possible scenarios for the project:
• Lift and Shift: the SAP ERP and its database are moved to the cloud without modification. A simple project (less than 3 months), but with no functional benefits. An interesting option for those whose infrastructure is reaching the end of its life.
• Lift and shift + SAP Upgrade: here the organization is making a brownfield conversion. The most common scenario. The switch to the cloud is accompanied by a migration to the SAP S/4HANA ERP, on a constant scope basis. The result provides technical benefits and some functional benefits. Project duration: 3 to 6 months.
• Transformation project: the company switches to a new SAP S/4HANA system in greenfield or bluefield. This is the type of project that will have the greatest impact on the business, and also the one that will bring the most benefits. A transformation project can be long: about 12 months, depending on the scope of the IS.
The choice of hyperscaler can be freely made between Amazon (Amazon Web Services), Google (Google Cloud Platform), and Microsoft (Microsoft Azure). All three have relatively similar offerings for SAP environments. The criteria for refining this choice could be the desire to consolidate all of the company's applications on a single reference cloud, or to opt for a hyperscaler offering the services (IoT, ML, AI, etc.) that interest the organization.
VISEO is cloud-agnostic, but has an Azure First strategy, due to its strategic partnership with Microsoft, the good capabilities of the Azure platform, and the excellent relationship between Microsoft and SAP
RISE with SAP ?
RISE with SAP is a new cloud offering that includes:
• SAP S/4HANA Private Cloud Edition or Public Cloud Edition.
• An infrastructure to be chosen freely from Amazon, Google, or Microsoft.
• Integrated SAP managed services on infrastructure and systems.
• Access credits to the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP).
• Access credits to the SAP Business Network.
• Access to the Learning Hub.
RISE's particularity lies in its contractualization with SAP, for both software and infrastructure. The price is guaranteed to be the same, regardless of the hyperscaler chosen. Note that RISE with SAP is compatible with both brownfield and greenfield migration projects. Finally, SAP BTP access credits will allow you to test many innovative services, without commitment.
Migration, integration, and maintenance operations of the ERP are still carried out by VISEO. And if you decide not to opt for RISE with SAP, but for a more traditional cloud offer, VISEO can support you on the PaaS part, through its Cloud Managed Services.