It's 2020, Time to Begin Migrating SAP to the Cloud

3 min read

The time is here for cloud migration to S/4HANA.

In the world of SAP, IT decision-makers are on the clock. As of 2027, SAP ends support for SAP Business Suite and, by then, the goal is for every customer to have moved to S/4HANA. Moreover, it is SAP’s hope and expectation that the vast majority of customers will use their next-generation platform in hybrid or public cloud models.

While the 2027 date gives IT teams a firm deadline, the reality is there is very little reason for most companies to wait to begin the cloud migration to S/4HANA. In fact, the business benefits of starting the process sooner rather than later far outweigh the risks in delaying. These benefits include the following:

  1. Accelerate digital transformation: We are at a tipping point, according to IDC, whereby 52% of global GDP in 2023 will be accounted for by digitally transformed enterprises. IDC describes the emergence of a “digital-first enterprise” with IT migrating to cloud environments and investing heavily in automation, orchestration, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
  2. Achieve competitive advantage: S/4HANA in the cloud provides significant competitive advantage, including increased agility, faster time to market, simple scalability, an OpEx pricing model with reduced capital investments, plus greater capabilities for mobility, collaboration, and big data analytics to modernize the workforce and enhance the customer experience.
  3. Gain faster access to innovation:  Organizations are embracing innovation at a faster pace than ever thanks to the agility and flexibility of the cloud. Whether it’s AI or machine learning, containers or microservices, or new capabilities such as blockchain, your enterprise can leverage innovation much faster when business critical applications like SAP are in the cloud.

With these obvious advantages and others, the question is: Why aren’t all SAP enterprises moving to the cloud with S/4HANA? Well, the truth is that many are making the move or have done so. More than 20% of SAP revenues are already in the cloud, with that number expected to more than double within three years.

Yet, despite the business benefits and looming deadline, many enterprises have remained hesitant to begin the process. A project of this scope and scale can be daunting, and some enterprises have legitimate concerns about security, availability, downtime, and other risks. These concerns are valid and can be mitigated with the right plan in place and partner to consult with throughout the process.  

Streamlining SAP migration to the cloud with VMware

As we look at the landscape in 2020, there are now sufficient tools, technologies, expertise, and partners to make the SAP migration to the cloud as smooth as possible. This is particularly the case for enterprises that use VMware vSphere, the predominant virtualization engine for SAP business applications.

In migrating your VMware SAP environment to the cloud, you should look for certain capabilities and characteristics that will give you and your organization the fastest, simplest, safest, and most seamless experience, mitigating risk of downtime, poor performance, security gaps, compliance concerns, and other potential stumbling blocks.

Whether you are looking to lift and shift entire workloads or adopt a slower, more evolutionary approach, look for a VMware cloud solution that does the following:

  1. Lets you migrate your SAP workloads on VMware from on-premises data centers to the public cloud without re-architecting, using VMware HCS to retain existing IP addresses and routing.
  2. Uses automation to simplify and accelerate provisioning of the infrastructure and VMware software-defined data center environment.
  3. Delivers a customer-managed hypervisor with best practices delivered consistently, including SAP-certified Single-Tenant Bare Metal Infrastructure, root access, version updates, and more.  

If SAP is one of the mission critical applications of your business, a shift to the cloud is inevitable. It is also necessary, not just because there is a deadline on the horizon, but because of the significant value this transition can deliver to your business and its digital transformation efforts.

Finding the right provider

As you research your partner options, be sure you select a cloud provider that has the experience and expertise to make the transition as seamless as possible and delivers enterprise grade performance, availability, management, and security for the journey.

It’s 2020. Are you ready to migrate SAP to the cloud? Review the resources on this site to learn about the many ways IBM Cloud for VMware Solutions can help.

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