SAP products serve the strategic, mission-critical and enterprise level needs of many organizations. This also creates dependencies on SAP and any change to the implementation would be equally critical. The cloud is the preferred platform and the plan for its adoption can directly and indirectly impact all related processes and workloads. Though SAP is not typically the first platform moved to the cloud it can be the most important.
Enterprises move to Google Cloud as part of a larger strategic shift toward the cloud to support their growing workforce. Moving SAP infrastructure onto GCP (Google Cloud Platform) helps organizations consolidate their business processes onto the Google Cloud ecosystem.
Organizations migrate their SAP ecosystem and IT workloads to a Cloud platform to achieve or keep their leadership position in the market, continue innovation, gain an edge over the competition, and improve their bottom-line. Understanding the strategy for an SAP cloud migration and innovation targets are critical to the success of all cloud adoption plans.
Moving SAP to Google Cloud provides access to other innovations on the same platform. It requires a full-blown change, and it may not be enough if just the SAP workloads are moved to infrastructure-as-a-service. Google Cloud’s automation tools also improve automation capabilities. Some of the relevant issues in this adoption scenario are:• Capital expenditure to refresh SAP infrastructure
Cloud solutions are streamlined incremental ones where the users benefit by only paying for the difference of data-backups, not the full storage. All the valuable data in SAP can be analyzed and presented with clear insights to provide value. The statutory, strategic, vendor related and operational reasons for moving to the cloud are:• SAP customers need to upgrade hardware to meet the new HANA demand of high memory VMs by 2025. SAP requires an upgrade of all older versions to S4/HANA by 2027. This creates a sense of urgency for SAP customers to decide their options but the potential of GCP provides a way forward.
A study by Forrester indicates that by using Google Cloud to host their SAP infrastructure, organizations could remove their legacy on-premises SAP infrastructure, shift from a capex to an opex model and achieve 10% to 20% cost reduction related to hardware. source
Modernizing the SAP environment, bringing in a proper structure and benefiting from the cloud are some of the advantages of Google Cloud Platform (GCP). GCP offers customers an excellent path to upgrade, run and innovate their SAP environment and benefit further from the integrations, insights, and innovation that GCP provides.
It is possible to use Google Cloud infrastructure to build greenfield (fresh implementation) of SAP environment or migrate existing SAP workloads from on-premises or other cloud providers to Google Cloud. GCP provides BigQuery’s AI&ML capabilities to provide data analysis and SAP automation.
Organizations benefit from the flexibility that Google Cloud enabled for their SAP infrastructure. Google Cloud allows IT teams to easily spin up or down SAP instances, which reduces the amount of time, effort, and internal coordination required for testing and development. Companies can easily scale up and scale out when required.• GCP provides a compliant-safe environment to run the SAP workloads and business processes. The Google infrastructure is a perfect fit for operating SAP in production.
Once an organization has migrated the SAP workloads to GCP, it benefits from a cost reduction for storage, high availability, and disaster recovery. The organization is also able to monetize on the additional benefits of the Cloud.
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Businesses need to adopt a cloud strategy with detailed scoping and implementation planning driven by systematic thinking and continuous improvement. The strategy provides a vision for what cloud should be, a process and a path, with appropriate checks and balances.• Consult the SAP consultant through the process.
The company is one of the pioneers and the largest developers of renewable energy generation projects in Brazil and handles about 30% of all operational wind farms (or under construction) in Brazil. It produces vast amounts of data that can be processed and analyzed to study wind behavior, control turbines, and forecast power production and climate, among others. Its on-premises infrastructure no longer had the capacity to process, orchestrate, and analyze such vast amounts of data in the face of the company’s continued expansion. With a growing number of projects, the company needed a solution that would centralize its workflow while providing scalability and flexibility. The company decided to adopt SAP as a business-management solution and host its SAP S/4HANA environment on Google Cloud. The benefits of this move were:• Reduction in the time needed to predict the amount of energy generated by a specific project from 15 days to one day.
The second part of the article will focus on the functional side including the process, the challenges, means to overcome them, and the outcomes of the migration.