Moving SAP to Cloud
– Benefits, Misconceptions & Considerations

Toni Kuokkanen, Nordcloud’s Solution Strategist

Major tech companies continue to blow the hype bubble around cloud migration, and SAP is no exception. But it’s not all noise – there are clear reasons for running SAP on public cloud. Toni Kuokkanen, Nordcloud Solution Strategist, gives his opinion on some of the misconceptions and explains the benefits.

Why are businesses cautious about moving SAP to cloud?

SAP is the crown jewel for many companies. The data that SAP systems hold is crucial, while the availability of SAP services underpins day-to-day operations. What this means is that some companies are hesitant to migrate SAP to the cloud. 

Added to this, there have been some misconceptions around whether SAP in cloud is fast enough, if security in the cloud is sufficient, as well as just the fear of the unknown. 

However, these have all been proven wrong many times. And now even the most sceptical IT leaders have started to look to the cloud for their SAP workloads.

What do businesses need to consider?

There are some things that need to be addressed when moving to the cloud with SAP. First and foremost is defining your reason for moving to the cloud. For example, ageing hardware and the cost of updating legacy IT is enough of a reason for many companies.

However, we see far greater benefits to be taken from shifting SAP to cloud. For example, the potential in SAP data powering cloud-based data solutions is a great application. The Microsoft Azure Data Factory offers a SAP HANA and Business Warehouse data integration and makes it possible to digest data further. 

When choosing a partner to move your SAP load into the cloud, you need to make sure that they offer not just SAP-specific expertise, but are also well-versed in modern cloud technologies to help you fully realise the potential of the services that public cloud can offer. Although SAP does have limitations in some instances, I expect there will be an option to use containers or serverless architecture in the near future. 

Security considerations

Security in the cloud is also a hot topic, with some of the headlines and controversies we have seen in the past year or so. But you can categorize 90% of those as simple user error and configuration mistakes which could have been avoided by simply doing things right. We come back again to choosing cloud-native experts that live and breathe this space. 

I talk a lot about cloud security and it still boils down to the basics: knowing your stuff, hiring the right people, using the correct automation and planning your cloud foundation the right way. There is no silver bullet here, every piece of the puzzle must be there or you will lack something crucial. SAP deployment is no exception. It’s not rocket science, it just needs all the pieces of the puzzle.

Which public cloud is best for running SAP?

While Microsoft Azure offers some great building blocks for cloud foundations, the other hyperscalers are also strong contenders. Any of the big three are more or less equally suitable for running SAP in the cloud. 

Remember, multi-cloud is an option too, allowing you to reap the benefits of different services across the hyperscalers. In my opinion, it’s worth choosing a cloud partner first and foremost, thinking about the bigger picture and not just single application needs. 

I’ll dig a little deeper on my next blog about SAP and cloud security in general, as there are so many small details that can and should be considered when moving to the cloud and securing an existing deployment. 

Until next time.


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