The UK Government G-Cloud programme has a “public cloud first policy“. But when application downloads are made from CloudStore – the G-Cloud’s online cloud catalogue – how much thought will be given to how these can be integrated into existing landscapes ? Or swapped out for future applications ?
On 18th October SAP will exhibit at the Think G-Cloud conference in the Business Design Centre, Islington, London and I’m really hoping attendees will want to talk about Cloud integration. Because I don’t hear too much about this aspect of CloudStore and I think Denise McDonagh got it right in her blog Cloud Cynicism (or Dispelling the Dark Clouds).
Denise took over the UK Government’s G-Cloud program in April this year and when she blogged “I know that buying services from multiple providers and making them work together will be a challenge” I think she hit upon a really important point. Because, in my opinion, the UK public sector already pays far more for it’s IT than it has to and I don’t want to see this happening again in the future. In my role as SAP solution architect to the UK Public Sector I come across multiple examples of the effort invested by public sector organisations to tie together their disparate systems. They suffer:
– high ongoing total cost of ownership
– inflexibility to changing business requirements
– inability to adapt latest technologies
– over reliance on individual systems integrators
The question is can the same thing be avoided with CloudStore downloads?
At SAP we think so. We have made a reputation supporting integrated business processes. And SAP’s Cloud Strategy is not just about delivering best in class applications (we expect to list over 20 of these in the Phase 2 version of CloudStore by the way). But also about cloud integration. Our Cloud Strategy delivers integration for:
– Cloud with Cloud
– Cloud with On-Premise
– Cloud with SAP
– Cloud with non-SAP
So how will we do this ? Well here are some of the main areas and Sven Denecken (VP and Head of Co-Innovation Cloud Solutions at SAP) outlines SAP’s Cloud Strategy in the above video. We will:
1. Provide cloud applications on the CloudStore which work on their own or loosely coupled with each other
2. Provide the option of a full suite Cloud solution on the CloudStore which is downloadable in phases
3. Deliver “Integration OnDemand” with process and data integration capabilities to enable CloudStore solutions to integrate with other cloud and on-premise solutions
4. Provide software developer kits allowing niche vendors (e.g. SMEs) to deliver government specific value to already built Cloud solutions that are downloadable from the CloudStore
5. Deliver Mobile, Social, Analytics and Big Data solutions that work with Cloud based applications
“Integration OnDemand” offers pre-packaged integration content which can be used as-is or which can be easily extended to address customer specific integration needs. An area SAP feels is ripe for SME value added services – which, by the way, is one of the other key areas of focus for the G-Cloud program.
As usual SAP is not thinking in terms of Cloud application “silos” and I very much hope that when public sector organisations make their CloudStore downloads they won’t think in terms of application “silos” either. Because it would be a real shame to repeat the experiences of the past.
I shall be blogging more about these aspects in the coming weeks. But in the meantime, if you are a public sector employee, why don’t you come along to Think G-Cloud on 18th October and talk to us (entrance is free to public sector employees). And maybe you’ll end up agreeing wth Denise too !
Steve Mawby is a Solution Architect at SAP UK with a special focus on Public Sector and Cloud. He has written a whitepaper on SAP’s Cloud Strategy for the UK Public Sector and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org