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Author's profile photo Sven Denecken

Cloud Myth Busting: Myth #6: Cloud is for small companies

Welcome to the 6th in a series of blogs to dispel myths about SAP and the Cloud. Today we will debunk the myth that cloud only adopted by small companies.

What is the origin of this myth?

Early SaaS vendors focused on smaller companies as their business is often less complex. Win the 1st customer (smaller, simpler), solve challenges, make them a great reference and grow upmarket with the next win. Unfortunately as the cloud market penetration grew, including more and larger companies,  the market perception of ‘small’ customers did not change.


Here are the facts

From SAP´s cloud install base, 60% of its customers are large enterprises. The market perception of cloud solutions changed significantly with the arrival of SAP´s SaaS portfolio.

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) is built on a public cloud model and addresses primarily the needs of business owners. 

While the applications solve business user pain points, the deployment model “cloud” delivers ease-of-use, multi-tenancy and business velocity.
The value for the business owner is primarily best practice sharing and process efficiency. SaaS cloud contributes with SIMPLIFICATION of consumption, access and improved time to value. These are meaningful aspects irrespective of the size of acompany. The scalability and
professionalism of SAP’s SaaS solutions enable SAP to onboard large companies to the cloud service.


Robustness is another important aspect of enterprise scale. Actually SAP´s largest SaaS deployment in the cloud is currently used by more than 2 million employees in one instance. (Source: SAP Investor relations; Q3 Earnings Call)

  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) is a widely underestimated cloud service. 

While many developers and small businesses enjoy the speed of development and innovation on the HANA Cloud Platform, increasingly large enterprises and system integrators are also exploring this new way of extending their solutions. A clear platform strategy adds significant value to the cloud model and allows companies of any size to adopt cloud for their individual business requirements.

We can see many customers actively extending SaaS solutions using the public data model and a growing numbers of scalable solutions ( and already available.

  • Managed Cloud – Business as a Service in a managed cloud.

BaaS, Business as a Service, delivers the power of in-memory technology combined with cloud simplicity. Customer expectations have been clear for a long time: scalable, enterprise-ready, mission-critical, secure – and fully managed. The HANA Enterprise Cloud offering helps customers to focus on their business and benefit from SAP´s infrastructure and managed services. And customers proof that it works for any company size, e.g. Florida Chrystal ( ).

It is important for customers, and so for SAP, to offer a choice of deployment for customers. No matter if small, mid-size or large customers – SAP has a ‘cloud first’ approach. The flexibility in deployment enables customers to solve their business challenges and avoid cloud for cloud´s sake.


Customer complexity might increase with the size of organization. But we also see some industries which are more complex than others, irrespective of the company size. Differences lead to differentiated deployment footprints between On-Premise, Cloud, a Managed Cloud and a Hybrid landscape.

Theentire SAP cloud portfolio is designed to serve various customer footprints and to ensure SAP serves large customers in the cloud with the same completeness and sustainability as On-Premise.

This concept created a 6.000+ customer cloud installed base (Source: SAP Investor relations; Q3 Earnings Call) of which 60% are classified as large enterprise .

Interested to read more? Here is our cloud fact book.

Bert Schulze (@BeSchulze) and Sven Denecken (@SDenecken)



Cloud Myth Busting: facts and figures of SAP ́s cloud business


Read other relevant blogs:

Hybrid cloud

Public, Private or Hybrid? What are your cloud choices

The 1-2-3 of Cloud security

Integration and Interoperability of Cloud Solutions – it’s a kind of Magic

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