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Author's profile photo Andy Silvey

An SAP Architect’s Exploration Into SAP Cloud Strategies For Enterprises With Mature SAP Landscapes



Update 10th March 2014

Second Part Of This Series Is Here


Update 1st July 2014

SAP Services is helping Customers with their Cloud journey



There is so much material being produced telling the CTO’s, CIO’s, CEO’s,

Heads, Directors, Programme Managers, Project Managers, Managers,

Architects, Technicians, why they should move to the cloud.

The majority of these articles are written by the same group, Hardware Vendors /

System Integrators / Consulting Companies / Cloud Providers all telling why life

the universe and everything will be better when you are on the cloud.

The fact is, enterprises with mature SAP landscapes are simply not going to move

to the cloud overnight no matter how many times they are told it is the best thing

since sliced bread.

If the evangelists want to persuade the enterprises to move to the cloud then they

need to get into the enterprise’s heads, see the world through their eyes, understand

their goals, motivations, worries and risks.

Then and only then will the evangelists be in a position to see a path to the cloud

which works for the enterprises with mature SAP landscapes.

The CIO is balancing technology, internal operations and increasing the company’s

bottom line.

The CIO isn’t looking at technology for the sake of technology, she/he is looking at

technology as a business man, for the sake of smooth operations and an optimal

bottom line, keeping the business running and trying new things in moderation and

without putting the business at risk.

When the CIO is owner in chief of a large mature SAP landscape, covering from

ECC-FI across SCM, CRM, SRM, HR, MDM, Portals, Mobile, etc, and having

overseen the journey towards the SAP landscape reaching maturity, stability,

good performance, an annual upgrade strategy, strong support organisation,

and probably paved that road with a lot of hard work from across the organisation,

is she/he really going to disrupt the apple cart and move all of that to the cloud in one

go ?

Having got her/his SAP landscape running like a swiss watch, she/he is going to lean

towards caution when making fundamental changes.

For sure, she/he knows about the cloud, she/he probably has cloud providers calling him

every week, and explaining how they can save this much money.

She/He probably has the CEO asking him why we’re not looking at the cloud, because

the CEO’s friends at the golf club are looking at the cloud.

What does she/he do, does he stick his head in the sand, or does she/he do something,

if she/he does something, what should she/he do ?

She/He needs a strategy.

This blog aims explore a strategy for the enterprises with mature SAP landscapes

to dip their toes into the cloud.


Large enterprise, stock exchange listed, leader in their field.

IT has been spun off to a separate daughter company, since several years ago

the large enterprise took the decision that IT is not the core business.

The daughter company has been sliced and diced, opportunities for outsourcing

have been followed the and daughter company IT Supplier is a lean organisation

providing IT Services to the core business.

SAP – mature comprehensive SAP landscape containing a good proportion of

the business suite product portfolio.

The SAP landscape is mature, stable, tuned and performing well, critical incidents

are low, there are yearly landscape upgrades.


What are the goals, motivations, worries and risks for the CIO of an enterprise

with a mature SAP landscape ?

As Jason Hiner explains in this article, the roles and responsibilities of the CIO


Chief Information Officer:

     • Serves as the company’s top technology infrastructure manager

     • Runs the organization’s internal IT operations

     • Works to streamline business processes with technology

     • Focuses on internal customers (users and business units)

     • Collaborates and manages vendors that supply infrastructure solutions

     • Aligns the company’s IT infrastructure with business priorities

     • Develop strategies to increase the company’s bottom line (profitability)

     • Has to be a skilled and organized manager to be successful

Considering the CIO’s Roles and Responsibilities, the first question is….

Is there a (Business) Case for moving to the cloud ?

The first question on the subject of moving to the cloud has to be, why,

the reason for moving to the cloud:

     . Is there a business case, or business demand for moving to the cloud

     . Has the full roi analysis been made

     . The case can also be in the area of moving to cloud to explore new IT strategies

     . Having a cloud presence as a pilot and proof of concept

Assuming there is strong enough support for looking at the cloud, then, the next

question is….

Cloud Risks:

What are the risks and questions for moving something to the cloud ?

     . Performance – how will the cloud solution perform on the global level

     . Security – Vlunerability to Attacks – is the cloud solution regularly

     penetration tested

     . Support – – what is the experience of the cloud provider and incident

     handling – how will ticketing/incident management be aligned between

     the internal systems and the cloud provider, how reliable is the cloud

     provider with incidents – will there be the situation where the cloud

     provider is blaming internal IT and vice versa

     . Application Lifecycle Management – how does it work in the cloud

     . Business Continuity/Outages – What happens if the cloud provider goes

     out of business

     . Exit – What is the exit strategy from the cloud provider

     . Governance & Compliance – for example, Pharma – Gxp, Sox,

     Validated Systems ?

     . Identity Federation

Assuming there will be mitigations for all of those risks the next question is…

For mature SAP landscapes what to move to the cloud first ?

Obviously the enterprise is not going to move everything in one hit.

The enterprise is going to move in a controlled manner with a clear back

out strategy if things don’t work out.

And hence, the question for the mature, high performing, stable, SAP landscape,

what is moved to the cloud ?

What are the risks ?

     . Move the most business critical SAP systems, ECC-FI, BI ?

     . Move systems which are less business critical, CLM, Solution Manager ?

     Obviously, there will be some arguments from system owners as to the

     criticality of their systems, but most organisations have a high level risk

     register for the SAP landscape classifying which systems are the most critical

     . Move one system, eg, CLM to the cloud, what will be the performance between

     the On-Premise SAP Portal, the Cloud based CLM, and the On-Premise SRM ?

     . Even CLM, don’t forget, CLM contains confidential contracts, is there really

     a strong enough case for a SAP system containing confidential contracts to

     be the first system to move to the cloud ?

This is not easy to answer, it is not easy simply to say, we’re going to the cloud.

There needs to be a path to the cloud, a strategy for getting to the cloud…

A Path to the Cloud

There is an alternative path to the cloud, a lot more controlled and giving

the opportunity to dip the enterprise’s feet into the cloud, while managing

risk and keeping options for the future open.

Hana Cloud Portal

Hana Cloud Portal is the opportunity for a conservative path to the cloud.

When an enterprise implements Hana Cloud Portal they will have the

opportunity to test all of the previously discussed risks.

The Hana Cloud Portal has a variety of uses which can be capitalised upon

immediately, Success Factors are now using Hana Cloud Portal as the

Customer Support Portal for their 4,500 Customers worldwide, other usage

types are explored  here and here. Infact there is so much which the Hana

Cloud Portal can be used for it is the perfect stepping stone to the cloud.

On top of giving an opportunity to test all of the risks described earlier, the

Hana Cloud Portal gives the opportunity to explore amongst other things:

     . User provisioning in the cloud

     . SSO from the cloud to on-premise

     . Integration between cloud and on-premise

     . Performance of cloud hosted applications

     . Performance between on-premise and cloud applications

Subsequently, depending upon the success of the Hana Cloud Portal pilot,

the enterprise could if they so wished and depending upon how comfortable

they felt, dip their feet further into the cloud by moving other SAP systems

to the cloud on a case by case basis where the case makes sense.

Hana Cloud Portal is, infact, the door to the cloud !


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