Today the benefits of the cloud – cost efficiencies, increased operational flexibility, and lower total cost of ownership – are well within reach. Companies understand that the fastest path to maximizing innovation and business transformation is through the cloud and that this journey, when executed properly, can help enterprises take a competitive lead in their industries. But organizations are still struggling to come up with a comprehensive cloud-adoption strategy that
- works for their existing, well-established business processes
- takes into consideration the investment into their on-premise infrastructure
- gives them the flexibility to innovate and fulfil the growing business
The hurdle of the last mile
When considering moving the cloud, many organizations are concerned that they will need to leave the functionality of their on-premise solutions – which often includes competitive, industry-specific extensions – behind,on premise. This is a valid concern, because while cloud solutions are providing innovation at the pace of business change, not all cloud solutions fully address a company’s primary – and often mission-critical – business process functionality. One of the reasons why cloud solutions sometimes struggle to support the customer’s need for individual, unique, tailored business process solutions is described in the following SCN blog by Sven Dennecken “Cloud Myth Busting: Myth #8 – Cloud Can’t Adapt to My Needs.” “… SaaS solutions require more discipline of enterprises in the standardization of processes. Updates can’t be performed individually as a large number of tenants share the same solution core – and this core needs to be kept upgradable anytime.”
In reality, this “last-mile” challenge – bringing mission critical functionality to the cloud – is companies all around the globe experience. A recent report from Oxford Economics shared results from a survey indicating that for 42% of the respondents, business continuity was a risk that they were concerned about in the adoption of cloud computing. The report also says that integrating clouds with on-premise applications is one of the challenges that companies face in meeting their cloud strategies.
Mission-critical functionality can’t be left behind – How to deal with it in the cloud?
In my next blog I will talk about ways to overcome this challenge e.g. by using a PaaS solution like SAP HANA Cloud Platform. I will then tell you how SAP is scaling up its development resources to help customers which are starting this journey to run their mission critical tailored business processes in the cloud. And I’ll end the mini-series with two or three recent customer projects – at least that’s the plan.
Let me know your thoughts on this and stay tuned!