By Fred Isbell, senior director and head of Thought Leadership – Digital Business Services Marketing, SAP

In general, the hype around any technology or solution is very similar to a roller coaster ride. Something triggers a new technology, and the hype rises over time to unrealistic proportions. Sooner or later, reality – and, at times, a bit of delusion – sets in about the actual reality and value. Then the technology matures, we set run-rate expectations, and the status quo emerges. At that point, reality meets expectations – reaching an equilibrium.
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The rise and adoption of cloud computing is a classic example. To dive deeper into this hype cycle, I hosted and moderated the SAP Digital Business Services thought-leadership Webcast “Making a Business Case for the Cloud: Issues, Considerations, and Best Practices” featuring panel of subject experts including:

  • Stuart Williams, vice president of Research, Technology Business Research (TBR)
  • Lisa McCann, North America COO of Services, SAP
  • Eamon Kearns, senior director of  Emerging Solutions, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Throughout this hour-long event, our guests provided insights into things that many of us have not seen or understood before. Here are a few of those key insights.


TBR: Cloud maturity and migration are real

According to Stuart Williams, going digital involves the use of technology to transition business processes to new business models. “At TBR, we sees broad adoption of public cloud services, but the integration across hybrid cloud environments is lagging – becoming a pain point with room for improvement,” he observed.

The TBR model comprises three basic sets of buyers:

  • Outcome-based: These buyers purchase outcomes – not technology – and depend on a solution provider for key innovation.
  • Co-innovators: They build solutions based upon platforms and rely on a solution provider to co-innovate, even though they do not own the basic technology.
  • Owners and controllers: Buyers own and control solutions, building solutions by innovating technology and sources from their investment in technology and solutions.

Ultimately, as Williams cited, cloud solutions are the glue when transforming business processes with specific road maps for each buyer category.


SAP: Achieve the first-mover advantage now


The most important step is to start now. Become your early adopter or early mover and reap the corresponding advantages such as market share, profitability, and sustainable competitive advantage. To help businesses make that jump, Lisa McCann outlined a four-phase approach for using a digital business framework while explaining the importance of the digital core and some very pragmatic approaches, including a cloud discovery workshop and specific value assurance services. Lisa’s discussion reminded me of a very famous sports quote:

“There are three types of players: Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen and those who wonder what happens.”
– Tommy Lasorda

Lisa urged, “This is real, and it’s happening now. Don’t go about this without consistency. Make sure you do it right the first time. The use of business scenario recommendations is a great low-barrier gateway and a quick approach to translating the current use of SAP technology into unique digital business scenarios.”

Learn more by visiting SAP Digital Business Services.


MIT: Move to the cloud and stop building more data centers

I’ve been fortunate to hear the MIT success story a couple of times, including at the SAPPHIRE NOW/ASUG earlier this year. Like a great movie, the story never gets old, and I learn something new each time. By deciding to stop building additional data centers on its high-priced real estate, MIT has shifted its focus to existing resources for core academic computing – showcasing the business value of cloud.

Eamon Kearns discussed how leveraging SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) is shifting the consumption of the university’s landscape of SAP solutions from on-premise data centers to those that are secure, remote with full advantages such as security and disaster recovery. He spoke about applying the staffing and technical expertise in a cloud-based model to assign MIT-specific resources to relevant academic computing – and never missing a beat in the process! As SAP S/4HANA is the digital core, this is a classic “reduced barrier to entry” adoption model with a high level of security and a built-in support system.


What is your business case for the cloud?

I encourage everyone to view the on-demand replay of “Making a Business Case for the Cloud: Issues, Considerations, and Best Practices” and to visit SAP Digital Business Services for more information on the expertise and resources available to help you along your cloud journey and migration.


Fred is the senior director and head of Thought Leadership for Digital Business Services Marketing at SAP.

Join Fred online: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, sap.com, SAP Services Hub


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