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Author's profile photo Scott Dillon

Part 3: Innovation in Hybrid Spaces: It’s More Dynamic Than You Think

The pace of cloud adoption continues to intensify as businesses navigate a new reality where every interaction is increasingly digital. But few companies migrate their on-premise landscape into one that is 100% cloud-based all at once. In fact, our customers are relying on hybrid environments – where the benefits of both on-premise and cloud technologies are leveraged – to start their journey toward realizing the benefits of a cloud-based approach. 


Incremental migration to the cloud is a logical starting point for organizations wanting control of their data on-premise, while tapping capabilities for fast-paced innovation and adopting the latest technologies. At SAP, our customers can benefit from a hybrid environment by building application extensions that enable the exchange of cloud functionality and on-premise data across both landscapes. 


For a growing number of SAP customers, the secret to achieving this goal is SAP Extension Suite, as part of SAP Business Technology PlatformSAP Business Technology Platform is giving organizations the opportunity to use services that provide secure connections to their system landscape, while supporting business continuity during unprecedented disruption and keeping their customer and employee experiences engaging and productive. Such efforts are also being accomplished with less complexity and cost and with greater flexibility. 


Where the best of both worlds come together 


A common myth about hybrid landscapes is the risk of losing the economics of cloud elasticity and an innovation pace in synch with the provider. However, since SAP Business Technology Platform provides prescriptive connectivity, our customers solve a range of challenges with the cloud’s considerable speed, scale simplicity, and digital maturity. 


Whether the line of business is sales, marketing, supply chain, finance, or HR, organizations can do their part to keep operations smooth enough to pivot as market dynamics change. The platform supports this goal by supporting three fundamental use cases for connecting cloud solutions to an on-premise landscape. 


  1. Optimizing the security of existing and future on-premise and cloud investments


Organizations often choose to migrate to the cloud to filter out noise and deliver actionable insight across the enterprise. But it’s not unusual that they are also nervous about the risk of exposing their on-premise data. And the reasons behind this apprehension may include the sensitive nature of the information, compliance with data privacy and protection regulations, and a brand reputation built on confidentiality. 


With SAP Extension Suite, organizations help ensure their data remains secure on-premise, yet remain accessible through the cloud. The suite offers various tools and APIs that are architected and built to support the services that are leveraged from ERP solutions from SAP, such as SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA, in a hybrid deployment environment. 


Take, for example, invoicing processes. Traditionally, invoices are created through a back-end ERP system. Now, organizations are increasingly sharing the invoice information with purchasers and decision-makers through a mobile application to accelerate the approval process further. To help ensure invoice contents remain secure, SAP Extension Suite provides complete functioning applications that – without additional customization – connect and contextualize processes and data while enabling the security of content-rich services. 


  1. Integrating applications, data, and processes as one unified landscape


One of the most critical aspects of using both on-premise and cloud-based data sources and information is the native integration of applications and extensions. With a clear understanding of the entire underlying landscape, our customers take advantage of a full range of intelligent capabilities, such as stream analytics, robotic process automation, and master data services. Plus, they can support processes and operations that are geographically diverse. 


Let’s reconsider my example of leveraging a mobile invoicing application. Customers can choose between several mobile options where the end result is a native application for iOS or Android, For instance, one page may provide a list of accounts, another could generate the latest details about a chosen contact, and a third allows the user to create a new record or invoice request. 


SAP Extension Suite not only jump-starts and accelerates the development of the application with templated APIs. It also simplifies integration with native and pre-integrated services that support data governance and lifecycle management of the mobile application and any SAP and third-party solution it touches.  


  1. Turning isolated skills into a business-wide innovation advantage


Innovation requires a wide variety of skills and resourcessuch as database management, full stack development, event-driven notifications, and continuous integration and delivery, to name a few. However, all these skill sets and more are rarely available in one organization.  


But here’s the good news: SAP Extension Suite provides a set of enterprise services that lets customers get started quickly based on a set of best practices. For example, a cloud-based development and continuous integration and delivery model based on SAP Fiori apps should take minutes to configure, not days. Multiple frameworks and runtimes are available to accelerate the application programming, whether leveraging a template or starting from scratch.  


A prime example of the benefit our customers gain through our application programming model is the experience of Germany’s Federal Foreign Office. The German government needed a mobile application that could quickly repatriate tens of thousands of German citizens and delivered as soon as possible to help safeguard public health during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. SAP rose to the occasion by developing the technology within 24 hours on SAP Extension Suite, fulfilling every requirement with a secure and scalable innovation.  


When turning challenges into opportunities matter 


A hybrid environment that allows customers to securely extend onpremise business processes supports the continuous innovation businesses need to stay ahead of market dynamics. And for organizations, this means accomplishing much-needed shifts without negatively impacting the integrity of existing data, digital investments, and processes. 


With SAP Extension Suite, our customers gain a foundation for overcoming challenges and taking advantage of new opportunities. By optimizing existing and future digital investments, integrating processes, supporting innovation by consolidating necessary skills, organizations may increase efficiency and productivity, cut costs, and accelerate agility. Most importantly, they are well-positioned to better respond and thrive in a fast-moving world. 


Explore the value that SAP Extension Suite can bring to your business. 

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