Irrespective of the business niche, size and operation, most enterprises today share the common objective of gaining the competitive advantage by ensuring a steady top line growth and maintaining operational cost to a minimum. The first is always possible by ensuring robust user engagement while the later can be achieved by replacing large infrastructure with outsourced services. In a way, cloud computing allows advantages in both of these aspects. While highly user optimized sophisticated cloud apps allows user interaction irrespective of the devices, cloud storage and cloud based data center also removes the need for large IT infrastructure and resources.
Cloud computing helps to enhance customer satisfaction, boosts customer loyalty and boosts garnering new sales and acquisition. At the same time, it helps companies reduce IT costs, enhance operational efficiency and performance of IT operations. As companies shifting their focus from large in-house IT infrastructure depend on more professionally managed cloud services optimized for their business, they can concentrate more on their business having all relevant technologies at their disposal. The cloud solutions from SAP are geared to address these evolving enterprise concerns.
According to a new IDC report, for many businesses focusing on the right resource and workforce has been the biggest challenge for executing a business strategy. Both budget restraints and operational difficulties play a role in acquiring skilled personnel and experts. Similar constraints also pay a role in augmenting in-house custom business apps. In the same IDC study 36% respondents also referred to the gap between business needs and IT capabilities in many organizations.
The cloud solutions from SAP are engineered to address these typical enterprise-IT concerns. But before going into the cloud strategy and platform of SAP, we must have a basic understanding of the key aspects of cloud.
Essential advantages of cloud
Cloud platform offers the following advantages for enterprise IT operations. Here below we provide the essential characteristics of cloud service.
- Thanks to cloud a business can scale up computing capabilities across points of contact without needing much human interaction.
- Thanks to cloud computing capabilities can be made available over the business network and made it easily accessible for business processes.
- Cloud allows pooling of computing resources for multiple consumers with a multi-tenant model.
- Cloud allows provisioning of computing capabilities rapidly on the basis of increasing demand.
- Cloud system helps to measure the service through automatic control and metering capability.
SAP Hana cloud platform
SAP for long wanted to extend its environment and make certain apps customized that already up and running. However to do this by taking advantages of emerging technologies like cloud, Big Data, social platforms and mobility, SAP had to integrate many aspects in its core code while always maintaining the agility and business specific attributes. This new focus for an integrated enterprise platform resulted in SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
SAP Hana Cloud Platform characteristically is an open PaaS (platform-as-a-service) having an in-memory database extending the environment for an array of business apps. With SAP Hana, you can rapidly develop, integrate and deploy feature rich and lightweight cloud apps for diverse business purposes. While you can customize the apps as per on-premise demand you do not need to impact the app core. Through intensive data processing capabilities, you can integrate connected touch points and interfaces and give your decision making process the predictive and proactive edge.
SAP’s Cloud-Strategy in a Nutshell
The cloud strategy of SAP is centered on three distinct types of cloud services as mentioned below:
- Public cloud apps that extend support to human resources, customer management and sales management, finance, procurement and cloud based ERP
- Private cloud environment like the HANA Enterprise Cloud which is basically a managed cloud offering
- A cloud marketplace for scaling up and extending innovation for consumers and the technology partner ecosystem
- Collaboration tools further provide support to these three types of cloud services
Less IT complexity reduced cost and minimum risk
Nimbleness and cost efficiency are two of the most important things for which businesses are increasingly showing interest in enterprise cloud solutions. As per the latest report by IDC, almost 50% of companies have already chosen to adopt SaaS (software as a service) while one third of the enterprises has already adapted to PaaS (platform as a service) and 20% of companies have a definite plan of embracing PaaS within a year or so. Obviously, this shows how big the business value is produced by cloud solutions. A majority of companies openly agree on the power of the cloud in driving innovation and facilitating better collaboration and more engaging decision making process.
But with the evolving IT scene and cloud based apps, so called standardized solutions seem no longer effective in allowing businesses taking advantage of the new technologies, innovation and data driven decision making process. This is where the importance of future ready cloud solutions is felt. Where flexibility in adapting to differentiated business processes and customization is in demand, SAP Hana comes as the clear winner among the cloud solutions in an offer. The flexibility and ease of use reduce typical IT complexities in enterprises to a great extent and by addressing different processes through the same cloud infrastructure it helps reducing cost and by integrating the array of different processes within one supple and the dynamic system it reduces risks of operational failure.
Customized cloud based apps and extensions
Businesses with high reliance on cloud solutions for their business process depend on custom app building to address enterprise-specific requirements. According to a recent survey by Oxford Economics, a whopping 48% of respondent companies consider building new custom apps as a key accelerator for innovation and business growth. Some of the key advantages enterprises can be entitled to by opting for advanced and future ready cloud solutions include the following.
- Quicker business process execution and faster turnaround time for the end user by allowing high level of automation and by building custom apps for specific business processes
- Higher resource utilization with the reduced draining of resources through in-house development of business process specific apps.
- Less cost overload though outsourcing development and maintenance resources from cloud service providers.