When you envision the cloud and cloud technologies, you don’t necessarily think of SAP right away. Unlike the shiny new cloud companies, SAP has been around for 40 years with a rich legacy in enterprise software that runs organizations, many of them very complex. SAP applications are mission critical to our customers’ day-to-day operations and have historically been on premise.
Over the last few years, the cloud has found its way in to the mainstream of business technology, creating a dramatic shift in the way software is consumed. SAP has embraced this changing landscape by adopting a cloud first strategy in everything that we do. But it’s not just cloud for cloud’s sake. In reality, the honeymoon with the cloud is over: enthusiasm and adoption are still strong but the inflated expectations have levelled off.
Users aren’t focused on whether their software is cloud enabled or not. They simply want consumer-friendly tools that are easy to use and enable them to get up and running quickly. And while companies are eager to reap the benefits of the cloud, they need to maintain a competitive advantage in order to remain successful. The cloud can’t just be about saving money by moving infrastructure off premise.
It’s About Innovation
The real value of the cloud is innovation. It’s about being able to do what you never thought possible. The ability to innovate is the most interesting, compelling and provocative reason for companies to be focused on the cloud. Companies need to constantly innovate to remain competitive – and this is the centerpiece of SAP’s cloud strategy.
New cloud companies pop up on a regular basis hyping solutions that solve a particular business problem, which is great, but they typically address one small part of what a business deals with. SAP’s heritage is in understanding how the entire business process works in all kinds of different organizations, from small to large and complex, spanning over 26 industries in 190 countries. We’ve translated that valuable in-depth knowledge, layering everything we know about how businesses operate, into a consumption-friendly cloud-based model.
The cloud also represents SAP’s path to faster innovation. Gone are the long, process-ridden software cycles that used to be counted in terms of years not too long ago. The cloud has consumerized enterprise software by making lag time between versions a thing of the past, and iterative, user-feedback driven cycles the only way forward. Simplified delivery, nimble innovation, and instant time to market are what customers have come to expect. This is the approach SAP takes in the delivery model of our cloud-based solutions.
Non-Value Add Activities
I briefly mentioned this earlier but it’s important to highlight the cloud’s ability to reduce non-value add activities that create complexity for customers. Many enterprise software related activities, like building and maintaining infrastructure, or provisioning and upgrading software, are simply not value add for organizations. I have yet to meet one CEO who is dying to buy more hardware, open a data center or expand their IT team. Other vendors can do it better, faster and cheaper. SAP’s cloud offerings take care of those time consuming and costly activities so customers can focus on running their business and competing to win.
Moving to the Cloud with SAP
We know companies want to adopt cloud solutions and many have already started doing so. We also know that companies want to move forward in a way that does not disrupt their business and leverages what already works well.
All SAP solutions available today, whether developed in-house or acquired, employ an integrated, cloud-first approach. We’re doing this by investing in one common cloud platform based on SAP HANA which will tie all our solutions together, including non-SAP solutions that customers may be using. Our one cloud infrastructure approach eliminates the silos within companies that can cripple innovation and allows organizations to leverage the latest technologies needed to stay ahead of the competition.
Customers can now have their mission critical SAP applications fully enabled to run in a secure, private cloud environment. Or they take advantage of the latest business-ready SAP cloud applications like Concur, SuccessFactors, Ariba and Fieldglass. Customers can also build and run brand new cloud applications or extend existing cloud or on-premise applications by leveraging the Hana Cloud Platform.
Bottom line, the cloud breeds innovation. And SAP provides the business process know-how and technology for customers like you to exploit the cloud for true competitive advantage.
My goal was to shed some light on why SAP has adopted a cloud first strategy, and this post is just a starting point; I’d love to hear your thoughts. Stay tuned over the coming weeks as our experts dig deeper into our cloud strategy and SAP cloud offerings.
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