Migrating to the cloud

Two years of prioritizing business’ durability during a pandemic have showcased a remarkable show of operational questions for most businesses – and inspiring chances for some. For the large majority, technology in addition to operational schemes in 2022 look dissimilar to the strategic path defined pre-2020. Whilst numerous organizations understand that change and investment are both behind schedule and essential, questions flourish when it boils down to formulating a post-pandemic IT model, mainly when capital resources are overextended.

In addition, two years is a significant amount of time in technology and organizations now face not only the technical concerns of creaking equipment today but also on the horizon of SAP ECC going out of support in the next 5+ years. What is right now a business, competitive and financial terrain, numerous organizations are unsure how to move forward. Could it be possible to alleviate the technical problems, in the meantime, driving palpable merit? Can organizations find the balance needed to fix very particular problems together with often pressing operational problems with a strategic outline for migration to SAP S/4HANA?

Migration to the cloud can convey monetary as well as operational perks whilst putting together future digital transformation, suggests Robert MacDonald, Innovation and Technology Manager, making certain the correct mix of technical and functional SAP skills and cloud skills is essential to both instant success and strategic direction.

Continuing the status quo

For most businesses, the focal point has been on continuing the status quo over the last two years. Technology exchange and investment have been at a minimum– aside from allowing home working where both possible and obligatory. In the main, only businesses with end-of-life equipment that constituted a significant organizational possibility have felt pressured to do anything more than keeping the lights on.

Meanwhile, however, the SAP ECC on-premises technology model has not only become more high-risk post-pandemic, with a reduction on organizational coordination and operational pressure; subjection to downtime; and less financially enthralling. Businesses are fighting to alter to the new organization’s difficulties with stubborn reporting and on-premises solutions that cannot be quickly inflated to assist new organization partners. Especially frustratingly, numerous organizations have a multiplexed assortment of products/integrations and an over-specified framework that is taking up far too much time, money, and resources – and shortcomings, to meet crucial business objectives.

With the migration to SAP S/4HANA somewhere on the debate over the coming four years, businesses understand change is crucial – according to the annual UK and Ireland SAP User Group (UKISUG) member survey, 74% of its affiliated organizations are either using S/4HANA or intending on doing so. S/4HANA is a big migration, nevertheless, one that requires time, resources and a commitment to digital transformation. Yet many organizations have many urgent company problems

that need a fast fix: there is no money to fund a big migration or time to waste. So what are the alternatives?

Cloud-based computing

It may come as a shock to many organizations to learn just how rapidly many of these issues can be fixed with the correct balance of technical expertise and strategic advice. The priority is to move the existing, on-premises ECC solution into the cloud – a process that can be attained in as little as a few months, with little disruption. Using this approach ensures instant access to an exceptional show of benefits – most notably access to cloud-based solutions that can promptly address these pressing operational difficulties.

Cloud-based reporting is a revelation for numerous organizations, for example, mainly those which are still struggling with time-consuming, month-end reporting and Excel spreadsheets. Fast, mobile access to in-depth reporting and analysis will transform decision-making. Simple to install applications can solidify the latest business partners – like transport businesses filling the gaps created by the driver shortage – can link directly with the core system, effortlessly updating key information, such as deliveries.

Sap skills

This capacity to resolve pressing operational difficulties is gripping – but lots of companies fail to provide confidence in the procedure of cloud migration and are, frankly, hamstrung by a lack of strategic, trusted advice. From a pragmatic perspective, there is a well-publicized SAP skills shortage. However, this is not really the largest issue at hand: a fortunate cloud migration needs not only SAP technical expertise, but also functional knowledge in cloud providers – specifically Microsoft Azure, with its pledge to be the best hyper-scale cloud provider for SAP customers – and trusted strategic intuition. It is this very same mixture of skill sets that are lost from much of the MSP market.

Any worthy SAP engineer can copy an on-premises system into the cloud – but that is just part of successful cloud migration. Issues with network connectivity, speed and latency are also solved just as easily. It is the practical side of the operation that is crucial, such as ensuring interfaces – including vital EDI links – are working successfully from day one. Additionally, a truly valuable migration is one that encompasses rationalization, mostly for those organizations that have a substantial SAP deployment, including Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Supplier Relationship Management (SRM) and SAP Business Warehouse, running across multiple servers.

Using the correct technical, functional and Azure expertise, an MSP can swiftly explore rationalization options. SRM, for example, can be replaced with a far more simple, effective cloud-based app alongside ECC. This not only eradicates a complex area of the SAP deployment but also positions the company’s future plans with SAP’s strategic direction: S/4HANA brings all the scalability of these various solutions into one product. Making sure an MSP can offer these functional skills in a company with SAP technical skills is essential to successful cloud migration.

Fast, reliable solution

Companies have to strive to find a fast, reliable solution to current operational and technical issues – and, for the large majority, this rules out out-migration to S/4HANA sometime soon. Although, a migration to the cloud will generate a solid technical foundation at which point companies can build, step by step. As well as gaining insight to an absorbing array of cloud solutions that can be quickly used to solve an organization’s issues, welcoming a ‘cloud mindset’ will ensure a better closeness with companies to S/4HANA, allowing them on the journey, while also delivering instant business benefits.

The cloud offers incredible flexibility – use it. That means spinning up test environments at a moment’s notice– for just a week or two. It means scaling up and down in line with company needs. It means gaining access to high availability and business continuity services, without sustaining big additional costs. And it means future-proofing the company today and creating time to plan the strategic migration to S/4HANA when ready.

By: Robert MacDonald, Innovation and Technology Manager, Absoft.

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