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Cloud Migrations: The Engine that Propels Innovation at Any Scale

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As we look at the cloud landscape, we can comfortably say that we’ve reached a level of maturity. In today’s digital climate, organizations have come to rely on the cloud for primary business purposes and are comfortable using it for critical applications. However, as we approach 2020 and dive deeper into the digital revolution, many organizations have begun to look further into the cloud realm to deploy even more advanced solutions. As you read this, remember this critical point: No enterprise is immune to the pressure of digital disruption.

Global companies are securing their competitive position by employing multi-cloud strategies. According to Forrester, 89% of enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform to drive digital transformation. Furthermore, machine learning, analytics, AI and cognitive services have become mainstream, driving valuable improvements in customer engagement, employee productivity, and operational efficiency. It’s important to note that this level of innovation begins at the core—Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems serve as the engine of most organizations, so it’s no surprise that the adoption of reliable cloud-based ERP services has become a critical strategy for many companies worldwide. 

Moving an entire ERP system into the cloud can be challenging for an enterprise. There are several reasons why so many organizations have hesitated to move or modernize these systems, including:

  1. Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt. Not many organizations have done this. Moving your entire business engine into the cloud can be daunting. There aren’t many use cases and moving these platforms can be risky. Many organizations can’t afford this multi-million-dollar experiment.
  2. Complexity. Some ERP systems have been in place for years; even decades—and they work. Organizations entrenched in working with their SAP solution on-premise may feel intimidated by moving to uncharted digital territory.
  3. Cost & Investment. Some enterprises have invested millions and even tens of millions of dollars into their ERP and mainframe systems. They have put in years of development, investment in infrastructure, contracts, personnel and so much more. You’d need to show some real ROI to consider moving these systems to the cloud.

Now for some good news. Organizations looking to stay competitive in today’s digital-driven market are quickly turning to the cloud as the digital engine that’s set to fuel their future. They see that to disrupt the digital market they’re already a part of, they must themselves be disrupted. This means breaking traditional deployment paradigms and looking at ways to migrate ERP systems into the cloud or looking at ways powerful hybrid or multi-cloud solutions can help. To navigate this digital necessity, organizations need to rely on a partner with expertise in complex cloud and ERP solutions.

Before we go too much further, it’s important to note the benefits of moving your SAP ecosystem on GCP:

  • Unleash scalability to optimize business processes. By migrating SAP to GCP, you can immediately experience improved performance, security and intelligence without new hardware or business interruption.
  • Accelerate technical transition to enable SAP transformation. Migrating SAP to the cloud is only the first step in your digital transformation. EPAM will help you add new capabilities with a more agile approach, develop new business models and adopt automation.
  • Turn data into actionable insights. Leveraging the power of big data, predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, you’ll drive smarter decisions for all stakeholders.
  • Future proof your business. You’ll create new revenue streams and drive down operating costs by capitalizing on cloud computing and other digital technologies.

The challenge is that, in many situations, these conversations around SAP migration into the cloud is just paperware. It’s essential to partner with an organization that can share successful cloud-based ERP outcomes.

Migrating SAP and other components into the cloud: A real-world example. Moving an ERP system into the cloud is often a complex process. Plus, if you get it wrong, there can be consequences for the business. Remember, for enterprises, ERP solutions like SAP function as the engine of the business.

Once you overcome that fear, you start to see the big picture and can begin architecting a design for the future.

The most successful migrations that we’ve seen have all gone through proof-of-concepts in parallel designs. For example, you wanted to move part or all of your SAP ecosystem onto Google Cloud Platform (GCP). To do so, you’d need to:

  • Understand how, for example, S/4HANA fits into the environment and the specific benefits it provides
  • Identify critical gaps in business requirements
  • Analyze the underlying landscape
  • Create a vision of the target cloud solution and outline the SAP roadmap as a transformation project

We recently integrated a massively complicated eCommerce engine with SAP and GCP. By leveraging SAP HANA, Google BigQuery, Google DoubleClick and other components, we were able to create a holistic design built around a hybrid cloud architecture. From there, we saw that the design could leverage a powerful multi-cloud ecosystem. SAP Hybris Marketing migrated into AWS, and more than 50 core systems integrated between both GCP and AWS. This included SAP ERP (IS-R and AFS), SAP Business Warehouse, Salesforce and more.

The key to the success of this project was a cautious approach. There was a proof of concept done ahead of time, systems were tested for performance and integration capabilities, and we were able to validate real-world results before taking anything into production.

Remember, when it comes to ERP and the cloud, innovation begins at the core. Digitally-minded and agile organizations must plan carefully but move quickly to stay competitive and leverage new data opportunities for improved service, growth, and revenue. 

 

Brought to you by EPAM's Google Cloud Platform Experts

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