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4 cloud best practices that make SAP more agile and cost-effective

Eighty-six percent of companies believe cloud technology is critical to digital transformation.

But while more and more businesses are moving to the cloud, many don't achieve the agility and flexibility required to meet cloud adoption goals, and in these situations, the move often doesn't stack up commercially.  Essentially, business-critical systems are just being given a new home, and simply lifting and shifting your SAP landscape into Azure will not reap the benefits of the cloud or solve any current challenges you have.

So, how do you deliver a successful Cloud migration project?

Here are the four SAP best practices you may want to consider.

1. Standardisation

Most SAP systems grow organically over the years, using a number of different technologies to meet the ever-changing demands of the business.  However the long term impact on the stability of an SAP landscape isn't always considered when making changes and without regular cadence, this can impact the running of your system and they can become difficult to support.

You want to simplify the deployment as much as possible. This means:

  • Having clear design patterns
  • Reducing the number of processes, through uniformity.

The most significant benefit of standardisation is the long-term running of the landscape. Deploying fewer technology types means the systems are far easier to maintain and, therefore, better supported.

2. Rationalisation

Rationalisation is about cost control. It involves making changes to the SAP landscape to make it match-fit for Azure.

Here's how you can do that:

  • Decide how your systems will run when they move. In Azure, you can categorise systems by their usage pattern and only run them when required. This can vastly reduce the cost of the operation.
  • Right-size your solutions. With the elasticity of cloud, you should only pay for what you need, when you need it.  Gone are the days where you need to size your system for 5 years growth.  Maintain optimal costs by sizing aggressively for your current needs and flexibly grow on demand. This approach is particularly beneficial for SAP HANA workloads.

By rationalising how systems are sized and run, you can lower the TCO of your SAP landscape in Azure.

3. Modernisation

SAP has been around for a long time (the initial release was in 1972). And, as such, many long-term users cite SAP’s heritage as a reason to keep things as they are.

However, to make the most out of SAP on Azure, you must embrace a modern SAP approach. You can start by making changes, such as:

  • Patching and performing updates. Upping the frequency of patching is key to keeping technical debt low.
  • Embracing the Azure native toolset. No longer will your SAP estate include countless supplementary non-SAP systems.
  • Enhancing Security. Shine a light on who's doing what on your SAP landscape.

Ultimately, modernisation helps you avoid the traps of the past. Drive business confidence with a process that becomes easier and simpler with each change.

4. Automation

Building and maintaining an SAP landscape requires thousands of steps. From infrastructure to configuring the OS and installing applications and databases.  A better approach (the Centiq approach) is to use automation.

With automation, you can:

  • Future-proof your system.
  • Decrease implementation time.
  • Save money.
  • Eliminate human error.
  • Proactively detect system changes.
  • Deliver compliance checks.

Automating the deployment of your SAP landscape makes the execution smoother and less prone to error.

Keen to hear a real-world example? Look no further.

SAP best practices: The foundation for transformation

As early adopters in the world of digital change, Thames Water embarked on an enterprise-level drive to move the business to SAP S/4HANA as a primary technology, alongside a shift to Microsoft Azure.

This project's scope, which involved automation at an infrastructure layer alongside the HANA database, the NetWeaver platform and the S4 product, was a first for the utility industry and a world first.

Centiq delivered the design for a highly configured RedHat, SAP HANA Cluster on Azure, alongside the code needed to deploy the design.

They now have the flexibility and agility required to increase the pipeline of innovation, enhance the customer experience and achieve tangible savings in time and cost.

Drive success with a SAP ecosystem

Picking up a SAP landscape 'as-is' and dropping it into Azure doesn't always deliver the benefits of the cloud.

Fortunately, there's a way beyond the traditional 'lift and shift' approach.

Centiq can transform your SAP platform into an agile, more responsive service that meets the changing demands of your business.

Register now for our free Discovery Workshop, and you can learn how Centiq's Agile Operating Model uses these four pillars to transform your SAP estate and modernise your IT.

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