SAP’s rich legacy spanning more than 4 decades has enabled organizations to run complex enterprise software, enhancing business agility, operational efficiency, and improving their growth opportunities. While it was presumed that SAP was not designed for cloud until a few years back, recent innovations in public cloud and the variety of solutions that cloud technologies bring has accelerated cloud adoption. Plus, the COVID-19 pandemic has given further impetus to cloud adoption. According to Gartner, “Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud End-User Spending to Grow 23% in 2021.” IDG’s 2020 Cloud Computing research indicates 92% of organizations have at least some aspects of their IT environment on cloud.
The Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud report indicates that almost all organizations included in their research use at least one public cloud with 50% of workloads and 46% of data in public clouds. (*) This is a clear indicator of the growing popularity of cloud services in the post COVID-19 era. Given the pressures on business, it is challenging and expensive for customer teams to manage on premise data centers and deployment. Engaging with a cloud provider addresses this challenge as the business and IT teams can focus on running their businesses and supporting them with SAP software stacks while leaving hardware stacks for the cloud service providers to manage. Further, running SAP on the cloud offers a cost effective alternative to on premise environments. In addition, organizations can expect benefits such as stability, reliability, resiliency, security, and security.
The Google Cloud Platform proposition
While there are several cloud providers in the market, Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) are the predominant cloud services providers that customers choose while moving to the public cloud. All three players have strategically positioned their zones and regions across the world so that customers, wherever they are, do not face a latency problem. A key benefit with these cloud providers is the inherent security that it provides to customers and organizations. Google Cloud is compliant with the best-in-class international verification standards for Security, Data Privacy and Infrastructure which ensures that customer’s data stored in Google Cloud is always safe. There is no clear consensus on the most suitable or apt cloud service provider for any CIO. Most enterprise customers are setting up a multicloud and hybrid cloud strategy so that the best of each cloud can be leveraged.
GCP brings one of the most cost efficient pricing models with per second billing and offers discount even with no up-front commitments. This is very useful for running SAP workloads in non-production landscapes where a sandbox or a pre-production can be shut down without incurring costs. Some of the other major players provide a reserved instance concept in which discount is available but is not beneficial if the service is not used. Even for a production setup, this pricing model helps in case of up-scaling and down-scaling services.
In addition, Google is committed to driving artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) innovations. AI/ML technologies require substantial amount of data to determine patterns and provide predictions. This is where running SAP on GCP can help customers by leveraging the repository of data available and converting to business specific analytics and intelligence. Our experience indicates that not even 1% of data generated is used for AI/ML purpose. The untapped potential of this data to unlock valuable insights for business efficiency and growth is tremendous. It can be in the retail industry where such data can help to maintain inventory levels in stores, or the healthcare sector where patients can be proactively informed about potential health risks and treatment can be initiated earlier on.
GCP enables running SAP workloads on HANA database and other major currently supported databases by SAP as per the production availability matrix, and both Windows and Linux OS are supported. The flexible and customizable CPU configuration in GCP provides precise sizing and reduces resource wastage when a matching machine specification is not available as per the customer’s SAP sizing.
Wipro provides migration services to all major public platforms for SAP workloads and has gained extensive experience by working closely with all the vendors. Wipro has migrated their own SAP systems that support the operations for over 180,000 employees to GCP and enjoy a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with Google for co-innovations.