fbpx Skip to main content

A Multi-Cloud Strategy for SAP

The multi-cloud environment has emerged as a prominent trend in SAP deployments. This involves leveraging multiple cloud computing and storage services in a single network architecture, providing a variety of benefits such as improved flexibility, cost-efficiency, and risk management.

This article from IgniteSAP will explore the intricacies of adopting a multi-cloud strategy for SAP environments. It will also introduce offerings of SAP hyperscaler partners, enabling you to ensure the best value for these services.

We will provide advice for SAP consultants guiding their customers towards finding the right hyperscaler cloud environment, tailored to their specific business needs. We will also shed light on implementation of infrastructure deployments.

This guide will explore the future of SAP’s multi-cloud strategy, and offer advice on negotiating with cloud infrastructure service providers at the onset of a contract, including strategies to renegotiate continued contracts to avoid extra charges when special deals and introductory offers conclude.

Creating an Optimal Environment

A multi-cloud strategy can create an optimal environment for SAP business IT services by ensuring that the components of their SAP systems are hosted on the most suitable platform for each specific workload.

Navigating the multi-cloud landscape can be complex, and businesses must carefully consider their specific needs and circumstances when devising their multi-cloud strategy.

Deploying SAP in a multi-cloud environment presents opportunities and challenges. Understanding these can help businesses make informed decisions and devise effective strategies for their SAP systems.

Opportunities

Multi-cloud environments offer the flexibility to choose from a variety of cloud services based on specific business needs. This allows businesses to scale their SAP systems efficiently as they grow.

By distributing workloads across multiple cloud environments, businesses can mitigate the risk of a single point of failure, ensuring high availability and business continuity.

Multi-cloud strategies can lead to significant cost savings. Businesses can select services from different providers based on cost-effectiveness, optimizing their IT spend.

With access to the latest offerings from multiple cloud providers, businesses can stay at the forefront of innovation. This agility can give them a competitive edge in the market.

Challenges

Managing multiple cloud environments can be complex. It requires expertise in different cloud platforms and their respective services.

Ensuring security and compliance across multiple cloud environments can be challenging. Businesses need to have robust security measures in place and must comply with various regulatory standards.

Integration and interoperability between different cloud environments can be a challenge. Businesses need to ensure that their systems and applications can communicate effectively across multiple platforms.

While multi-cloud strategies can lead to cost savings, managing costs across multiple providers can be challenging. Businesses need to have effective cost management strategies in place.

Hyperscaler Partner Offerings

Several hyperscaler partners of SAP offer a range of services. Each of these partners provide unique offerings that can be leveraged to optimize your SAP systems.

Microsoft Azure offers a comprehensive suite of cloud services that can be used to deploy SAP solutions and applications. Amazon Web Services (AWS) also provides a robust platform for deploying SAP on the cloud.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a range of services for SAP deployments. They focus on providing an all-VM based architecture that allows for easy migration and agile operation.

Alibaba Cloud offers service infrastructure that, when combined with SAP’s applications and Database Management System (DBMS) services, can help simplify your overall IT infrastructure and accelerate digital transformation.

Navigating the Offerings

Navigating these offerings to ensure the best value for your investment involves several key steps:

Before approaching a provider, it’s crucial to understand your specific business needs. This includes technical requirements, budget constraints, and long-term business goals.

Take the time to research each hyperscaler partner’s offerings. Utilize the resources they provide, such as whitepapers, webinars, and blogs, to gain a deep understanding of what they offer.

Once you have a good understanding of each offering, compare them to see which one best meets your needs. Consider factors such as cost, scalability, security, and support.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different offerings. Many hyperscaler partners offer trial periods or free tiers that you can use to test their services. While switching providers may involve substantial work, the benefits of finding the right service can outweigh the effort involved in making the change.

If you’re unsure about which offering to choose, seek advice from experts. This could be SAP consultants, IT professionals, or even online communities.

By following these steps, you can navigate the various SAP hyperscaler partner offerings and ensure the best value for your investment in these services.

The Role of SAP Consultants

The role of SAP consultants in this area is complex. They are tasked with guiding clients through the intricacies of creating, implementing, and integrating a multi-cloud strategy so that it aligns with business requirements. This task requires a deep technical understanding, familiarity with the client’s line of business, and awareness of the latest services and developments in cloud technology.

Technical and Professional Requirements

Consultants must possess an extensive understanding of SAP architectures, modules, and how they operate within cloud infrastructures. This knowledge is essential for mapping out which SAP components will be most effectively deployed in a multi-cloud environment.

Proficiency in various cloud platforms is crucial. Consultants should understand each platform’s strengths, weaknesses, and how they can be harmonized to support SAP applications optimally. Ideally they should have extensive experience working with many providers.

The ability to integrate disparate cloud services into a cohesive system to support the customer’s SAP applications is critical. This includes setting up secure connections, data transfers, and ensuring consistent performance across different platforms.

Tailoring the multi-cloud setup to fit the client’s specific business needs and future scalability is a key responsibility. In practice this also involves customizing cloud resources to optimize SAP application performance and scalability as business demands evolve.

Integrating and Implementing Multi-Cloud Strategies

SAP consultants must start with a thorough assessment of the client’s current IT infrastructure and business goals. This includes identifying which SAP modules and processes will benefit from a multi-cloud approach and mapping out a strategic plan for implementation.

Ensuring that the multi-cloud environment adheres to relevant security standards and regulatory requirements is a central aspect of the consultant’s role. They must implement strong security protocols and ensure data protection across all cloud services.

Continuous monitoring and management of system performance in the multi-cloud environment is another aspect. SAP consultants should use tools for analytics, machine learning, and AI to optimize cloud resource utilization: ensuring cost-effectiveness and high performance.

The cloud technology landscape is dynamic, with frequent updates and new features. SAP consultants must stay informed about these changes, adapting their strategies and recommendations to include the latest cloud innovations and best practices.

A significant part of the consultant’s role involves educating and advising clients about their multi-cloud environment. This includes explaining the technical aspects, potential benefits, and how to navigate the system effectively.

By developing technical and professional competency around these requirements, SAP consultants can guide their clients in creating a robust and efficient multi-cloud strategy. This ensures the successful implementation and integration of the multi-cloud infrastructure and gives clients confidence about their investment.

Negotiating Contracts with Cloud Infrastructure Providers

Navigating contracts with cloud infrastructure services providers is a critical skill for SAP consultants and their clients. Effective negotiation strategies can improve the cost-effectiveness, scalability, and overall success of SAP deployments in a multi-cloud environment.

Here is some advice on initiating and renegotiating contracts with cloud providers, ensuring that organizations secure the best possible terms and avoid common pitfalls.

Initial Contract Negotiations

Before entering negotiations, conduct a thorough assessment of your organization’s current and future SAP requirements. This includes understanding the scale, performance, security, and compliance needs of the SAP deployment.

Evaluate multiple cloud providers to understand their unique offerings, pricing models, and SLAs (Service Level Agreements) based on the customer’s business requirements. This research helps in identifying which providers can best meet your specific SAP requirements.

Ensure that the contract allows for scalability and flexibility to adapt to changing business needs. Negotiate terms that allow you to scale resources up or down and make changes to services without significant extra spend.

Be clear about the service levels required, including uptime guarantees, support response times, and maintenance schedules. Ensure these criteria are explicitly stated in the contract.

Data security and compliance with regulatory standards should be a priority. Ensure the provider’s security protocols align with your organization’s requirements and industry regulations.

Understand the cost structure thoroughly. This includes not just the base fees but also potential additional costs such as data transfer fees, storage costs, and costs for additional services. Be wary of hidden fees and negotiate to minimize them.

Ensure the contract includes clear terms regarding contract termination, data retrieval, and data management post-contract. It’s essential to have a well-defined exit strategy. This can also reinforce your negotiating position, as you will be able to change providers with minimal disruption when necessary.

Renegotiating Continued Contracts

Before renegotiation, assess the performance of the current contract. Identify areas where the provider met, exceeded, or fell short of expectations. You may use this performance assessment in the course of renegotiations.

Stay informed about current market trends and competitive offers. Use this information as extra leverage in negotiations to secure better terms or pricing.

Discuss how your business needs have evolved since the initial contract and how the provider can accommodate these changes in the new contract.

Focus negotiations on the value provided, including performance, reliability, and support services, rather than just the cost.

If you have a long-standing relationship with the provider, use it as leverage to negotiate better terms. Providers are often more willing to offer favorable terms to retain loyal customers.

If new technologies or services have been introduced since the initial contract, clarify how these will be incorporated into the new contract.

Be cautious of auto-renewal clauses that might lock you into unfavorable terms. You should retain the ability to review and amend the contract with your provider before automatic renewal.

By carefully navigating these aspects of contract negotiation (and renegotiation) with cloud infrastructure providers, SAP consultants and their clients can secure contracts that are cost-effective, flexible, and aligned with their strategic business objectives.

Future Trends in SAP Multi-Cloud Strategy

SAP’s multi-cloud strategy is continuously evolving, driven by technological advancements, changing market demands, and the growing complexity of business needs.

Understanding future trends is a strategic advantage for SAP consultants and customers to ensure that their investments remain relevant and valuable.

As businesses continue to diversify their cloud portfolios, SAP is likely to enhance its focus on integration and interoperability across different cloud platforms. This could involve developing more robust APIs, middleware solutions, and tools that facilitate seamless data flow and functionality between various cloud services.

SAP’s multi-cloud strategy is expected to increasingly incorporate AI and automation technologies. These advancements will substantially optimize cloud resource management and efficiency, and also offer advanced analytics capabilities, enabling more informed decision-making and predictive insights.

With the growing emphasis on data security and regulatory compliance, future SAP multi-cloud strategies will likely include more sophisticated security measures. This could involve advanced threat detection, automated compliance checks, and stronger encryption methods to protect sensitive data across multi-cloud environments.

As global awareness of environmental issues grows, SAP is likely to increasingly integrate sustainability principles into its own cloud strategy. This could include optimizing energy usage across cloud infrastructures, partnering with eco-friendly cloud providers, and developing tools to assess the carbon footprint of cloud operations.

The rise of edge computing could see SAP and its partners integrating edge capabilities into cloud strategy. This would allow for faster data processing and analysis closer to the source, reducing latency and improving real-time decision-making capabilities in distributed environments.

Future trends may involve SAP partners offering more customized and personalized cloud solutions tailored to specific industry needs or business sizes. This could include specialized cloud packages or modular cloud services that clients can select and combine based on their unique requirements. These changes will affect the services and agreements offered by cloud infrastructure providers.

Enhancing user experience and collaboration will likely be a key aspect of SAP’s future strategy. This may involve developing more user-friendly interfaces, collaboration tools for remote and hybrid work environments, and solutions that enhance the accessibility and usability of SAP systems.

In the future SAP’s strategy will likely evolve to incorporate emerging technologies like quantum computing, blockchain, AI and advanced machine learning models. These technologies could offer enormous improvements in processing capabilities, data security, and analytical precision. All these developments in SAP’s own strategy will cause changes to the service offerings of hyperscalers.

Staying Informed As A Strategic Advisor

For SAP consultants (and customers), staying informed and adaptable is crucial to navigate these future trends.

Regularly update skills and knowledge to keep pace with new technologies and methodologies in SAP multi-cloud environments.

Build strong relationships with cloud service providers and technology partners to gain early insights into upcoming features and services.

Encourage a culture of innovation within organizations to experiment with new multi-cloud features and capabilities.

Actively participate in SAP events, communities, forums, and feedback channels to stay connected with the latest developments and contribute to shaping future trends.

By anticipating and preparing for future trends, SAP consultants and their customers can ensure that their multi-cloud strategies remain effective, efficient, and aligned with the changing requirements of business and technology.

A Multi-Cloud Strategy For SAP Customers

Adopting a multi-cloud strategy is a complex task. It requires a deep understanding of both the technical aspects and the strategic implications. As the technology continues to evolve, staying informed and adaptable is crucial. SAP consultants should not only focus on current technologies and practices but also keep an eye on future trends and innovations.

Successful multi-cloud strategies hinge on a complicated relationship between consultants, clients, SAP and cloud providers. Open communication, continuous learning, and a willingness to innovate will be key drivers in this complex and rewarding field.

As SAP environments continue to thrive and expand within the cloud as part of a wider trend towards cloud migration across commercial and industrial sectors, the opportunities for innovation, optimization, and growth are vast.

By embracing these opportunities and navigating the challenges with foresight and expertise, SAP consultants and their clients can ensure that their multi-cloud strategies not only meet current needs but are also poised to adapt and excel in the future.

If you are an SAP professional looking for a new role in the SAP ecosystem our team of dedicated recruitment consultants can match you with your ideal employer and negotiate a competitive compensation package for your extremely valuable skills, so join our exclusive community at IgniteSAP.