Over the last few of years the provision of cloud infrastructure for ERP systems in Singapore shifted from “exceptional” to mainstream. More and more of our customers approach us with the intention to move their existing hardware onto the cloud for various reasons. The decision to move your ERP solution from an on-premise hosting to a cloud hosting is not an easy one. To help you understand the implications and to evaluate whether cloud hosting might be a better option for you, we put together some interesting resources and articles from all over the net.
First, let’s address a couple of initial questions:
1. What about security?
So you are concerned about security when moving to the cloud? You are not alone – “49% of IT decision makers admit they are “very or extremely anxious” about the security implications of cloud services”. (It’s a myth – but read the complete article here)
Security for IT systems has 2 aspects: physical security and digital security.
a) Physical Security
Physical security is the ability to safeguard your ERP system from on-site security and / or safety breaches. All activities that could potentially damage your system through on-site activities will fall under this category. Examples:
As you can see, there are a number of considerations to take into account to ensure your data is safe from physical breaches. Moving your system into a datacenter, and accessing your SAP solutions via the internet helps to prevent all those breaches from happening. A professional datacenter is securely managed, with multiple layers of security to prevent accidental or intentional data breach on the physical level,.
b) Logical Security
Logical security covers all aspects of remotely gaining access to your system. These are issues such as DDOS attacks (denial of service), Hacking, or any other form of data breach that does not require having physical access to your server. To secure your server from unauthorised access, there a number of initiatives that need to be taken:
Here are some articles going deeper into this topic:
2. What about the cost?
If you compare the cost for having your own server at your premise with moving to a cloud hosted SAP environment, you need to take a few steps to enable an apple-to-apple comparison. In order to have a fair comparison, you need to take all the relevant cost for having your system on-premise into consideration: Again we have to separate between tangible and intangible cost components.
a) Tangible Cost
These are cost components that can be (fairly) easily calculated). The basis for these cost components are hard numbers that directly impact your bottom line. However, most of those cost components might be considered sunk cost, specifically if you already built your own data center. Moving forward you will have to decide on the weight you put on
and here are some related articles you might want to consider reading:
b) Intangible Cost
Besides the clearly measurable cost components that are mentioned above, there are a number of other factors to be considered. While not necessarily measurable as clearly as tangible cost, those components still have to be taken into consideration when deciding upon a on-cloud vs on-premise hosting:
additional reading materials:
3. Where are we headed?
We believe that in the future companies will not own hardware anymore, in the same fashion as we currently don’t own power plants or water desalination plants, or grow our own food for that matter. Economics require that there will be companies that provide compute power to users, who will just consume as much compute power as they need or want, and pay accordingly. Compute Power will be as ubiquitous as electricity or water, and will be available on tap via the internet. Companies will focus away from managing hardware infrastructure to running their core business, and eventually will take the availability of their (say, SAP system) software required to run their business as a given. Cost will completely move from Capex to Opex, and we will just pay for having software accessible to us in a similar fashion as we currently pay for electricity.
We believe that eventually the notion of “owning a software license” will go away, as all software access will be based on demand, and cost will be based on actual usage. We are still a few years away from this, but if this is where we headed it really makes sense to contemplate at your next hardware refresh cycle on whether you want to invest in buying another server, and continue on your existing on-premise path, or whether you might want to move your SAP environment to the cloud and take the burden of managing the hardware, security, backup etc of your business solution away from you.
Some other interesting articles that help you to get a better understanding in your decision:
We are also part of the AWS standard partner network and currently support a number of customers on AWS as well. We have long since realised that every customer is unique, and a one-size fits all approach simply won’t work for an SAP environment – and that is why we provide a range of options to our customers for their SAP Deployment – whether on premise or in the cloud.
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