Part 2 of a 2-part series. Read Part 1.
In Part 1 of this series, I spoke with Ken Tsai, global VP and head of Product Marketing, Database and Data Management at SAP, about how companies can manage data in the cloud and different approaches to consider. Here, we address hybrid workloads and how the flexibility of the cloud can help spur innovation.
Let’s start with your point of view on hybrid workloads.
As I explained in Part 1, having a database platform as a service deployed in the cloud, you have the benefit of integrating with any native cloud functionality that’s provided from any third party. But if you think about this logically, what does that mean?
It benefits a lot of customers that may have data spread across on-premises environments and in the cloud. If for whatever reason they can’t move all the data directly into the cloud, they can still create a private instance of that dataset directly in the cloud and enjoy the benefits of the different data computing capabilities in the cloud.
My favorite example, which you may have heard me share before, has always been Google Photos. Think about the possibility of the data set that any on-premises customer has, even stored on a laptop. Having that automatically processed and enhanced, providing a value-added service back to the user, is incredible.
Consider a marketing or sales team sharing data in the cloud. This data can automatically go through a “do not call” list, or go through a comparison to existing contacts who are already in the sales pipeline to avoid interrupting the current sales process. This data-use authorization traditionally took two, three, or even four weeks to process. But with the CRM in the cloud, do-not-call list sitting somewhere else, and contact lists from events in your mobile device, you can actually demand these business-level cloud computing services to give you the answer you want immediately.
You’ve touched on it already, but to summarize, why is a multi-cloud deployment strategy important?
From the customer’s perspective, having the freedom of cloud choice is very, very important. As technology advances and government regulation continues to be solidified (even on a regional basis, such as GDPR), it becomes a necessity to have the means to actually alter that or change the platform very easily down the road, since nobody knows what the future holds.
This is not about just putting your data in the cloud, but having the freedom to move the data, the data processing system, and the applications from one cloud to the other and even potentially back to on-premises. That’s really the core of what the customer needs in our completely connected cloud world.
How can the cloud accelerate innovation?
I think cloud is one of those catalysts that makes everything faster, just because it’s already available. I remember the early days, when I was doing programming, and maintaining the software was always an issue, updating it, making it available, and accessing it. But that is all gone. Now you’re really focusing on the value-added application and the ability that we want to build on top of it.
I fundamentally believe that everything will go the route of cloud in the future, but that doesn’t mean that everything goes into one single public cloud. The data centers themselves will translate into a private cloud environment as we mature these technologies stacks.
The principles of simplicity and eliminating latency and redundancy that you can see in data-driven applications will ultimately drive the requirement of these technology solutions going forward for business use.
What’s the simplest way for someone to start a cloud journey?
I love this question. I think, just like any cloud options, the simplest way to actually engage and start their journey is by trying it. With SAP HANA as a service, for example, the software’s there, the capability’s there, the trial system’s there. And accessing it is not a long cycle of waiting for the software to arrive, then waiting for the next version to arrive. With the cloud-oriented paradigm, this is all delivered directly to the customer up front, and this is why I’m excited about building software solutions directly in the cloud.
Evaluating different capabilities and finding the right fit up front, rather than doing it as a post-sales process, benefits customers. And from solution provider perspective, it is only through this continuous learning in user and system behavior that we will figure out future improvement and automation opportunities.