Businesses are challenged with streamlining business processes with the added pressure to drive revenue. It’s critical to choose the right business applications and design the right architecture for that purpose. Whether to move to the cloud is often a key consideration. What is the right timing? Will the cloud truly deliver?
Transitioning enterprise applications into the cloud is not just about infrastructure cost savings; it’s about accelerating innovation – coming up with new business models, transforming customer experiences, and differentiating against competitors.
The right architecture should include a suite of packaged applications for managing daily processes and a flexible platform for rapidly building and testing innovative capabilities, all in one integrated environment.
When it comes to designing a cloud-based architecture to enable the intelligent enterprise, consider the following:
- Does the cloud platform of choice provide innovative capabilities, in addition to storage, compute, and networking, that can be easily leveraged? Think about machine learning, image processing, even robotics capabilities that can be consumed via API to enhance your core applications and truly play a part in improving, or even reinventing, daily business processes.
- How integrated is the environment? Can you easily extend core application capabilities using the cloud? For example, can you extend your core manufacturing or e-commerce applications to include customer engagement capabilities to notify customers of any status change?
- What is the cloud provider’s pricing model? Subscription pricing, and avoiding large up-front infrastructure investment, is one of the primary reasons for moving to the cloud. However, infrastructure-as-a-service pricing, often associated with commitment-based discounts, can be more complicated than you think. Is it truly pay-per-use? Do you need to overestimate virtual machine sizes to account for one-off events such as Black Fridays for retailers? What is the potential impact if you under- or overestimate usage?
- Will the migration be disruptive? Let’s face it, most businesses today still have mission-critical processes managed by on-premises applications. It can be disruptive, and often almost impossible, to move everything to the cloud all at once. It’s critical that your cloud provider of choice can support a hybrid architecture and have mechanisms in place to minimize migration downtime so that you can move to the cloud at your own pace with confidence.
Check out this on-demand webinar to learn how METRO AG, a global wholesaler operating in 35 countries, innovates with Google Cloud and SAP.
For more about cloud adoption, read the ERP Deployment Options Series.