NTT DATA Business Solutions
Bret Applegate | March 29, 2018

On-premise vs. Managed Cloud: The Hardware Refresh Challenge


There are a number of reasons why many IT executives are considering a move of their SAP applications to an SAP focused Managed Cloud provider. In previous blogs we have looked briefly at some of the challenges that IT organizations face in trying to run SAP environments internally. These challenges include:

  • Blog 1: Hiring, retaining, and training the technical talent required to support your mission critical SAP environment.
  • Blog 2: Staying abreast of the pace of change within the SAP ecosystem – specifically as it relates to rapidly changing requirements for running SAP HANA.

The Challenge: Hardware Refresh Requirements

In this article we will briefly discuss another challenge, this time related to refreshing hardware to support both existing platform requirements and future requirements that may be on your horizon. These are often related to the adoption of the HANA platform and eventual conversion of your current SAP environment to S/4HANA.

One of the big challenges in supporting SAP environments, or any mission critical enterprise application, is the large capital outlay that hits roughly every 5 years as part of the normal hardware refresh cycle, or as business needs and technologies change.

The introduction of SAP HANA has magnified the technology change aspect by bringing in a different set of hardware requirements that can affect all core layers of your IT infrastructure: compute, storage, and network. This challenges most IT organizations to invest in technology upgrades that may not be required for other applications that are being supported. Additionally, SAP hardware requirements and physical hardware technologies are changing so fast that what is best for the organization today may not be so in two or three years.

The Hardware Refresh Solution

A move to an SAP focused managed cloud provider solves most if not all of these challenges. You still have access to SAP HANA and all of the great benefits that come along with this enterprise software, but without the high cost of infrastructure in general and the additional architecture entry barriers introduced by its adoption. Benefits to transitioning to a managed cloud include:

  • Replace large capital expenditures with fixed, predictable monthly operational costs.
  • Take advantage of economies of scale, especially with respect to HANA hardware, and reduce overall expense to the business.
  • Flexible pricing models allow you to pay for what you need today and increase that price incrementally as your environment grows or business needs expand. No more need to pay for resources up front that may not be needed for two, three, or more years down the road.
  • Quick provisioning times for new systems to support expanding business requirements or temporary projects.
  • SAP and SAP HANA focused solution architects available to find the right technology solution to meet your SAP needs now and into the future.
  • Rest assured that you are always running on SAP and SAP HANA certified architecture and supported by SAP and SAP HANA certified SAP administrators.

If the time is approaching for your organization to refresh its current SAP hardware, or start to look at the hardware required to support an upcoming HANA project, then you should definitely consider the benefits that an SAP focused managed cloud provider can bring. Consider if now is the time to free up your IT teams from the day-to-day maintenance and management of your SAP environments, and allow them to focus more on business visions and longer term strategies.

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