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An Overview of SAP S/4HANA Deployment Options

Making the switch to SAP S/4HANA can truly transform a business, giving it new flexibility and agility. But for many, there is still some uncertainty about which deployment method is best. It’s similar to picking a mode of transport – you need to choose the best vehicle to transport your business to the future.

There are many options to consider: on-premise or cloud; public or private; software as a service (SaaS) or infrastructure as a service (IaaS). With so many different deployment options for SAP S/4HANA, it’s no wonder that some businesses are struggling to gain a fundamental understanding of their options. Depending on your specific needs, each of these variations comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses.

It’s important to carefully consider which option is right for your business. To help simplify matters, let’s think about the deployment options in terms of modes of transport.

On-Premise – You’re in the Driver’s Seat

Let’s start by taking a look at the traditional implementation path: on-premise. In this scenario, you purchase SAP S/4HANA, install it and run it whatever way you choose. It’s like owning a car – you have full control of your environment and can do whatever you wish with it. You can even have your mechanic customize or tune certain aspects of your vehicle’s technology to meet your specific needs. In the case of SAP S/4HANA, however, the on-premise option also means that you are responsible for maintenance and upkeep as well as any upgrades and updates. And with SAP S/4HANA on-premise, you also have to deal with an annual innovation cycle that gives you the option to upgrade once per year.

Infrastructure as a Service – It’s Like a Rental

One of the most basic forms of cloud computing is infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Using this as a deployment option for SAP S/4HANA is similar to renting a car – you get the same technology, but the service is different. You’re still in the driver’s seat, but your provider takes care of all the hardware for you – and the added advantage is that you don’t have to worry about maintenance. IaaS also works as a bring-your-own-license (BYOL) model and can be hosted through a hyperscale cloud provider such as Amazon Web Services. However, while you avoid the high initial outlay of purchasing the technology, IaaS doesn’t always work out as the most cost-effective option – just like a rental car.

Public Cloud – Get on the Bus

If you don’t feel like driving yourself, you can always choose to go with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the public deployment option. With this model, your SAP S/4HANA deployment is managed in an SAP data center. You simply pay a fee, and the provider takes care of the rest. It’s almost like travelling with public transport. But, like travelling on a train or bus, you have very little control over your environment. Just as you can’t make changes to the train or bus, you cannot customize SAP S/4HANA Cloud. However, there is also a bright side – with the public cloud option, you will be the first to benefit from new features and capabilities, since automatic updates take place on a quarterly basis.

Sit Back and Relax with Private Cloud

The final SAP S/4HANA deployment option to consider is the private cloud. When delivered as a managed service, it’s comparable to being driven by a chauffeur service – you own the technology, but a trained expert does the driving for you. With private cloud, you’re combining the best parts of on-premise deployment with the advantages of the cloud – faster innovation, greater flexibility and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Your provider also provides additional services such as application monitoring, release management, optimization and enhancement, and consultation.

Let Us Take You Where You Need to Go

The private cloud version of SAP S/4HANA offers many different options, and each of the providers from which you can choose offers a slightly different range of supporting services. As a certified SAP hosting and cloud services partner, we offer the NTT DATA Business Solutions Private Cloud Edition for SAP S/4HANA, which provides the flexibility to choose from nine system and service package combinations. This allows you to scale in two dimensions: database size and service level – and this additional scalability allows you to adapt your SAP S/4HANA deployment to meet your changing needs.

Read our next blog post to learn more about NTT DATA Business Solutions’ scalability options.

Bret Applegate
Bret Applegate
Senior Manager, Managed Services Customer Engagements

Bret Applegate is a senior SAP Technical Professional with 15 years of IT industry experience, serving in a variety of roles ranging from SAP Basis Consultant, SAP Basis Lead, SAP Technical Architect, Hosting Delivery Manager for the NTT DATA Business Solutions Managed Cloud division, and, finally, in his current role in Customer Engagements (pre-sales) for NTT DATA Business Solutions Managed Cloud. He has worked for a variety of firms, both large and small. This varied experience gives him a unique perspective. Specialties: SAP Solution Administration and Enterprise Architecture, SAP HANA, Microsoft SQL Server, Windows, UNIX/LINUX, SAP Upgrades and Unicode Conversions, Backup and Recovery, ABAP and Java administration, and project management.

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