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Welcome to the 8th in a series of blogs to dispel myths about SAP and the Cloud. Today we will debunk the myth that Cloud can’t adapt to my needs.

What is the origin of this myth?

Enormous expectations came up with the rise of cloud computing. SaaS – a service accessible and usable via the internet - delivers great user experience, fast time to value, short innovation cycles and so on. With a pay-per-use model in addition it will simplify almost everything.

However, SaaS solutions require more discipline of enterprises in the standardization of processes. Updates can’t be performed individually as a large number of tenants share the same solution core – and this core needs to be kept upgradable anytime. Only standardized and centrally managed upgrades can be processed in the responsibility of the solution provider. Companies hand over part of the control to their cloud vendor in terms of release-management, availability, security and scale. And yes, you can customize SaaS and adapt to specific needs, but the framework is relatively limited compared to classical On Premise solutions. Maybe a good thing?

The good old On Premise
Companies ran their business with an on premise architecture over decades with very specific challenges to solve and very specific processes to cover.

An entire company blueprint (architecture) reflected in a system requires high complexity and strongly tailored individual processes to meet the demand. The approach of an on-premise installation, that puts the core enterprise processes in the center, also allows unlimited complexity and individuality. It supports the enterprise organization to execute processes the best way, or their way, while the back end system guarantees corporate compliance and efficiency.

With other words: Do it how you want it, everything under control of IT and highly flexible to my needs. But...

Uplift SaaS to a strong deployment model with PaaS

Cloud solutions look for scale and for best practice. They can help to standardize and thus deliver results very fast. A myth is you can not change them, you can. Configuration and adaptation is possible. But how far? There is one golden rule in the cloud: Great applications (SaaS) begin with a solid platform strategy (PaaS). It combines the advantages SaaS brings for applications, and enhances them with flexibility from a development POV. It’s a set of services and tools developed to enhance existing and deploy additional SaaS applications fast and efficient.

Whereas SaaS face limits when it comes to individualization, PaaS allows meeting the specific requirements of an enterprise, by quickly creating and launching differentiated services and applications. But only if your platform is the right platform.

SAP’s platform in the cloud, the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the foundation for a solid cloud strategy. It’s an open, cloud based platform that connects systems and processes across business functions – both internally and externally – and enables IT departments and our eco-system to adopt what you get, to build add-ons when needed and to enable new processes. The platform allows creating custom code objects and logic to develop new applications and complex extensions to existing SaaS offerings.

All in one

A key downside of On Premise is the high upfront investments (CAPEX) that take away the cost flexibility. Long on-boarding cycles minimize the chance to adapt to changing environmental influences as well.

SaaS itself delivers simplification, innovation and velocity on the one side, and offers a flexible cost structure (OPEX) on the other. Therefore enterprises often have the fear of loosing flexibility due to the high standardization of SaaS solutions and accept the control in the hand of the solution provider. 

This is where PaaS comes into play and help get back some of the adorable enterprise aspects.

With the combination of SaaS & PaaS enterprises have the best of both worlds. Control and flexibility paired with OPEX and Velocity makes SaaS the #1 innovation engine. The platform is also the enabler for large scale enterprise SaaS adoption.

See a grapgh we use to explain the different deployment options. And let´s not forget - most companies will have multiple deployment models at once.

Any remarks? If yes, please let us know. We are happy to engage with you.

We are looking forward having you on board again soon.

Bert Schulze (@BeSchulze), Sven Denecken (@SDenecken) and Nikolai Vetter (@NikolaiVetter)


Cloud Myth Busting: facts and figures of SAP ́s cloud business


Read other relevant blogs:

SAP Cloud - Quarterly update Q1 2014 by @SDenecken

10 #Cloud Computing Trends for 2014

Clearing the Clouds around the Cloud

Cloud Business Case #3: Collaboration in focus

Cloud Myth Busting: Myth #6: Cloud is for small companies

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