You have to hand it to the Rolling Stones. They foretold the current debate over…
Enterprise IT managers concerned about ability to manage and tune SAP in AWS, Azure and other public clouds.
While there is overwhelming agreement that public clouds are ready to support mission-critical applications, there is a growing disconnect around whether enterprises – and by extension their public cloud providers or migration consultants – have the proper application management skills for successful migrations and subsequent production support.
Historically, enterprises have been reluctant to move mission-critical applications to the public cloud because any disruption in application availability will have a negative impact on the business. This reluctance was driven by concerns about the reliability of public cloud infrastructure, and also by the scarcity of the specialized expertise required to run mission-critical applications in the cloud. This class of applications is notoriously complex and fickle, often using custom code and requiring significant amounts of “tribal” expertise to ensure that they run properly and deliver acceptable value to the business.
Public Cloud Survey
To better understand the challenges of migrating these applications to the public cloud, Symmetry surveyed 118 enterprise IT managers in medium- to large-sized enterprises about the state of mission critical applications – including SAP and other enterprise resource planning (ERP) software – deployed in public cloud AWS, Azure and other public clouds. Organizations representing a range of industries and with annual revenues from $50 million to $1 billion were included in the survey and respondents were chosen due to the scope of their IT operations, particularly as it pertains to deploying, managing and maintaining mission-critical business applications.
Called The State of Mission-Critical Applications in the Public Cloud, the resulting survey report details that infrastructure concerns are no longer a primary roadblock to migrating mission-critical applications to the public cloud. However, application management concerns remain a “front burner” issue. Key findings from the report include:
- The Public Cloud is Mission-Critical Ready – more than 80% of respondents said that AWS, Azure and other public clouds are suitable environments for mission-critical applications, such as SAP and other ERP software.
- Security, Performance & Management are Key – while respondents view the public cloud ready for applications that are the foundation of their business, their top three public cloud concerns are security (59%), performance and latency (52%), and management complexity (40%).
- Skills Shortage – while respondents were bullish on use of the public cloud, 42% did not think they had the skills in-house to properly deploy, tune and manage mission-critical applications in the public cloud – underscoring management complexity as a top concern.
- Workloads Migrating Off-Premises – nearly equal amounts believe that all workloads will migrate to public and private clouds (41%) or that all workloads will migrate to public clouds (40%).
The report highlights the need to take a holistic approach to both infrastructure and application management when considering the public cloud. Beyond the new and different technical skills required to run SAP HANA and S/4HANA in the public cloud, SLAs also need to extend beyond infrastructure so they include application-specific metrics, such as SAP Application Availability and SAP Application Response Times.
Due to costly hardware refresh requirements of SAP HANA and S/4HANA, a growing number of enterprises are considering migrating SAP to the public cloud. This market inflection point has brought application management issues to the fore because enterprises are seeing the disconnect between running and managing their custom SAP environment on-premise, and shifting to a public cloud environment that only provides SLAs for infrastructure performance.
Do you have the rights skills on your team to manage SAP in the public cloud? Download a free copy of the Public Cloud Survey report to find out.