I've asked Nik Rouda, Senior Analyst at ESG, to talk a little bit about his recent research on how to extend the value of existing SAP investments.
SAP is a perfect example of a “mission-critical” IT platform. Whether used for HR, CRM, ERP, or other essential business functions, SAP must meet the high expectations of the enterprise. These include all of the qualities most often associated with success: security, performance, scalability, availability, reliability, recoverability and so on. As with similarly important platforms, IT teams responsible for application, infrastructure, and operations are rightly cautious about making changes, worried about unforeseen complications and disruption of the business functions.
At the same time, many now feel a pressure to change SAP. With the introduction of SAP S/4HANA there comes a complete overhaul of the technology. SAP has clearly stated that this platform is the future, and is doing everything possible to encourage customers to upgrade, sooner rather than later. Certainly there are some long term benefits to be had, but these may come at some short term risk.
Ideally, IT departments would be able to upgrade on their own terms, and at the time of their own choosing. No such major transformation should be undertaken without appropriate planning, testing, and indeed budgeting. So how can organizations continue to simplify and improve their SAP environment without making a rushed overhaul? One solid answer is to consider the advantages of upgrading their hardware infrastructure first and moving to new software later, very likely a safer path forward than changing everything at once.
And one solid company to help here is Oracle. The company provides a number of ways to accomplish this with options ranging from Oracle’s Engineered System Portfolio for SAP includes: Oracle SuperCluster M7 (including Oracle MiniCluster), Exadata Database Machine, Exalogic, Private Cloud Appliance (PCA), and of course the Oracle Database Appliance. These choices allow companies to still meet their enterprise SAP requirements for years into the future, and make the upgrade to SAP S/4HANA only when they are good and ready.
Certainly one can’t fight the path of progress, but a wise one will choose to reduce risks and move only when they have the best odds of success. Read the ESG white paper and decide for yourself.
Nik Rouda covers big data, analytics, business intelligence, databases, and AI/machine learning at ESG. With 20 years of experience in IT around the world, he understands the challenges of both vendors and buyers, and how to find the true value of innovative technologies. Read more about Mr. Rouda's work and background on his Analyst Profile page or visit his Twitter @nrouda.