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What Is the Future of SAP and Cloud Computing?

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SAP has embraced cloud computing and often advocates for a hybrid-cloud computing. In its SAP Cloud Overview presentation by Sven Denecken, VP of Cloud Strategy and Co-Innovation, SAP brings up several important facts:

  • Cloud computing adoption rates have accelerated
  • Hybrid-cloud computing appears to be the platform of choice
  • By 2016, the bulk of new IT spending will be on cloud-based or hybrid cloud computing
  • Cloud deployments trends point to business process innovation

As far as SAP's cloud strategy goes, it is currently focused on: software as a service, platform as a service, and virtualization. SAP currently partners with others for: infrastructure as a service and hosted on-premise for the cloud.

The Future of SAP and Cloud Computing...
According to the SAP Cloud Overview, the future will bring with it the next generation of cloud computing. Among its predicted characteristics, the future cloud will include:

  • Rapid innovation cycles and co-innovation measures with customers
  • Embedded social collaboration
  • Mobile first design approach focused on the user experience
  • Improved user experiences harmonized across products
  • Analytics
  • Real time data
  • Open integration

SAP has indicated a willingness to help its customers move to the cloud incrementally. By embracing a hybrid cloud computing model, SAP can support and facilitate change with the least amount of disruption while helping customers get more out of their existing on premise solutions.

SAP's strategy focuses on helping customers manage people, money, suppliers, and customers by delivering solutions that can be adopted at their customers' own pace. It also offers solutions on a unified, open platform, allowing for the creation of cloud-based applications and SAP extensions. SAP's standard integration supports on premise and hybrid scenarios.

SAP has also outlined a transformation path for on premise customers to move to the cloud. This path moves from physical servers to a blend of both physical and virtual servers. From there, the path leads to public and private cloud computing. By enabling customers to move from an on premises solution to the cloud in such a manner, SAP is able to offer support all along the path while its customers can move at a pace that's appropriate for them.

As much as SAP is embracing a hybrid cloud model, it appears to recognize that the future of cloud computing is, in fact, in the cloud. Hybrid solutions are viewed as transitional solutions that bridge the gap between on premise and cloud computing. The real future is the cloud, and SAP is tightly focused on that. Its product strategy is powered by SAP HANA. SAP products can be broken down into cloud, mobile, analytics, applications, and database/technology categories, each of which makes use of SAP HANA.

With one cloud platform supporting mobile, social, and data products, SAP customers can leverage the SAP cloud directly or via on premise equipment to better manage their own customers, money, people, and suppliers.

The short term future of SAP and cloud computing involves bridging the gap between on premise equipment and full blown cloud computing. By embracing hybrid cloud computing and helping its customers navigate the transformational path, SAP is ensuring its place in the future of cloud computing.

James Hadley is a professional business consultant specializing in SAP software. He predicts Dolphin Corp. SAP cloud computing solutions will be heavily be utilized in business in the near future. To know more about the author, connect with him on Google+.

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