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By Jim Franklin, Jim Whalen
In the never-ending quest for competitive advantage, business is transforming to thrive in the digital economy. In large measure, that means being able to collect and analyze growing amounts of data faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Almost every day, we see examples of how the skillful manipulation of data can give companies of varying sizes a competitive edge. One grocery chain we work with, for instance, is saving $5 million a year by monitoring the tire pressure in its fleet. And an oil company client is protecting its image by scanning the social media of select environmental groups. Data is growing exponentially and forward-thinking companies are constantly looking to unleash the power of that data to streamline operations and increase market share.
Transform IT to Run SAP for the Digital Business
To keep up with the incredible pace of data and derive fresh insights by breaking down data silos, companies are turning to SAP S/4HANA, the latest iteration of the ERP software. Any enterprise that wants to compete in the digital age must modernize with an SAP upgrade, but the dilemma for CIOs is how to sustain current SAP deployments while migrating to SAP S/4HANA.
While every company’s path to transforming IT for SAP will be unique, common objectives include the need to:
Consolidate, automate and simplify IT to lower infrastructure costs and increase the productivity of SAP administrators, database administrators (DBAs) and IT operations staff
Deploy SAP S/4HANA as part of the organization’s standard data-infrastructure design and architecture
Run SAP with the “personality” of lightweight web 2.0 applications, bringing greater agility with higher-value features like self-service, orchestration and application-lifecycle management
Enable new business processes and analytics-driven insights for success in the digital economy
Modernize the Datacenter Now to Future-proof Your Business
Enabling SAP applications to run in the digital economy takes more than a quick investment and the flip of a switch. Businesses require new IT infrastructure and models—not only to run SAP S/4HANA but also to optimize current SAP deployments.
If you’re like most organizations, you need to maintain traditional SAP ERP and BW systems running on traditional storage-based databases, while transitioning to SAP’s HANA in-memory database and ultimately to SAP S/4HANA.
Most likely, your infrastructure will need to support mixed SAP workloads, based on one or more of the following SAP deployment scenarios:
Choosing the best infrastructure platform for your organization depends on the SAP application portfolio and various architectures you’re running on production and non-production landscapes comprised of transactional, reporting, and analytical workloads.
Digital transformation is a journey, with different routes for different users. Regardless of the road taken, all travelers have common preparations to make if they want to reach their destination successfully and efficiently—future proofing infrastructure and modernizing applications are top priorities.
In a future post, we’ll talk about how your modernization strategy can help you extend from the core out to the edge, so you can marry remote data (e.g. machine-generated data) with your SAP business systems for greater business insights and advanced data analytics.