The crucial role of the CLOUD in digital transformation driving business agility | 7wData

Data is everywhere these days, companies are becoming data driven or are on their digital transformation journey.

Great set of buzzwords but the question for companies remain. They are still wondering how to start their initiatives – what services and type of technologies do they need.

In the hunt for answers, I recently had the opportunity to chat with executives and vice presidents of SAP, responsible for product development and marketing related to the SAP Cloud Platform, datahub management, analytics and products.

This was a great opportunity for me to get a deep dive on SAP’s solutions, learn more about their cloud offering and understand their vision on how the digital platform enables a company to become data driven and transition into an ‘Intelligent Enterprise’.

If a company finally sorts out which technologies are needed, these next questions come pop up:

  • How do we tie it all together? How do we integrate?
  • How do we scale?
  • How do we deploy? Do we have the knowledge?
  • How does it fit our processes, our business strategy?

innovate quickly with great flexibility

As a data architect and technologist, these questions keep me more than busy, to help our customers solve their data problems. It was great to see SAP address a lot these issues, and their cloud platform is built to give a solution to these problems, making it easier for companies to innovate quickly with great flexibility.

The image below reflects SAP’s take on the combination of a platform approach, hybrid multi-cloud, combining intelligent technologies and business solutions.

In my video interview with Björn Goerke (CTO of SAP and President SAP Cloud Platform) we discussed the various tastes and elements of SAP’s cloud platform.

There is SAP Cloud Platform, SAP’s cloud platform based on open standards and deployable on different Infrastructure providers such as AWS, MSFT Azure or Google Cloud Platform. SAP is the underlying platform for connecting with its suite and other applications.

Why Should you run on SAP Cloud platform anyway?

As SAP showed their close integration with the major other big cloud platforms like Google, Azure and AWS, I wondered why would companies need SAP cloud platform?

Listen to Björn, as he explains the key differences.

Björn Goerke (CTO of SAP and President SAP Cloud Platform)

The key understanding is that the Intelligent digital platform is the integrated solution for the front- and back office, the digital platform underneath and the intelligent technologies. There are several components:

  • is the bringing together of intelligent technologies together like IoT, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Analytics, Big Data with a design thinking approach and is embedded into the intelligent suite applications.
  • The digital platform comprises of two major elements – SAP HANA Data Management Suite, to holistically manage all enterprise data in real-time and SAP Cloud platform, an agile environment, that orchestrates bringing intelligent technology into applications but equally important, allows to extend, integrate and build new applications or customized functionality into an intelligent suite.

Multi cloud platform strategy

Cloud, cloud and cloud again.

SAP started building their own cloud platform, offering ‘cloud’ solutions out of their own data centres, for optimal integration and agility with their own business solutions.

For major integration and maximum business benefit, they integrate closely with the major IaaS (Infrastructure as a service), cloud providers like Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and IBM Private Cloud

The platform allows to make sense of your data and have an agile environment on top of the data sets you operate upon.

Jana Richter (Head of Product Management SAP Cloud Platform Core)

SAP Cloud platform is a cloud platform itself, a platform as a service (PaaS), oriented on business processes and applications. It provides an easy way of extending line of business systems like ERP systems, S4/HANA, Ariba, Success factors, Concur, Hybris and off course easy accessibility to these applications, including embedded security concepts.

Related to the applications, a growing number of Business services is made available, like master data management, localization, text, translation and data privacy services.

All these services are deeply embedded within the platform, across application and development environments.

SAP Also embraces open source and heavily participates in these communities. They are part of the cloud foundry foundation, an open source initiative to build cloud platforms, as well as they not only participate but also contribute in the Cloud native computing foundation project. The CNCF project is most known for the Kubernetes project.

We are moving into a digital society and as a product, data is everywhere these days. Bringing the insights from this data where they bring value stays a challenge.

SAP is helping companies digitally transform and become data driven.

In this TechEd series, read and listen to our other interviews on:

  • Leonardo, a methodology for disruptive technologies
  • Embedded Analytics and Data Management

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