Cloud migration is the buzzword in the industry as of now. While digitalization and harnessing Cloud computing’s potential has been the part of enterprises’ IT strategy since long, recent developments have only accelerated it. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is one of the major reasons that enterprises all over have been forced to go to the drawing board for their IT strategy.
What is The Survey About?
Cost optimization, workload automation, and asset management advantages are also some of the reasons that are pushing enterprises to accelerate Cloud migration. However, just like all other tasks in the world, Cloud migration is easier said than done. A recent report released by Syntax, managed Cloud services provider, and Americas’ SAP Users Group (ASUG), highlights the advantages and the struggles faced by SAP customers on their Cloud migration journey.
ASUG and Syntax have partnered since 2017 to shed light on the minor details of SAP customers’ experiences. The report, titled as 2020 Cloud Survey Whitepaper, categorizes its subjects in two segments wherein the users that have been with SAP for over 3 years are Cloud Pros, and the users that have used SAP for 2 or lesser years are Cloud Newcomers. The report surveys a total of 71 SAP ERP users.
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Cloud Pros and Cloud Newcomers — Challenges and Benefits
The report states that recent times have witnessed a rise in the number of Cloud Newcomers as compared to Cloud Pros. The data from the report provides interesting insight regarding certain advantages that Cloud Pros are able to harness over Cloud Newcomers. The advantage of being associated with Cloud tech for a longer duration is visible in fields like cost savings, where 56% of Pros have witnessed increased cost-savings as compared to 28% of Newcomers. The story is the same when it comes to reduced workload for IT staff, as it benefits 46% of Pros and only 25% of Newcomers.
However, there are also certain challenges that Pros and Newcomers face alike. An alarming 47% of the study’s respondents reported that they face a shortage of in-house talent to manage their Cloud services. Data migration issues plague 31 percent of all the respondents. Expense is also a major concern among SAP users, as a total of 27 percent users reported that the expenses regarding their migration went over budget, and were significantly higher than what they expected.
Another interesting observation that the study presents is that around a quarter of the respondents are unable to fully utilize the Cloud because their enterprise lacks an organization-wide Cloud strategy. However, the picture is not all gloomy. Even though 32 percent of users are still frustrated over inconsistent standards across Cloud providers, this metric registered an improvement of 8 percent when compared to 2019.
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Challenges for Newcomers
Coming to the challenges faced solely by Cloud Newcomers, the top issue plaguing Newcomers is unplanned downtime, as 43 percent of Newcomers face this issue. Another 34 percent of Newcomers state that they face a lack of training when it comes to handling Cloud services. The number of Cloud Newcomers facing data migration issues is also pegged at 43 percent, while only 23 percent of Cloud Pros face this issue.
Other issues that Cloud Newcomers face include lack of organization-wide Cloud strategy (39 percent), slow lead times (30 percent), lack of integration support for increased functionality, and a mismatch between expectation and reality regarding features advertised by Cloud providers. When it comes to Cloud Pros, the number of users reporting these challenges was significantly lower. This is quite understandable as enterprises associated with the Cloud for a longer time will gather experience and iron out minor issues over time.
Jared Powell, Cloud solutions architect at Syntax, spoke regarding the study and stated, “overall, the survey shows that SAP customers are becoming more and more cloud savvy. As cloud adoption has taken off in the past few years, it seemed that for the most part SAP customers were a little more hesitant to move their mission critical systems. What we are seeing now is that this initial hesitancy is being replaced with more comfort and understanding that each cloud has inherent advantages that if utilized properly can help IT organizations be better aligned with their overarching company directives.”
Overcoming Cloud Migration Challenges
The study also recommends a few steps that both Cloud Newcomers and Pros can take to ease the process of Cloud migration. The first recommendation is setting goals for migrating applications. These goals can be related to scalability, accessibility from various locations, or reduction of IT expenditure. The second recommendation is regarding limits. The study recommends that enterprises take stock of their IT team’s skills before embarking on Cloud journey so that the migration can be planned appropriately with challenges in mind.
The survey also points out that enterprises planning their Cloud migration should assign priorities regarding the processes and systems that need to be migrated. The enterprises must also pace themselves and approach Cloud migration in a phased manner rather than an all-in approach. Lastly, a universal recommendation is roping in an expert when migrating to the Cloud. Expert oversight can not only help enterprises avoid unexpected costs, but it can also help them with a smooth transition to the Cloud.
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