Gaps in cloud knowledge
Sap understands cloud computing as „lift and shift”. Tried and tested on-prem solutions and verified business processes are lifted and shifted into the cloud. But cloud computing is about more than just that. Without a dedicated operating model with transparent maintenance and continuous operation, even the best cloud service business processes prove useless.
One example is the much-praised SAP cloud solution IBP (Integrated Business Planning). It is a very comprehensive software for supply chain planning. The software itself is complex, but leaves little to be desired. The operating model is “cloud only”, which is currently causing quite a few headaches for some SAP customers.
SAP has not mastered cloud computing. The offering is more hosting than cloud service. While the vast majority of cloud providers get by without downtime and with transparent maintenance, SAP insists on predetermined maintenance windows. A large car manufacturer from Munich, Germany commented on the subject: we cannot let SAP dictate when the cloud app goes into maintenance! Normally, SAP’s customers themselves determine when a release upgrade is carried out. The maintenance cycles have been users’ responsibility for 50 years, but now SAP wants to dictate when app maintenance takes place.
A cloud expert from the SAP community told E-3 magazine that SAP is suffering from a substantial gap in its knowledge. Other providers manage to service their apps and still keep them continuously available. Cloud computing must be learned, and SAP has not yet done its homework. Once again, the guiding principle applies: stick to what you know! SAP has excellent business processes and apps, and even CRM, a customer relationship management software which has been criticized for many years, is far superior to Salesforce in its latest incarnation. It is actually a pity that SAP has not yet mastered cloud computing technology.