teknowlogy's top IT trends for 2019 – 7/10 Multi-clouds and migration to the public cloud
There has been a noticeable increase in migration rates to the public cloud in recent months. And we are no longer just talking about development and test projects in which the storage and computing resources required from the cloud are ramped up and dialed down again as needed. Increasingly, productive applications such as SAP workloads from ECC and R3 environments are also now being moved to public clouds.
More and more companies are even testing out the public cloud as an alternative to their own data center. A prominent, publicly known example is the IT subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, DB Systel, which, from 2022, would like to source around 80 percent of its applications from the cloud data center of Amazon Web Services (AWS). PAC expects further such decisions in the coming months and beyond.
In many cases, the trigger for the SAP migration is SAP's S/4HANA strategy, which put the topic of application landscape on the agenda in all the companies concerned. The cloud option is almost inevitably raised in the resulting decision-making processes. To fully exploit the potential offered by S/4 environments when building and operating new digital services and business models, migration is the answer.
Even though SAP was the driving force behind this movement, moving hosting to the SAP Cloud will not necessarily be the preferred solution for many companies. The SAP Cloud is always a very good option when moving pure SAP environments. In general, however, if companies' application landscape is more diverse, the preferred target platforms are Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Even though its first customers include prominent names such as retail giant Metro and the German Stock Exchange, Google Cloud is still playing the role of the challenger.
The new cloud environments tend to be hybrids because they typically integrate private cloud and legacy resources in addition to public clouds. What's more, companies also like to pursue a multi-cloud strategy that includes public cloud services from various providers. The reasons for this diversity are to maintain as much independence as possible and to avoid so-called vendor lock-ins. In practice, different workloads are distributed to different public clouds, for example. Or companies source cloud resources for operation and data backup from different cloud providers.
Managing such highly complex, hybrid infrastructures is one of the biggest challenges facing corporate IT today. There are already solutions out there, though, ranging from advanced IT management tools and self-developed cloud management platforms to managed services offerings from various cloud providers.