Cloud V On Prem

Today, companies operating with SAP on-premise systems face strategic decisions about maintaining their current infrastructure or transitioning to the cloud. This choice is not merely technical but foundational, influencing operational efficiency, innovation capacity and the flexibility to respond to market demands. 

For businesses leveraging on-premise SAP solutions, the question is how to optimize existing investments while evaluating the strategic benefits of cloud migration for future growth. Understanding the strategic implications of enhancing your on-premise SAP systems or moving to a cloud-based solution is crucial. 

Explore the different facets of maintaining SAP on-premise versus embracing cloud capabilities and learn how RunMyJobs by Redwood can support your organization in achieving operational excellence, regardless of your deployment model.

SAP cloud vs. on-premise: Navigating the shift

With the evolution of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, SAP has transitioned to offering its solutions primarily through public or private cloud-based deployments to cater to diverse business needs and preferences. This evolution reflects a broader industry trend towards cloud services, driven by the demand for greater flexibility, scalability and innovation. 

While SAP advises most customers to move to the cloud, understanding the distinctions between SAP’s cloud offerings and traditional setups remains crucial for businesses shifting from existing on-premise infrastructures to the cloud.

Explore the comparative landscape of SAP’s current cloud solutions against its traditional on-premise deployments. Understanding the legacy advantages of on-premise systems alongside the strategic benefits of migrating to SAP’s cloud environments, leadership teams can make informed decisions about their ERP strategies in the context of evolving technological capabilities and business objectives.

SAP cloud: The future is here

Migrating to SAP’s cloud version for your ERP needs brings several advantages, especially when you choose a solution like SAP S/4HANA Cloud, a powerful cloud-based platform designed to help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. It is recognized for its flexibility, scalability and ability to provide businesses with the latest innovations and functionalities without needing extensive hardware investments. 

While both S/4HANA Cloud and traditional on-premise deployments leverage SAP’s advanced HANA in-memory database technology for real-time analytics and insights, a key differentiator for S/4HANA lies in its cloud-native integration and capabilities. S/4HANA Cloud is designed to optimize and streamline business processes by leveraging the latest in artificial intelligence and machine learning, providing a more agile and dynamic environment for organizations to adapt quickly to market changes and drive innovation. S/4HANA Cloud offers the immediate analytical benefits of HANA with the added value of cloud-based flexibility and continuous improvement through SAP’s ongoing updates and enhancements.

SAP designed the S/4HANA Cloud with a clean core to facilitate rapid updates, scalability and future integrations. This design philosophy ensures that the core ERP system remains streamlined and efficient while offering the flexibility to meet specific business needs through external extensions and customizations rather than direct modifications to the core system. Upgrading and adopting new functionalities is simpler, with minimal risk of disruptions and compatibility issues.

In traditional on-premise deployments, businesses can still follow the concept of a clean core, but one benefit businesses enjoy is the freedom to customize the core system directly. The self-managed nature of on-premise environments and greater customization can lead to challenges during upgrades and integrations since someone must carefully manage customizations to ensure compatibility with new software releases. TS/4HANA Cloud deployments more systematically implement and enforce the clean core philosophy, enabling businesses to leverage the benefits of cloud agility and innovation.

When companies migrate to the S/4HANA cloud, they get the added benefits of:

  • Integration and compatibility: With SaaS models, SAP cloud solutions offer better integration with third-party services, resulting in benefitting from continuous innovation in cloud service offerings.
  • Scalability and flexibility: The cloud model adapts quickly to changing business needs, allowing for easy scalability.
  • Security and compliance: Cloud deployments can leverage the security and compliance measures provided by cloud providers, offloading some of the responsibility from the business.
  • Updates and maintenance: Cloud solutions simplify the upgrade process, ensuring access to the latest functionalities without significant downtime or manual intervention.

Cloud deployments, characterized by their SaaS model, simplify the IT landscape and support scalability by reducing the need for on-premise data centers. The cloud version ensures businesses can leverage SAP’s latest innovations through regular updates. Thus, it’s possible to enhance functionality and user experience without significant downtime or additional infrastructure investments.

SAP on-premise: Tailored but tethered

Despite the push towards cloud solutions, SAP on-premise deployments continue to have their place. Companies want the ability to maintain full control over their ERP environment. The evolving landscape of SAP solutions and cloud deployments offers a new paradigm for achieving full control over ERP environments through private cloud deployments. 

Private cloud deployment is ideally suited for businesses seeking deep customization capabilities or those operating in industries with stringent data residency and compliance mandates. Businesses do not have to compromise on control or customization for the sake of embracing cloud technology — there’s a viable path for those looking to modernize their SAP infrastructure without losing the customization and control critical to their operations.

Despite offering unparalleled control over the ERP environment, on-premise instances can encounter specific integration challenges in contrast to cloud deployments. Let’s explore some of the integration hurdles users of on-premise systems face.

On-premise integration challenges

  1. Customization complexity: On-premise systems often require extensive customization to meet specific business needs. While customization offers control, it can complicate integration with external systems, requiring additional development and maintenance efforts.
  2. Limited connectivity: By design, cloud services sometimes lack built-in connectivity features. Integrating newer cloud-based services or APIs may require additional infrastructure or middleware, adding complexity and potential performance bottlenecks.
  3. Upgrade synchronization: Keeping on-premise systems in sync with external services can be challenging, especially if the system or the external services update frequently. Each upgrade can necessitate a review and possible revision of integration points, which is resource-intensive.
  4. Security and compliance: Integration with external platforms requires careful consideration of security and compliance, particularly in industries subject to strict data protection regulations. Ensuring secure data exchange and maintaining compliance can be more challenging when extending the on-premise system beyond its initial setup.
  5. In-house expertise: Successful integration with other systems often requires in-house IT expertise and resources to manage and troubleshoot the integrations. Integration maintenance can strain limited IT departments or entail additional investment in training and development.

On-premise solutions offer customization and control but demand substantial commitment to managing the IT infrastructure, including data centers, servers and personnel to maintain and upgrade the system. This model can lead to higher upfront costs and necessitates a longer-term strategy for coping with the inevitable need to migrate to newer versions or consider cloud solutions to keep pace with technological advancements.

Job scheduling and automation in the cloud vs. on-premise

Job scheduling and automation are critical components of an efficient ERP system because they impact the reliability and performance of business processes. Cloud deployments often provide greater flexibility and scalability in job scheduling, enabling businesses to adapt quickly to changing demands. On-premise solutions, while offering more control, may require more effort to achieve the same level of dynamism and scalability.

RunMyJobs: Bridging the gap

RunMyJobs brings a unique perspective to this discussion, offering a cloud-native solution that integrates seamlessly with SAP cloud and on-premise environments. The SAP-certified job scheduler enables businesses to leverage the benefits of automation and scheduling without compromising control or scalability.

RunMyJobs seamlessly integrates with cloud, hybrid or on-premise SAP deployment models, offering unparalleled support for companies looking to maintain their current system or transition to SAP cloud solutions. Businesses will get end-to-end automation capabilities, from simple tasks to complex workflows, across SAP’s ERP system and non-SAP applications. 

SAP private vs. public cloud: Understanding the key differences

When considering SAP cloud deployments, the choice comes down to private versus public cloud environments. Both models offer the cloud’s core benefits — scalability, flexibility and the efficiency of managing ERP systems — but cater to different business needs and security requirements.

SAP private cloud

The private cloud provides a controlled environment dedicated to a single organization. SAP (in a single-tenant environment) or third parties, including hyperscaler cloud providers, can customize and manage resources such as servers and storage. This setup is ideal for businesses with strict data control, compliance, and security requirements because it offers the benefits of cloud computing with greater control over IT infrastructure.

SAP public cloud

SAP Public Cloud can be delivered directly by SAP, utilizing their infrastructure or through collaboration with hyperscaler cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform (GCP). 

With this model, businesses access computing resources over the Internet and can achieve significant scalability and cost-effectiveness. They pay only for consumed resources and align operational expenses with actual usage, scaling resources up or down based on demand while leveraging the robust security practices and compliance standards established by SAP and its hyperscale partners. Companies can rely on the combined expertise of SAP and leading cloud technology providers to secure their data and comply with regulatory requirements while enjoying the inherent advantages of cloud scalability and efficiency.

Choosing the right SAP deployment for your business

SAP’s focus on cloud solutions underscores its commitment to facilitating digital transformation for businesses worldwide. By encouraging migration to its cloud solutions, SAP aims to provide companies with a path to more agile, cost-effective and innovative management of business processes. Opting for SAP cloud solutions comes with several benefits:

  • Cost efficiency: SAP cloud solutions enable a shift from capital expenditure (CapEx) to operational expenditure (OpEx). This transition allows companies to minimize upfront investments, spreading costs over time and enhancing financial flexibility.
  • Digital transformation catalyst: Embracing cloud technology is pivotal in a company’s digital transformation. The move can lead to streamlined processes, improved data analytics and superior customer engagement.
  • Maintenance and security: SAP is responsible for maintaining, updating and securing its cloud platforms. This alleviates the burden on companies, potentially lowering the risk of downtime and security vulnerabilities.
  • Scalability and flexibility: The inherent scalability of cloud solutions means businesses can adjust their resources according to fluctuating demands to reduce costs and optimize ROI.

Maintenance and security in the public cloud involve SAP directly overseeing these aspects. Its standardized, robust security measures and frequent, automated updates to all users simultaneously reduce the risk of downtime and security vulnerabilities. While SAP still maintains and secures private cloud platforms, the process allows for more customization to align with specific company policies and schedules — a personalized approach that meets unique business needs but may vary in update frequency and security configurations.

Innovation and agility: SAP’s cloud solutions receive regular updates to incorporate the latest technological advancements. With the latest features, companies can adapt to market changes and evolving business needs.

While both private and public are cloud solutions, there is a difference in the frequency of updates. SAP’s public cloud generally gets more frequent automatic updates  to ensure immediate access to the latest features and security enhancements. In contrast, private cloud deployments offer customized update schedules, allowing for greater control but potentially slower access to new features. This reflects the balance between rapid innovation in the public cloud and tailored control in the private cloud.

Choosing between SAP private cloud and SAP public cloud comes down to a choice based on business needs, regulatory constraints and strategic objectives. With RunMyJobs, businesses can harness a cloud-native solution that complements their SAP cloud strategy. 

Drive digital transformation and operational excellence and optimize your SAP ERP deployment to ensure your business remains agile, efficient and ready for the future. Sign up for a demo of RunMyJobs today and discover how we can transform your SAP job scheduling and automation processes.

About The Author

Neil Krefsky's Avatar

Neil Krefsky

With over 30 years of experience in product marketing, pre-sales, and business consulting, Neil is a seasoned leader in the tech industry, with a unique combination of subject matter expertise in enterprise automation, financial applications, cybersecurity applications, GenAI, SaaS, ERP systems, contact center solutions, customer experience enhancement, analytics, machine learning, and sustainability.