Cloud revolution in the SAP world. Choosing the right process is important, bespoke development is a last resort

Over the course of its existence, SAP has accumulated a number of solutions in its product portfolio, many of which companies have developed or had developed for their own needs. These are now readily available thanks to the cloud and in most cases each company will find the ones that suit them best. However, they are often put off by the complex migration process, where other applications and systems are tied to SAP and need to be maintained. Large companies in particular face the problem that migration to the cloud can take several years. Fortunately, this is no longer the case; times have also accelerated incredibly in this respect and the investment under consideration has become an existential necessity. At the same time, the situation is made easier by the available tools and a good choice of partners, whether in the form of SAP consultants or established development companies that can help with the migration to the cloud.

Map the B2B processes

Virtually no business today exists without external suppliers. Therefore, it is necessary to map all B2B processes for which SAP can be a central system. These include, in particular, business partners on the customer side and suppliers who provide logistics or banking services. These are mostly already digitized and therefore it is advantageous for the company to integrate them into its processes. Employees do not have to manually enter the addressee or forward invoices. In addition, reporting is usually set up over these processes - how many goods have been sold, which ones and to which customers.

However, if the processes do not work at least largely automated, the reports do not contain key information, it is advisable to turn to a partner - an IT specialist who is familiar with a wide range of processes and can recommend, as well as design and implement a suitable solution. If the scope of changes is larger, Proof of Concept testing is performed to test the system in practice. This means not only consulting with employees on the various steps, but also testing, holding workshops and continuously collecting feedback.

Switching to the cloud doesn't have to be a leap into the unknown

When moving to the cloud, a company can choose two basic strategies - public or private cloud. Public is more flexible, allows for faster growth and provides more options and room for change. In contrast, a private cloud is more expensive to license and implement. If a company has a private cloud, it will typically turn to a vendor that will provide a dedicated system in addition to the SAP system. If the customer wants to retain control of the data while enjoying the benefits of the public cloud, the two systems can be combined. In such a case, a quality IT architecture should be considered in particular.

Not surprisingly, for many companies, the move to the cloud is a scarecrow. Often rightly so, because frequently even internal IT departments don't know how the whole system works. However, most problems can be avoided with good analysis - not only of processes, but also of documentation and employee needs. Of course, many problems and old mistakes will be discovered in the process. That's why it's a good idea to start with the minimum - deploy a cloud solution with basic processes and gradually test and develop them. The potential of this approach is enormous in most companies and it often succeeds in integrating processes that no one had any idea about before, which will help to make work more efficient.

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