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SAP landscape cloud migrations increasing, survey finds

A new survey by HCL Technologies sheds light on just how fast companies are moving their SAP landscape to the cloud.

Anyone moving to a hybrid SAP landscape -- but that is hesitant about some of the looming challenges ahead of them as they move to the cloud -- can take heart in a new survey that illustrates how many of their fellow SAP customers are in the same boat.

Nearly half of respondents in a recent HCL Technologies survey said they had increased their investments in SAP cloud technologies and expect to roughly double that investment in the coming year. Roughly 82% indicated they expected to increase their investment in SAP cloud software in the coming year.

The survey asked executives from 100 different large global enterprises across a range of industries about their current and future plans to deploy SAP applications and infrastructure in the cloud. All the participants work for companies that are also using SAP software in some form.

A whopping 88% of organizations are expecting to adopt a hybrid model, the survey found.

"We will continue to see organizations keep business-critical functions [such as finance] on-premises because of ongoing security and compliance concerns," the report stated. "However, organizations will continue to move such functions as HCM and CRM to the cloud."

Where is the money going?

According to the report, more companies spent money on software as a service (SaaS) applications in the past year (80%), followed by infrastructure as a service (IaaS) technologies (61%). Another 40% said they had invested in platform as a service (PaaS).

That seems to be changing, as cloud technologies are continuing to mature.

Roughly 50% of respondents said they'd likely be investing in PaaS in the future, followed by IaaS (33%) and Saas (15%).

Business drivers -- and challenges

However, financial matters weren't the main consideration for migrating portions of their environment to the cloud. The most common reason for migrating was business agility and speed (59%), followed by customer satisfaction (43%) and access to new technologies (46%). Roughly 23% said that being able to move capital expenditures to operating expenditures was the biggest business driver of their cloud strategy.

When asked about some of the biggest challenges in moving more of their existing SAP landscape to the cloud, 30% said they were worried about integration challenges with existing systems.

Another 30% were concerned about security risks. Despite lessening, "security [continues to be] a major, major issue," said Mark Hirst, head of SAP enterprise application services at HCL Technologies.

However, confusion about the cloud still pervades many companies. Only 18% of respondents said they had a comprehensive cloud strategy.

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