What to Look for When Choosing an Enterprise Cloud for SAP

On Point3 minutes readMar 28th, 2014

As we examine the cloud-based computing needs of SAP we find ourselves asking, “What exactly is an enterprise-class cloud?”

“Enterprise-class” is defined by your agency’s requirements not the service provider.  In simple terms, an enterprise cloud is one that meets your SAP performance requirements as it pertains to reliability and total cost of ownership.  It’s that easy.

Here are some foundational questions that I suggest you explore in developing your agency’s vision of an enterprise-class cloud for SAP:


Examine your agency’s current SAP performance SLAs and KPIs1 and then ask potential cloud service providers (CSPs) the following questions:

  • Will they guarantee to meet your current performance SLAs?
  • Are they an SAP-preferred cloud provider—SAP certified?
  • Do they have federal experience providing SAP in the cloud to other agencies?
  • Can they share a history of results as measured by their current customer’s KPIs?

Simplified Management

Moving to the cloud should simplify SAP management and reduce operational expenses. Ask CSPs these questions:

  • Is there an administrative portal that is intuitive to use?
  • Do they have out-of-the-box KPI dashboards?
  • Can you order the optional technical services to minimize operational expenses (OpEx)?
  • Is integrated backup and disaster recovery technology a core offering?

Total Cost of Ownership

The right balance between maintaining mission-critical performance and implementing new innovations achieves a lower total cost of ownership. Here are questions that will help you determine if that balance exists in the CSP you are examining:

  • Do they offer innovative consumption-based pricing or do they simply offer a set of dedicated cloud resources that you pay for regardless of use?
  • Can they meet your compliance needs such as Sarbanes-Oxley by providing the required auditing and reports?
  • Are they built to provide true business continuity — not just disaster recovery — but can they provide SLAs around time-to-recover that minimize or eliminate mission interruption?
  • Quality of service — can they handle  peak capacity yet throttle back when activity returns to a normal state…without degradation in performance?
  • Elastic scalability— can they spin up one-off environments on the fly as needed without architectural hardware changes and without affecting performance?

As you can imagine, we’ve just scratched the surface. Moving SAP to the cloud holds the promise of increasing reliability, simplifying management and reducing the total cost of ownership.  But, only if you ask the right questions…

I’ll explore each of the above questions in greater depth in future blog posts – be sure to subscribe to On Point and stay tuned.


1 Your agency may find that three 9s is sufficient to provide good-enough availability. Gold plating the cloud solution with a five 9s up time may simply enrich the CSP while draining your agency’s budget.

Tags-   Cloud Enterprise SAP