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The importance of being boring in the SAP cloud as a success driver

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Call the SAP Cloud Platform boring? Not quite. In his latest SAP cloud investigation, Dick Hirsch explains why cloud at scale should be boring, with micropaths to monetization.

The recent SAP TechEd in Las Vegas provided further details about SAP Leonardo and contained stunning demos about all the cool technologythat will help companies on their digital transformation journey.

Such demos provide entertaining examples of innovative – and indeed important – scenarios. With an ever increasing number of SAP Leonardo and other SAP Cloud platform (SCP) services to pursue such endeavors, SCP developers are able to create exciting applications to exploit such functionality.

Yet, a recent James Governor (RedMonk) blog about Red Hat demonstrates the hard realities of enterprise software.

Enterprises trust Red Hat precisely because it makes open source boring. Exciting and cool, on the other hand, often means getting paged in the middle of the night. Enterprise people generally don’t like that kind of thing.

The day-to-day life of most conference attendees are probably largely filled with mundane matters. Part of this trend is based on a transition to DevOps in many organizations, which forces developers to take over additional responsibility besides coding. IT, however, is much more than just pure development – there are operations, support, testing, etc, without which an application won’t be successful. A developer could create the sexiest Blockchain app ever created but if it can’t be maintained by support staff or if it is unable to be monitored then it won’t have a very long life in most organizations.

This awareness is best described with one question: What happens to code after the first deployment?

Post deployment in the SAP cloud platform?

Unfortunately, it is felt that the official press releases and media attention regarding SCP often focus on the developer but ignore the broader IT landscape.

What about the support staff or the operations teams? It isn’t that SAP isn’t aware of such aspects of the development cycle – there were sessions at the TechEd (for example, S4H202: Lifecycle Management of Applications Built on SAP Cloud PlatformS4H102: Hybrid Lifecycle Management in SAP Cloud Platform), that demonstrated such cognizance. This experience is more than just theoretical – two sessions at the TechEd (CPL226: Deliver Smooth Operations on SAP Cloud Platformand CPL219: SAP Community: Real-World Microservice Architectures on SAP Cloud Platform) provided actual operational SCP experience from SAP IT and the SAP Community, respectively.

The mighty dollar – paths to cloud monetization?

SAP customers or partners do not provide software for the pure joy of creation but rather for baser motivations such as increasing profits or supporting other parts of the organization to achieve such goals. This also applies to SAP. As Dan Lahl, SAP product marketing vice president, stated in a recent interview with Enterprise Cloud News:

Our strategy is to go multi-cloud and add value on the PaaS layer [w]here we will make our money is where we have always made money, which is the business process layer.

Despite its importance, monetization of such efforts is one of those aspects of IT that is usually not sexy enough to make the keynote but without which such efforts would be impossible.

In the past, monolith applications were relatively easy to monetize based on a user- or processor-based license fee. The shift to SaaS applications, lead to the emergence of other more complicated monetization models usually based on a subscription model. This pattern, however, breaks down as architectures start moving towards API-based architectures with a dependence on microservices – perhaps based on different metrics originating from different companies running in different IaaS cloud providers:


Monetization of such architectures is non-trivial – yet, it is critical to assure that the digital transformation efforts on which services are often based are successful.

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