Operate SAP systems in distributed clouds? This is not yet technologically possible for companies. But IT managers who plan their IT strategy for the long term should include the topic. Even if it is just a dream of the future, S / 4HANA operation in distributed cloud environments, for example, has excellent potential.
For millions of users to access their favorite series at any time from any suitable device, streaming services depend on sophisticated and reliable technologies and the appropriate management – for example, on the distributed cloud. Then the user experience (UX) is convincing across the board.
The offerings would not function nearly as smoothly without distributed cloud services because they bring the desired content closer to the user. Netflix or Prime customers benefit from significantly shorter loading times for their favorite series if the data is retrieved from a cloud. Essential for people who are only allowed to go outside in exceptional cases in the wake of the Corona crisis.
Due to the high demand and to conserve network capacity, the streaming providers no longer deliver content in 4K and full HD quality, but only in standard definition. But here, too, distributed clouds show their advantages: They guarantee short loading times for web services, short-latency times and thus give customers a good brand experience.
Cloud Strategy: Think About Tomorrow
Quick loading and latency times offer a highly relevant constellation for consumers and the B2B environment. And from which SAP customers would also like to benefit. However, the SAP software cannot yet be operated in distributed clouds due to the underlying architectures. However, this could change in the future. After all, because of the rapidly growing Internet of Things (IoT) or the digitization of workplaces, more and more applications are moving to cloud operations.
Good Usability In The Online Shop
An example of how software applications work in distributed environments: Online shops must react quickly so that customers can easily order the desired item. If a website takes longer than two seconds to make its content visible, more than 50 percent of users break off visiting the shop and continue surfing on other websites, as the online marketing agency Analytica found.
Eighty percent of users will not return to the website after such an experience. Those who rely on distributed clouds are spared such experiences. Another aspect: If the website is performing well, this benefits the ranking in the search engines of Google or Microsoft Bing. Because short loading times keep users in the shop and bounce rates decrease.
Process IoT Data Faster
In e-commerce and the Internet of Things, distributed clouds ensure that data can be processed and disseminated more quickly. For example, in a smart factory: There, IoT sensors on the machines collect information about temperatures or throughput rates, for example, during production.
This data can be used directly on the machine, the edge device, or in a remote data center. IoT data can also be processed, discarded, standardized, filtered, or analyzed in distributed clouds. The data no longer has to migrate to a central cloud. They can be played back directly to the machines or connected business applications to initiate specific actions in the system, such as the repair or maintenance of the appliances.
Private Cloud, Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Or Distributed Cloud?
The examples show: Distributed clouds can serve different purposes in different industries better than central cloud environments. They bring the services close to the customer, ensure low latency, and smooth business processes. Customers who use SAP solutions such as the SAP Hana database should consider these considerations when planning their long-term IT strategy and IT landscape.
As of today, the classic applications are not designed for the distributed approach. We can see whether SAP will present the first approaches with a possible HANA 3 database. Suppose customers want to switch to the current ERP version SAP S / 4HANA shortly. In that case, they should check at an early stage which business processes can be operated close to the end-user and check corresponding implementation scenarios.
One possible approach would be to map these business processes via providers such as Microsoft (Azure), AWS, or Google via the data networks spanned worldwide. In addition, it should be clear to them which data and applications can be extracted even more using distributed clouds. IT service providers and SAP consultants such as QSC can support SAP customers in developing the right cloud strategy for their company and their IT landscape.