It’s not surprising that many companies today still have fears of migrating to the cloud. Fear of security risks. Fear of exorbitant service fees. Fear of not having the right IT know-how to manage it completely. According to a report, “The State of Multi-Cloud Architecture,” 35% of companies don’t have a clear-cut policy on the use of private cloud, while 25% lack a strategy for deploying public cloud.

While these fears are altogether valid, what business owners need to know is that transitioning to cloud now can help them serve their customers better and drive new value for their enterprise. And 90% of IT decision makers are in agreement here: legacy systems can impede a company's digital transformation—what with the high costs associated with their maintenance and the risk of losing vendor support.

The Road to In-Memory Computing

Today, well-oiled companies are turning to cloud technologies such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud to create competitive advantage. Utilizing the power of in-memory computing (which combines transactional and analytical data in one system), S/4HANA Cloud makes it possible to secure data in real time and decide on the fly.

It's a perfect complementary offering to SAP Business suite or other SAP on-premise products—helping large enterprises or smaller divisions of corporations run their processes in a hybrid environment.

I'd like to share three proven benefits of S/4HANA Cloud and why many call it the “next-generation in-memory computing platform solution.” How has it helped businesses transform digitally? And how can it foster shared governance in organizations to empower decision makers and drive business outcomes?

1. Shorter implementation downtime. Migration of key business processes to the cloud can be tedious and time-consuming. That’s why IT experts recommend to develop a cloud migration strategy first to ensure smooth transition of your enterprise applications.

A cloud migration strategy begins with application discovery and dependency mapping, and factors in not only the application type, operating system version, and storage performance profile, but also the costs that will be spent on resources and even IT talent.

With S/4HANA Cloud, companies can expect reduced implementation downtime through the platform’s migration cockpit. The cockpit uses automated mapping and checks the compatibility between predefined template files and target values in S/4HANA. This allows companies to eliminate time spent on programming—giving them the opportunity to quickly bring their core processes onboard and precisely monitor the return on their ERP investment.

2. Reduced support costs. Companies moving to S/4HANA Cloud need to remember that a subscription contract will be in place with cloud service. This includes licenses, hosting of the solution, and box-level support, in addition to other product add-ons that may be needed as their business grows.

This means that you, as a business owner, will have no need to invest in internal IT capabilities (includes hiring IT support engineers and other staff), allowing you to channel your company resources on higher-value activities that can accelerate your ROI or even expand your business beyond your home market.

3. Flexibility and scalability. As your company scales, moving to S/4HANA Cloud will allow your business to adopt new functionalities depending on your growth needs. Such flexibility is especially needed in today’s digital environment where a complex suite of applications can prove costly for many startup companies, and where a modular solution gives businesses the advantage to access setup wizards that grow intelligently with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

In the future when broader capabilities are required to support their expansion, companies can take advantage of SAP’s blockchain digital ledger and IoT applications—both of which can speed up transactions, ensure data integrity, and enhance customer experience.

Taking Your Business into the Future

As companies set their sights on future expansion, they should start focusing on “digital transformation” as a headline of their long-term plan.

As studies have pointed out, business owners should see digitization as a strategic objective, rather than a piecemeal effort.

Surely, moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud will provide companies the benefit of running a live business—a business that can keep up with the demands of today’s customers and successfully navigate a path of digital disruptions.

Now is the right time to make the move. And no sooner can your company reap the benefits of an agile business than when you make the choice today.

Thinking of moving to SAP S/4HANA Cloud? Learn more about how Hitachi Consulting can help you optimize the SAP experience.