As businesses face the necessity of moving to the cloud, they’re turning their focus to questions like: How do we get there? When should we move? What should we move? How much will it cost? How long will it take?

But there’s a more important question you should be asking yourself first – the answer to which can help you answer all the others: Why are we moving to the cloud?

The disruptors of the world know that the reason to move to the cloud is to innovate. And there is simply no way to innovate today without moving to the cloud. Every day, new advances are being made in edge computing, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and more. These technologies are the innovation drivers, and you need to be operating in the cloud to gain access to those advances as soon as they emerge.

Whether you’re hoping to manage your supply chain with innovations in blockchain, optimize your systems through the internet of things (IoT), or even transform your business into an as-a-service business, you need an environment that is connected, reliable and scalable. It starts with a robust, end-to-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) system such as SAP®, but it's the combination of ERP with the cloud that will define the future of your company.

Bringing SAP to the cloud can help drive digital transformation by empowering your organization to respond faster. Moving to SAP on Microsoft® Azure creates new opportunities to innovate and allows your organization to scale to meet demand anytime and anywhere around the globe.

Top four ways the cloud drives innovation

Here are the top four innovation drivers we see for businesses that run SAP in the cloud:

  • The cloud can handle as much data as you can give it. With between hundreds to millions of devices on the edge capturing data from millions or even billions of transactions and business events in apps and core systems today, organizations are doubling the amount of data stored every two years. Consequently, you need to be prepared to store, manage and then use terabytes, petabytes and now even exabytes of data. The cloud empowers you to scale to potentially unlimited amounts of data while offering the most robust processing support for machine learning and other applications.
  • The cloud opens collaboration opportunities across the organization. SAP in the cloud delivers new ways to work with partners, innovate with tools such as blockchain, create new customer-facing apps that can scale globally, and more. Discover the value of on-demand processing, rapid modeling and the ability to go global in minutes. Focus on business outcomes more than managing IT systems. With cloud solutions, you no longer need to wait – you have immediate access to resources, and you can scale as needed.
  • The cloud is a major enabler for IoT. It allows organizations to deploy, scale, and manage IoT applications faster and with greater ease than with on-premises apps. Combining the ability to deploy and scale IoT from the edge to global locations, integrated security and device management, and deep connections between Azure and SAP allows organizations to bring powerful IoT solutions into the SAP platform and specifically SAP Leonardo® solutions.
  • The cloud lets you locate your line-of-business (LOB) applications close to your SAP system. Sending data back and forth between your cloud-based line-of-business applications and an on-premises SAP environment can get expensive. Locating SAP in the cloud with your other LOB applications can save time and money.

Get more out of SAP on Microsoft Azure

If you’re relying on SAP for your ERP, you’re in good company – more than 90% of the Forbes Global 2000 are SAP customers. SAP supports the decisions you need to drive innovation across your enterprise – and the right cloud empowers those decisions to drive business value. For SAP, the right cloud is Microsoft Azure, the cloud trusted by more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies.

Not only have Microsoft and SAP worked together for more than two decades, Azure is SAP’s preferred public cloud. The two companies deploy each other’s cloud offerings internally – and jointly engineer and support their integrated business services. For example, SAP and Microsoft are partnering to create blockchain solutions in Azure. And only Azure has a worldwide footprint of more than 50 regions, so you can support your global business with one cloud architecture.

Hitachi Consulting is a long-standing SAP Global partner and a Microsoft Gold partner specializing in Azure services and solutions. We’re also both a high-tech and an industrial manufacturing company. All of this makes us one of very few solution providers that can put it all together and streamline your migration to Azure.

 Learn about building scalable, business-driven IoT applications and more with SAP on Azure.