A recent independent survey on current cloud adoption trends* found that CIOs (Chief Information Officers) tend to have similar fears when it comes to adopting cloud computing. Their top 3 are,

  • poor user experience due to performance bottlenecks,
  • the resulting impact on brand reputation and loyalty, and
  • revenue loss due to non-availability, poor performance or cloud service troubleshooting costs.


They are concerned that even with a 99.9% uptime guarantee,that could mean several hours of downtime yearly which could have a real impact on their business.

However, if you operate on premise software are you any better off? Do you have any guarantees that that hardware or software won’t fail you either?  What penalty reimbursement can you expect from your vendor? Are you actually any better off than on the cloud?

Stoppages in high profile companies like Amazon, Apple and Microsoft get lots of publicity but businesses that run on premise software have stoppages too!  Around the same time last month that Amazon Web Services experienced a major glitch in its service, so did NASDAQ – a $20 trillion business – who use on premise solutions.  They experienced a 3 hour outage and within two hours trading had stopped on over 2,000 stocks.

So is this really about the problems experienced by cloud users, or is it about the reputation and integrity of cloud providers delivering a top notch service?

We think that many customers who experience issues with cloud deployments really need to be doing their homework and reading the small print on their vendor of choice. Questions to ask are;

–        what they are being offered in terms of Service Level Agreements

–         what security, back-up and redundancy

SAP, who have been in the market for over 40 years, fully understands that it has to deliver a world-class solution that doesn’t cause bottlenecks, ensures high availability, high performance and excellent trouble-shooting capabilities; and this is what they have done with the solution SAP Business ByDesign, a cloud ERP solution.

Like many vendors SAP offers a guaranteed uptime; SAP’s is 99.995% uptime for its cloud services.  SAP’s data centres in Walldorf and nearby St. Leon-Rot process not only the company’s own data – which alone would more than justify their existence – but also data belonging to many of SAP’s cloud customers. These companies entrust SAP with their information and expect it to be processed more securely and reliably in an SAP data centre than in a customer-operated server park.

The key to success lies in the robust design of every individual component and especially in the redundancy of all critical components. This ensures that SAP can count on its “brain” at any time, and so can all SAP customers that use cloud applications running in the data centres.

The data centre is connected to two separate grid sectors operated by the local utility company. If one sector were to fail, then the second one will ensure that power is still supplied.

In addition, the data centre has 13 diesel generators, which are housed in a separate building. Together, they can produce a total of 29 megawatts, an output that is sufficient to cover the data centre’s electricity demand in an emergency

Experts from the German technical service association TÜV and auditors from KPMG, for example, regularly inspect the data center technology to verify its compliance with ISO, ISAE, SSAE, and similar standards.

But additionally SAP works with vendors such as Intel, with whom they’ve been working for 15 years to ensure that the hardware platform on which they are delivering their solution works as it should, is trustworthy and reliable.

So customers who are looking for cloud ERP services, and who understand the need to undertake due diligence, would do well to look at SAP Business ByDesign a solution that has a reputation for delivery second to none in the market from an organisation who takes the management of its data centres extremely seriously.

*( commissioned by Compuware and discussed on VentureBeat https://venturebeat.com/2013/09/01/the-cloud-grows-up-in-the-enterprise-and-so-do-cios-concerns),