Staying ahead of an upgrade schedule isn’t easy. Many companies lack the time, budget, or prioritization that keeps them on outdated versions of critical platforms. For businesses using SAP Commerce (formerly SAP Hybris), this may mean sticking with a version past the window of mainstream maintenance. As SAP shifts focus to their public Cloud solution, organizations on aging SAP Commerce on-premise versions should explore the options available for their digital commerce platform strategy.
Lessons Learned from Magento 1
When Adobe announced the End-of-Life (EOL) date for Magento Commerce 1, companies felt they had plenty of time to upgrade in the two years before the maintenance ended. However, many organizations didn’t factor in the run-up time needed for major platform migration, and when the June 2020 deadline arrived, they hadn’t moved (enough). Less than three months later, almost 2000 Magento 1 online stores were hacked due to platform vulnerabilities.
Currently, there are three SAP Commerce versions under mainstream maintenance, ensuring that the available deployment options will be supported until at least August 2023:
- SAP Commerce: On-premise solution formerly known as SAP Hybris
- SAP Commerce Cloud on SAP Infrastructure (CCV1): Private cloud implementation with managed services
- SAP Commerce Cloud in the Public Cloud (CCV2): Kubernetes-based, self-managed platform
In line with the general market, SAP is encouraging users to move from SAP Hybris to Commerce Cloud Public Cloud (CCV2). So while support for on-premise may continue past 2023, now is a good time for companies on legacy SAP Commerce / Hybris implementations to evaluate their digital commerce strategy options.
Option 1: Do Nothing
As long as security patches are being delivered and the solution remains compliant with industry standards like PCI DSS, this can, naturally, look like a tempting solution. This is especially the case for businesses that don’t see digital commerce as a significant source of revenue, as it can be difficult to prioritize the investment and attention needed to upgrade from an SAP Commerce End-of-Life version.
Of course, the costs of running an aging commerce platform start to add up – compounding security risks, re-investment in on-premise hardware, challenges of finding developers for the proprietary solution, and the missed opportunity cost of modern digital commerce. Ultimately, ignoring the smoke of an outdated platform now means companies risk facing a wildfire down the road.
Option 2: Shift Existing Platform to a Public Cloud Provider
Some organizations choose to lift and shift their current commerce architecture to a public cloud provider like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS). This option can be attractive when on-premise hardware reaches End-of-Life, and there is an urgent need to scale, or immediate security issues require advanced DDOS protection.
You’ll still have to deal with the issues of an aging platform, but this option can buy you some time and lower the cost of development, testing, and staging environments. It also allows you to access incentives like the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP), which offers companies one-time funding to offset the cost of cloud migration.
While this option is typically a stop-gap solution and not one we recommend in the long-term, for some companies, it can be a way to minimize risk and cost while deciding on the next steps to take.
Option 3: SAP Hybris Upgrade to Commerce Cloud (SAP CCV2 Migration)
Migrating from SAP Commerce on-premise to SAP Commerce Cloud V2 would seem natural to many companies. SAP provides upgrade paths, and you can expect a familiar solution backed by modern cloud benefits.
However, upgrading from the on-premise or CCV1 versions of SAP Commerce is more than just updating versions as the CCV2 platform is built with a different underlying architecture. Your platform must go through all previous versions to ensure compatibility before moving to the most recent CCV2 version. For companies who have fallen behind on upgrades, this means dealing with customization issues and feature depreciation across multiple major versions.
It’s also important to note that while more recent versions of Commerce Cloud do offer APIs, SAP says that their road map has “a focus on SAP-to-SAP line-of-business integrations scenarios.” This can be a positive if the SAP suite of tools is the best fit for your business. Still, if teams find a more advantageous alternative to core SAP capabilities, it can be difficult to integrate the platforms – and often results in paying for redundant features.
Still, an SAP Commerce Cloud migration is a strong choice for many companies. Especially those that are happy with their current SAP solution are not too many versions away from the most recent release and don’t need features and capabilities outside of the SAP suite.
Option 4: Move Towards Composable Commerce
When a vendor platform goes through a significant change, such as SAP’s move to the public cloud, the effort to upgrade the platform is not much different than the effort to switch to a new one. This makes it an opportune time to rethink your platform strategy and explore ways to accelerate your digital commerce business with some of the more cutting-edge solutions on the market.
For instance, organizations that would like their commerce strategy to be less dependent on a single vendor may move towards a composable approach to commerce architecture.
Composable tools are designed with the assumption that no single vendor can fully meet the needs of an organization, especially with the diversifying demands of modern commerce. Instead of trying to be an “all-in-one” suite, composable vendors focus on excelling in their area of expertise and providing capabilities meant to be integrated with other best-of-breed solutions.
Many composable commerce solutions are built to be MACH (microservices, API-first, cloud-native, headless). This standardized design approach makes them modular, making it easier for companies to plug in, scale, and swap capabilities to quickly react to market changes – and escape the cycle of big bang re-platforms.
A composable, MACH approach offers the flexibility to choose best-fit functionality and adopt innovations ahead of the curve, but it does require a slightly higher level of digital maturity compared to an all-in-one commerce suite. For organizations where digital commerce is (or is intended to be) a big revenue channel, the adaptability and speed that MACH brings tend to be worth the effort.
Mindcurv Helps Find the Right Option for Your Business
With years of experience in SAP Commerce and composable architectures, Mindcurv helps organizations create and execute a digital commerce strategy that best fits their technical, commercial, and organizational needs.
Digital Commerce Practice Lead
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