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Navigating SAP’s GROW and RISE Products: The Impact of Cloud Solutions on Treasury Operations 

June 2024
6 min read

Unlock Treasury Efficiency: Exploring SAP’s GROW and RISE Cloud Solutions


As organizations continue to adapt to the rapidly changing business landscape, one of the most pivotal shifts is the migration of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to the cloud. The evolution of treasury operations is a prime example of how cloud-based solutions are revolutionizing the way businesses manage their financial assets. This article dives into the nuances between SAP’s GROW (public cloud) and RISE (private cloud) products, particularly focusing on their impact on treasury operations. 

The "GROW" product targets new clients who want to quickly leverage the public cloud's scalability and standard processes. In contrast, the "RISE" product is designed for existing SAP clients aiming to migrate their current systems efficiently into the private cloud. 

Public Cloud vs. Private Cloud 

The public cloud, exemplified by SAP's "GROW" package, operates on a shared infrastructure hosted by providers such as SAP, Alibaba, or AWS. Public cloud services are scalable, reliable, and flexible, offering key business applications and storage managed by the cloud service providers. Upgrades are mandatory and occur on a six-month release cycle. All configuration is conducted through SAP Fiori, making this solution particularly appealing to upper mid-market net new customers seeking to operate using industry-standard processes and maintain scalable operations. 

In contrast, the private cloud model, exemplified by the “RISE” package, is used exclusively by a single business or organization and must be hosted at SAP or an SAP-approved hyperscaler of their choice. The private cloud offers enhanced control and security, catering to specific business needs with personalized services and infrastructure according to customer preferences. It provides configuration flexibility through both SAP Fiori and the SAP GUI. This solution is mostly preferred by large enterprises, and many customers are moving from ECC to S/4HANA due to its customizability and heightened security. 

Key Differences in Cloud Approaches 

Distinguishing between public and private cloud methodologies involves examining factors like control, cost, security, scalability, upgrades, configuration & customization, and migration. Each factor plays a crucial role in determining which cloud strategy aligns with an organization's vision for treasury operations. 

  1. Control: The private cloud model emphasizes control, giving organizations exclusive command over security and data configurations. The public cloud is managed by external providers, offering less control but relieving the organization from day-to-day cloud management. 
  2. Cost: Both the public and private cloud operate on a subscription model. However, managing a private cloud infrastructure requires significant upfront investment and a dedicated IT team for ongoing maintenance, updates, and monitoring, making it a time-consuming and resource-intensive option. Making the public cloud potentially a more cost-effective option for organizations. 
  3. Security: Both GROW and RISE are hosted by SAP or hyperscalers, offering strong security measures. There is no significant difference in security levels between the two models. 
  4. Scalability: The public cloud offers unmatched scalability, allowing businesses to respond quickly to increased demands without the need for physical hardware changes. Private clouds can also be scaled, but this usually requires additional hardware or software and IT support, making them less dynamic. 
  5. Upgrades: the public cloud requires mandatory upgrades every six months, whereas the private cloud allows organizations to dictate the cadence of system updates, such as opting for upgrades every five years or as needed. 
  6. Configuration and Customization: in the public cloud configuration is more limited with fewer BAdIs and APIs available, and no modifications allowed. The private cloud allows for extensive configuration through IMG and permits SAP code modification, providing greater flexibility and control. 
  7. Migration: the public cloud supports only greenfield implementation, which means only current positions can be migrated, not historical transactions. The private cloud offers migration programs from ECC, allowing historical data to be transferred. 

Impact on Treasury Operations 

The impact of SAP’s GROW (public cloud) and RISE (private cloud) solutions on treasury operations largely hinges on the degree of tailoring required by an organization’s treasury processes. If your treasury processes require minimal or no tailoring, both public and private cloud options could be suitable. However, if your treasury processes are tailored and structured around specific needs, only the private cloud remains a viable option.

In the private cloud, you can add custom code, modify SAP code, and access a wider range of configuration options, providing greater flexibility and control. In contrast, the public cloud does not allow for SAP code modification but does offer limited custom code through cloud BADI and extensibility. Additionally, the public cloud emphasizes efficiency and user accessibility through a unified interface (SAP Fiori), simplifying setup with self-service elements and expert oversight. The private cloud, on the other hand, employs a detailed system customization approach (using SAP Fiori & GUI), appealing to companies seeking granular control. 

Another important consideration is the mandatory upgrades in the public cloud every six months, requiring you to test SAP functionalities for each activated scope item where an update has occurred, which could be strenuous. The advantage is that your system will always run on the latest functionality. This is not the case in the private cloud, where you have more control over system updates. With the private cloud, organizations can dictate the cadence of system updates (e.g., opting for yearly upgrades), the type of updates (e.g., focusing on security patches or functional upgrades), and the level of updates (e.g., maintaining the system one level below the latest is often used). 

To accurately assess the impact on your treasury activities, consider the current stage of your company's lifecycle and identify where and when customization is needed for your treasury operations. For example, legacy companies with entrenched processes may find the rigidity of public cloud functionality challenging. In contrast, new companies without established processes can greatly benefit  from the pre-delivered set of best practices in the public cloud, providing an excellent starting point to accelerate implementation. 

Factors Influencing Choices 

Organizations choose between public and private cloud options based on factors like size, compliance, operational complexity, and the degree of entrenched processes. Larger companies may prefer private clouds for enhanced security and customization capabilities. Startups to mid-size enterprises may favor the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of public clouds during rapid growth. Additionally, companies might opt for a hybrid approach, incorporating elements of both cloud models. For instance, a Treasury Sidecar might be deployed on the public cloud to leverage scalability and innovation while maintaining the main ERP system on-premise or on the private cloud for greater control and customization. This hybrid strategy allows organizations to tailor their infrastructure to meet specific operational needs while maximizing the advantages of both cloud environments. 

Conclusion 

Migrating ERP systems to the cloud can significantly enhance treasury operations with distinct options through SAP's public and private cloud solutions. Public clouds offer scalable, cost-effective solutions ideal for medium-to upper-medium-market enterprises with standard processes or without pre-existing processes. They emphasize efficiency, user accessibility, and mandatory upgrades every six months. In contrast, private clouds provide enhanced control, security, and customization, catering to larger enterprises with specific regulatory needs and the ability to modify SAP code. 

Choosing the right cloud model for treasury operations depends on an organization's current and future customization needs. If minimal customization is required, either option could be suitable. However, for customized treasury processes, the private cloud is preferable. The decision should consider the company's lifecycle stage, with public clouds favoring rapid growth and cost efficiency and private clouds offering long-term control and security.

It is also important to note that SAP continues to offer on-premise solutions for organizations that require or prefer traditional deployment methods. This article focuses on cloud solutions, but on-premises remains a viable option for businesses that prioritize complete control over their infrastructure and have the necessary resources to manage it independently.

If you need help thinking through your decision, we at Zanders would be happy to assist you. 

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