What it means to be “all-In” in the world of cloud – innovation, speed, and security

Najinder Pathania |  November 2023

“All-in!”, I called during a game of poker. I was feeling confident, as I had a great hand – a full house of aces and jacks. Such hands come seldom and even when they do, being a novice poker player, I hesitate to call “all-in”.


Today, many organizations moving to the cloud to achieve digital transformation are equally as hesitant. They can’t go “all-in” without having what’s considered the “full house” in the cloud: innovation, speed, and security. They’re often missing the ace of security for a winning hand. SAP National Security Services® (SAP NS2) deals that winning ace to our customers. At SAP NS2, we know that innovation fails without security. That’s why we specialize in delivering world class SAP innovation within a secure cloud model to our customers – specifically highly regulated industries. And with our latest accomplishment, we’re delivering the ace to our defense customers.


SAP NS2 has achieved the Defense Information Security Agency (DISA) Provisional Authorization (PA) of SAP Integrated Business Planning (SAP IBP). We host and deploy SAP IBP in a cloud environment secured by DoD FedRAMP® + Impact Level 4 (DoD IL4) controls. Through this U.S. sovereign cloud deployment model, we ensure SAP IBP is governed and secured according to the parameters you put in place. This paves the way for defense organizations to adopt an innovative planning solution while adhering to mandated security standards.



The predominant concern for defense organizations moving to cloud is security. There are many moving parts when it comes to correctly securing data and operations in the cloud, and when defense industries handle supply chains that impact national security, it’s of the upmost importance that they secure everything correctly. Through our DoD secure cloud environment that hosts and deploys SAP IBP as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, we assume the responsibility for delivering the infrastructure, operating systems, databases, applications, and security. This provides the unique capability for customers in defense departments to run market leading SAP applications without having to sacrifice security, innovation, speed, or cost. Our team of local, credentialed experts encompass all of your supply chain needs while adhering to the highest levels of security to protect the critical data within your SAP IBP solution.


Figure 1: SAP NS2 Environments and security controls




The SAP NS2 DoD secure cloud environment provides security controls mandated for Department of Defense customers within the cloud. The latest innovation of our DoD environment achieving DoD Impact Level (DoD IL4) controls and being authorized by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) changes the cloud game.


What are DoD Impact Levels?

DoD Impact Levels (IL) categorize information systems and the data they store/process based on the sensitivity of the information and the potential impact of an event that compromises the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of the information.


  • IL 2 – Accommodates Low Confidentially and Moderate Integrity DoD information.
  • IL 4 – Accommodates DoD Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) e.g., for Official Use Only (FOUO), Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and Personal Health Information (PHI)), Non-Critical Mission Information, and Non-National Security Systems (NSS)
  • IL 5 – Accommodates higher sensitivity CUI and National Security Systems (NSS) information.
  • IL 6 – Accommodates SECRET and DoD classified information.


Figure 2: DoD Impact Levels comparison (Source: DoD Cloud computing SRG V1R4)




Source: https://dl.dod.cyber.mil/wp-content/uploads/cloud/pdf/DoD_Cloud_Authorization_Process.pdf

What are the security controls in DoD IL4?

IL4 accommodates non-public, unclassified data where an unauthorized disclosure of information could have a serious adverse effect on the organization. This includes Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or other mission data, including that used in direct support of military or contingency operations.


The DoD Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide (CC SRG) lists the security controls and requirements that the cloud service provider must support. DoD IL4 is based on security controls in FedRAMP® Moderate + DoD specific controls / requirements. It includes:



Additional key requirements include restricting access to the environment and customer data to U.S. persons only. These cleared individuals must be provided with access from the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet). SAP NS2 also meets the requirements of ensuring all data stored and processed, for or by the DoD, resides in a facility within the U.S.



Our customers need resilient supply chains that can face the challenges concerning national security. Supply chain planning is essential to anticipate demand, coordinate supply chain networks, and deliver mission-critical materials. The SAP IBP offering is a fully integrated solution that provides organizations the ability to make optimal, responsive, and strategic decisions affecting their supply chains. It incorporates capabilities for sales and operational planning, forecasting, demand planning, supply planning, demand-driven replenishment, and inventory optimization. Embedded machine learning algorithms and supply chain visualization empowers users to develop what-if scenarios and be prepared for unanticipated disruptions.


With SAP IBP, supply chains can:

  • Sense and predict demand
  • Improve forecast accuracy through machine learning algorithms and execute collaborative adjustments to the forecast
  • Optimize inventory investments and customer service levels according to business priorities
  • Responsively plan materials and capacity within supply chain constraints
  • Run different what-if analyses of actual or hypothetical changes to demand or supply


More details on SAP Integrated Business Planning can be found here.


Figure 3: SAP Integrated Busienss Planning planning capabilities




SAP Integrated Business Planning



Throughout the past few years, there have been frequent disruptions that have impacted supply chains and pushed many businesses to the brink of failure. This has determined the need to pivot supply chain operations to be resilient and more responsive to changing conditions. The speed at which decisions must be made and supply chains must respond has increased significantly. This requires:

  • Connecting all the processes across the network
  • Contextualizing every decision by linking real-time operational and business data
  • Collaborating with the ecosystem via digital connections with all partners


SAP provides the supply chain platform to build resiliency and speed. SAP IBP provides real-time visibility and planning capability by combining strategic and operational data and cutting down the data latency. Digital collaboration with partners facilitated by SAP IBP enables expeditious information sharing – critical for timely decision making. Furthermore, a tight integration with SAP ERP solutions, such as SAP S/4HANA Cloud, ensures synchronized simulations and operations across manufacturing and logistics alternatives.


Supply chain technologies must adapt at the speed at which supply chains are evolving. Planning with an on-premise, siloed application with old data is no longer an option for supply chain planners and executives. A modern, cloud-based solution that provides n-tier visibility, synchronizes processes across supply chains, and allows businesses to innovate using new technologies is imperative.


Figure 4: SAP Supply Chain Platform for planning, collaboration, exeuction and innovation





The call: “ALL-In”

Defense agencies analyze and develop plans using critical data within their systems. Many times, the data and plans are crucial to U.S. national security. Due to the sensitivity of this information, they must adhere to strict, government-enforced security guidelines when hosting and analyzing data in a cloud-based environment. They also face different international threats and have unique compliance requirements around cloud security. SAP IBP deployed at SAP NS2 is the sole solution for meeting and exceeding these challenges.


Deploying SAP IBP in SAP NS2’s secure cloud environment enables our customers to:

  • Securely develop plans for strategic acquisition and sustainment of defense supply chains
  • Reduce global transmission of supply chain data through in-country cloud hosting and support
  • Protect mission critical data, such as supply chain location and product details, by deploying in a DISA approved DoD FedRAMP+IL4 compliant environment


Take advantage of SAP NS2’s team of security and supply chain experts. Our deep knowledge of cloud business requirements and unique industry needs will allow you to call “all-in” in your cloud game.


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