“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”
These words of wisdom from Heraclitus are the basis of the problem with SAP.
The reality every SAP organization is faced with is the consistency at which change is happening to their SAP landscape.
This change takes on many forms of varying complexity and with all sorts of degrees of impact. Why this is problematic resides in the very nature of SAP, being a core integral system that is responsible for driving major business transactions, thus introducing potential RISK to the business. Any change can have disastrous consequences to the day to day operations. It is said that the best organizations run SAP; dare we say that a valid argument could be made stating that SAP, in reality, runs those said businesses!
The types of change
In SAP, as we all know, change is deployed by SAP transports. These are either driven by business or IT initiatives. IT type changes are often deployed on a project model – such as the deployment of an enhancement pack (EHP) impacting core application functionality – while business driven change is not as easily scheduled or planned since they come at various times and for different reasons.
The complexity of managing change
As SAP has expanded their solution offering moving from the initial R/1 release to today’s ERP offering, the complexity of SAP has evolved exponentially. It is not uncommon to see organizations where dozens if not hundreds of transports are deployed weekly into the SAP landscape, introducing varying degrees of risk and impact to the business.
It is a fair assumption today to say that most organizations are concerned with changes to these systems due to the critical nature of the business processes they support and the complexity of the underlying system. That said, the complexity of SAP continues to evolve…
HANA, the biggest paradigm shift in IT since the PC!
As IT consultancy firm Bluefin Solutions has claimed, SAP’s in-memory database, HANA, could cause the biggest paradigm shift since the introduction of IBM’s original PC in the 1980s.
The capabilities offered by this new exciting technology will push many organizations to rethink and rework their SAP solution to benefit from its implementation. What this entails for most is embarking on the largest change to their SAP landscapes since the deployment of ECC6, because not only does one need to rethink the data models to maximize the use of the in-memory analytics, but they will also need to push forward with the deployment of EHP7 prior to this. So what most organizations are doing is weighing the pros and cons and deciding when they should push forward. All this because still today, the control around change is not something easily managed, until now!
Effectively managing change within SAP
So what exactly does it take to successfully manage change? How does one secure production from the very real risk of business disruption while ensuring that the significant dollars spent on SAP maintenance bring maximum value to the business?
It’s all about added intelligence and knowing how you act!
If we can identify what is changing and determine the impact, we can effectively prioritize our resources and focus on validating the aspects of the business that are most critical and pinpoint issues that introduce the highest risk. By quickly grasping the degree and depth of change users can begin preparing how to address it.
In addition, this risk analysis should determine what needs to be tested and bring to bear any gaps in the test assets and test components. Coupled with modern day scriptless testing tools, updates to the test bed can be made automatically ensuring they are ready to run when and where they’re required.
TurnKey offerings identify risk, and then automate risk mitigation through focused testing
TurnKey’s Test Automation Solutions are built on market leading technology specifically designed to prevent defects from hitting production. Our solutions automate the tedious tasks of identifying the risk of change in SAP and create and execute the right mix of tests to ensure there are no adverse effects on SAP internal systems or customer-facing solutions.
By combining SAP best practices, quality impact analysis and modern day scriptless test automation, our solutions give you the intelligence you need to meet your quality goals. I invite you to explore more about our offerings and how they can enable you to effectively manage the complexity of SAP change. I also invite you to share in this blog your struggles and successes in SAP management, any progress you have made in the move to R7 or HANA, and any questions you may have about the immediate benefits of automation to your business.