Automated Dual Maintenance for SAP and Why Companies Should Care – Part 2

Automated dual maintenance in SAP is vital for helping companies avoid business disruption and drive innovation at speed. In part 1 of this series, I discussed what dual maintenance is and why companies should consider automation as a key part of their SAP change management strategy.

In this blog, I’ll explore the best approach to automated dual maintenance in SAP and how it reduces risk and accelerates change delivery for SAP enterprises.

Best approach to dual maintenance in SAP

While manually managing dual maintenance in SAP is technically possible, we’ve seen how doing so substantially increases the risk of business disruption and adds significant delays to any SAP project. The many technical difficulties of managing multiple development landscapes, particularly during major projects like migrating to S/4HANA, are simply not feasible for any company looking to deliver business-critical change at high speed and with low risk.

By far, the faster and safer way to approach dual maintenance is with SAP change automation. ActiveControl from Basis Technologies is a complete end-to-end change automation tool designed specifically for SAP and is uniquely suited to seamlessly managing multiple SAP landscapes. It is built to overcome the most difficult challenges of manual SAP change delivery, some of which I discussed in the previous article.

Avoid Change Freezes

When managing multiple landscapes manually, companies are often forced to pause business critical updates throughout the duration of the project which could lead to delays and missed opportunity costs. Companies looking to stay ahead of the competition simply can’t afford to put innovation on hold. The other risk is that if an emergency fix is required to restore Production to working status, all project changes that have already been built would have to be reverted out of the system so the emergency changes can be applied.

Automation removes these bottlenecks by automating some of the most inefficient aspects of managing multiple landscapes simultaneously. Instead of having to pause changes to the business, ActiveControl can automatically recreate all business-as-usual (BAU) changes in the project landscapes, freeing up teams to focus on more strategic tasks.

This is done through the process of continuous retrofit. It ensures that any changes made across SAP systems are automatically reflected in any parallel development tracks according to predefined rules and workflows, allowing for on-demand deployments.

Avoid cutover issues

A key component of a smooth, error-free cutover is deployment synchronization, particularly for companies moving to a new configuration or platform, or with different custom solutions. The problem arises when transports are missed or get out of sync when moving between systems. This is especially common in scenarios when both ECC and S/4HANA systems are live at the same time – for large enterprises this means for months or years – so deployments must be released synchronously to avoid disruption.

ActiveControl removes this risk by automatically synchronizing deployments for transports that have been approved – and the deployment timing can even be customized so only the changes you want are deployed together.

Avoid project delays

Incorrect sequencing and dependencies can add significant delays to any SAP project, especially when there are many changes that must be remediated between systems. Again, this is especially common when migrating to S/4HANA. Identifying and remediating substantial amounts of custom code will add unnecessary effort and cost to an already complex project.

ActiveControl solves this problem by offering automated code remediation courtesy of smartShift Retrofit from smartShift Technologies – an industry leader in automated, intelligent SAP code remediation. smartShift Retrofit automatically identifies incompatible code and remediates it, automating up to 90% of the process.

Minimize S/4HANA migration risk with automated dual maintenance

Avoiding business disruption is of paramount concern for any organization, particularly when delivering change across a complex and business-critical system such as SAP. ActiveControl has more than 70 powerful, built-in checks and analyzers that ensure security and rigor are automatically maintained during dual maintenance, particularly for S/4HANA migrations, enabling companies to:

  • Shift development left with the Risk Guard analyzer which automatically checks every object for errors and conflicts and alerts developers to issues long before they can cause any problems.
  • Ensure seamless synchronization with the Inline Risk analyzer which prevents any ECC objects that are incompatible with S/4HANA from being mixed in SAP transports with other ECC objects that don’t need to be synchronized. This makes the synchronization from ECC to S/4HANA much more straightforward since changes can be merged automatically by ActiveControl when all the changes in the ECC transport are relevant for the target S/4HANA landscape.
  • Ensure seamless co-habitation of ECC and S/4HANA change during the lifecycle of the migration, using the Inline Conflict analyzer to warn developers when they are making changes to the same objects in the parallel applications.
  • Maximizing the proportion of transports which can be automatically merged by understanding which objects can’t be automatically merged (as a result of S/4 being different) or as a result of custom code having been adjusted to work in S/4HANA. It prevents users from mixing content in the same transport, ensuring that a higher proportion of transports can be automatically merged.
  • Minimize business disruption by ensuring that the latest version of the object is imported and activated with correct sequencing and dependencies.

With these analyzers, ensuring the quality of every transport during dual maintenance, it’s entirely possible to eliminate business disruption like our customer RS Components.

Automation lays a foundation for modern ways of working

Automated dual maintenance in SAP empowers companies to accelerate delivery of value and deploy change quickly and with less risk. One of the most important ways SAP change automation does this is by enabling teams to adopt modern development methodologies like agile development and DevOps.

Agile development is an approach to software development that focuses on delivering value to the business as quickly as possible. It does this by breaking large projects into smaller, more focused tasks that are easier to build at speed and with higher quality. Teams often work in two or three week “sprints” with the goal of delivering working functionality (value) to the customer (business user) at the end.

DevOps, in simple terms, builds on the principles of agile development to improve collaboration across IT Teams and increase the speed and flexibility with which new features and services are delivered. Regularly this includes the integration of ActiveControl with other DevOps tools (like Jira, ServiceNow or ADO). Both agile development and DevOps rely heavily on the use of automation, such as that offered by ActiveControl.

Agile development and DevOps for SAP is about bringing the rigor, efficiency, and speed of agile and DevOps methodologies to SAP systems. Teams are organized around business outcomes and silos are removed to create a cross-functional team that collaborates more efficiently to continuously deliver value to the business.

What could your business accomplish with the speed, efficiency, and rigor of automated dual maintenance and ActiveControl? Contact us today to find out.

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