SAP Automation

The impact of cloud on SAP (and how Basis Technologies can help)

Cloud adoption is rapidly becoming a must-have for most successful businesses as they strive to embrace digital initiatives and technologies.

The cloud enables organizations to become more agile and flexible so they can rapidly respond to market demands, deliver innovation and manage critical applications with greater speed.  Cloud platforms are much more scalable and cost-effective than having to maintain, upgrade and manage failures in on-premise data centers.

It seems fair to say that moving SAP systems (and many others) to the cloud has now become more of a “how” than an “if” question.

Forrester is predicting that the global public cloud market will rise to $236 billion in 2020.

Gartner says that cloud adoption strategies will influence more than 50% of IT outsourcing deals through 2020.

As I discussed in a previous piece about moving to S/4HANA, when shifting to a new platform, companies are challenged with overcoming many obstacles including the selection of service provider, the best approach to adopt and, very importantly, security.

Many of our customers have already adopted cloud-based infrastructures to host their SAP estate, commonly using a hybrid scenario where they have some systems in the public cloud and others in a private cloud (notably where security is a more critical concern).  We have also seen a multi-provider approach using a combination of AWS, Azure and other cloud vendor services.

SAP itself is heavily promoting cloud computing strategies to support S/4HANA applications along with its range of SaaS and cloud-based applications that sit on its own cloud platform service.

So given that both the need and desire for a cloud approach are accelerating, how are Basis Technologies helping to overcome some of the operational challenges?

Make it transparent

Our ActiveControl solution provides powerful automation features to support Agile development, DevOps and Continuous Delivery in SAP environments. This enables application changes in on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments to be deployed while making the underlying infrastructure completely transparent to end-users.  It provides the visibility of changes across all systems and removes the need for SAP configuration when new cloud systems are added to the network.

Rapid cloud system adoption and refresh

It’s increasingly common for customers to add more and more cloud systems as requirements grow (e.g. for application testing) and our SnapOps tools can be used to accelerate system copies and the scrambling of data (for anonymity) so they can be refreshed and used more regularly.  ActiveControl can then be used to automatically queue up and import missing changes and transports so they can be synchronized and ready for use with a fraction of the effort normally required for such an onerous task.

This becomes more important when delivery cadence increases in Agile and DevOps scenarios where customers need to regularly validate their changes on production-like systems for complete confidence.

Keep systems in sync

Another important factor is that when cloud re-platform projects are underway the business doesn’t stop.  There will be changes, enhancements and bug fixes that flow through to production constantly.  ActiveControl ensures that these are automatically synchronized into the cloud project systems so that any testing includes both core functionality and any changes that have been made while the project was underway.

Regression testing is critical

When customers transition to the cloud or to HANA databases it’s vital to validate that their current business applications remain unaffected and that new underlying infrastructure hasn’t introduced any unforeseen issues.  For this, we need to regression test.

This is where our Testimony solution plays a major role.  Testimony can fully validate production behavior in new environments to ensure that they work exactly as before and that business processes and other critical system functions still operate correctly.  Importantly, this can all be done in a highly automated and efficient way to provide a great level of confidence before switch-over.

The future

As cloud adoption grows the need to provide self-service development and QA systems to support increasing development and test requirements will increase.  This is why we’re looking to extend our offerings to provide on-demand system start, stop, copy, refresh,  image, etc. to give complete autonomy to SAP application teams as they strive to support the greater demands on IT departments.

If you’d like to find out more about how Basis Technologies solutions can support your cloud requirements please take a look here.

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