Agile & DevOps

Driving Continuous Innovation with SAP

Technology leaders have faced unprecedented challenges over the last few years, not the least of which is adapting rapidly to ever-changing market demands and conditions.

To remain competitive in 2022 and beyond, how can business and IT leaders drive continuous innovation?

A return to digital transformation

Before the pandemic swept across the world, digital transformation was taking place in every major industry. Changing markets and customer expectations meant firms needed to leverage and analyze ever greater amounts of data, evolve business operations to become more agile, ensure critical systems were secure, implement new people and talent strategies, adopt advanced technologies, and more.

With the height of the pandemic winding down, companies are taking an opportunity to revisit and reprioritize their digital transformation initiatives, and the pace of digital change shows no sign of slowing down.

One way we are seeing organizations significantly accelerate transformation and improve responsiveness is by applying agile methodologies and a DevOps approach to software development and delivery.

DevOps adoption continues to grow

For many organizations, agile development and DevOps are already in place in parts of the IT organization. Adoption of these new ways of working continues to grow as companies realize significant benefits and IT leaders face increasing pressure to deliver high quality software more quickly.

In Puppet’s 2021 State of DevOps Report, 83% of IT decision makers report their organization is implementing DevOps practices. The business case is clear: DevOps enables faster, safer and more efficient delivery of software, empowering companies to bring value to customers at the speed modern business demands.

The annual State of DevOps report published in 2021 by Google’s cloud team indicates that elite performers (the highest performing teams in the survey using DevOps) achieve 973x more frequent code deployments, 6,570x faster lead time from commit to deploy, and 6570x faster time to recover from incidents.

The challenge is that many firms have failed to expand a DevOps approach to mission-critical systems such as SAP.

SAP lags behind

While so many other parts of the IT landscape are being revolutionized by new approaches to software delivery, there remains an island – SAP.

Because SAP is such a vital system for most organizations – a few hours of downtime can cost millions in lost revenue – many IT leaders prioritize safety and stability, even if it means slower delivery of change. This, along with a traditional waterfall approach to development, often leads firms to rely on manual processes for building and deploying change. As we find all too often with our customers, this results in a lack of responsiveness, increased costs and greater risk.

SAP is often the backbone of a company, one that connects to many other parts of the business. Although IT teams may be using automation tools to deliver continuous change in other systems, those tools don’t work in SAP. As a result, teams in a multi-application environment often find that SAP is a bottleneck.

The only way to achieve the agility necessary to continuously innovate is to adopt best-in-breed DevOps automation engineered specifically for SAP.

Driving continuous innovation with DevOps automation for SAP

The key to success in today’s modern business environment is responding quickly to market dynamics and customer expectations and being able to capitalize on opportunities as soon as they arise – this is especially true when it comes to such a critical business system as SAP.

DevOps automation for SAP unlocks significant business benefits and helps companies maintain a competitive edge. With a DevOps approach to SAP, organizations can achieve:

Faster innovation – Many companies who have adopted a DevOps automation tool, like Basis Technologies’ ActiveControl, are able to deliver SAP changes up to 50x faster. Imagine deploying daily, weekly, or even on demand, rather than a few times a year. One of our customers, Vistaprint, is able to deliver business-critical changes every 15 minutes when needed. Now, companies can keep pace with the demands of the business.

Reduced costs – DevOps automation also reduces the manual effort (and associated costs) of SAP change by as much as 95%. And on top of that, with higher quality deployments — thanks to the rigor of agile and DevOps practices – companies are less likely to experience costly downtime. A recent Total Economic Impact Report from Forrester Consulting found that businesses that implement ActiveControl achieve a return on investment of 245% and generate $1.24 million in total economic benefits in just three years.

Lower risk – Companies using legacy approaches and spreadsheets face a great deal of risk when it comes to SAP change. With automation, issues are identified sooner thanks to advanced analyzers that automatically detect issues before they can have a negative impact. Effective risk management processes, including strict approvals workflows and dependency checks, protect the business from unintended outcomes. And if an error somehow slips by, ActiveControl offers backout functionality that allows users to reverse a change to restore the system to pre-change status.

Higher efficiency – DevOps automation helps firms improve productivity and allocate their resources more efficiently, so instead of focusing on tedious manual tasks, employees can spend time on strategic projects, which can improve job satisfaction and motivate workers. One of the biggest challenges facing companies in today’s market environment is hiring and retaining good talent (we covered this topic in a recent blog), so an automated approach can also help mitigate these risks.

Greater collaboration – ActiveControl enables integration between SAP and many other best-of-breed enterprise applications, creating a streamlined development landscape. This creates a highly collaborative mode of working, breaking down silos and enabling cross-application orchestration of change. Integration also offers complete visibility into the entire development process so everyone can stay aligned towards achieving common business goals.

Competitive advantage

A recent study by industry analyst, McKinsey, points to the fact that a company’s foundational technology is more important than ever and shows that top performing companies are pursing technology transformations more actively than their peers. The results of the survey also suggest that successful companies are increasing their adoption of advanced technologies.

Is your organization adopting advanced technologies and actively pursuing digital transformation? Have you considered how implementing agile and DevOps automation for SAP could help enable continuous innovation and drive competitive advantage for your company?

Connect with us today to start your SAP transformation.

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