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How SAP Change and Release Management can drive innovation

In today’s highly competitive environment, many organizations rely on differentiating themselves by staying ahead of the game through the use of technology and distinctive software applications.

They therefore often rely on developers delivering changes quickly and swiftly. As a result, the volume of change and the pace at which it is being delivered can be at times overwhelmingly high.

Delivering the organization’s strategic objectives requires application changes which can include standard patches provided by the software provider, incidents/fixes addressing issues raised by the help desk and RFC’s increasing operational efficiency or enhancing system capabilities.

In either case the myriad of changes can, in itself, prove to be a challenging task for the SAP Change and Release team.

The challenge of having to prioritize, manage and deploy SAP change quickly at the same time as mitigating risk, maintaining control, governance, compliance and agility, often results in a rigid, overly complicated, chaotic SAP change processes.

In some instances, rather than “fixing” the process to be more adaptable and agile in catering to the business needs and objectives, changes are capped as a last resort to minimize the risk of breaking a process in the production environment or breaking production itself!

Capping the volume of SAP change being delivered and failing to deliver change in a structured, proactive manner can create a slow and highly political landscape therefore having a detrimental effect on both the business and IS development teams.

Business users and stakeholders can begin to lose confidence in not only the newly invested multi-million pound SAP system but also in the IS department.

Many of their innovative ideas and value-add solutions which have painstakingly transpired into real objects are now backed up in a lengthy queue not scheduled to be deployed for weeks, or often months.

Loss of confidence in the transportation and delivery mechanism can lead to loss of confidence in the idea and purpose.

To drive innovation, we therefore need three key elements:

  1. Talent- brings creativity and innovative ideas/solutions to align the technology to the companies’ strategic objectives.
  2. Tools – are required to enable the execution and empowerment of the idea/solution, transforming them into a reality whilst ensuring the integrity of the system is upheld.
  3. Process – is designed to carry the idea forward, from design to implementation, screening them in a systematic way and allowing it to be successfully integrated into the system.

It is important to note that the 3 key elements together can help drive innovation forward within the organization where each element is just as important as the other.

Having a high performing talent pool of SAP consultants, ABAP developers and solution architects without the mechanisms and tools in place to support the execution of the outputs can be unproductive and expensive.

To put this more simply…

What value will be added through buying an expensive Formula 1 driver and putting them in a go-cart?

Ultimately, to drive innovation forward and create an environment where innovation is naturally encouraged and supported it is imperative that the right tools and optimal processes are in place, aligned with the business/organizational strategy prior to investing in highly talented (and often expensive) resources. After all, talented individuals are prone to working in high caliber environments.

Failing to meet their appetite for delivering value through change will increase not only the risk in loss of revenue and damaged business/customer relations but also the risk of losing valuable resources to competitors.

At Basis Technologies, we recognize the importance of an effective SAP Change and Release process in driving innovation.

Our DevOps Automation solution, ActiveControl, empowers both the business and IS teams to take control, plan, mitigate risks and deliver change in-line with the business objectives.

If you’d like a more personalized approach, then please contact us to arrange a demo for your organization.

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