In many organizations, critical business periods are identified well ahead of time. End-of-quarter, end-of-year, seasonal events with high transaction volumes, and so on. During these periods, IT systems and the business in general may be in a state of change lock-down. As I write this we’ve recently come through the weeks of Black Friday and Cyber Monday and are already moving towards the Christmas holiday season, so if you happen to work in a retail organization you may well be in just such a lock-down right now.
But how did this situation come to be? Why have we developed processes designed to prevent delivery of new innovation to the business?
Traditional logic would suggest an easy defense for the practice: Why would one take the risk of upsetting an essential system during a critical period? Surely it makes the most sense to be cautious during these sensitive moments. From an SAP perspective in particular, who thinks it’s a good idea during a peak period to potentially upset the platform running the enterprise?
I prefer to look at this another way and ask a different question: why does change present risk?
As IT and software professionals, often we do a horrible job of demonstrating to our businesses we can create and release change – change delivering innovation and new functionality – in a consistently safe and effective way.
Think about it: if change and release was completely uneventful 99% of the time, an organization pushing transports into SAP weekly would only encounter a production issue on average roughly every two years. Bump that number to 99.9%, and even daily release tempos would only encounter an issue roughly every three years. And, because change is incremental and frequent, even an adverse outcome would have less impact, with more opportunity for fast remediation!
If we manage change in SAP correctly – consistently, reliably, continuously – there would be no reason for barriers to release, even during critical business periods. Why? Because there’s no reason to add unnecessary cost and risk – in this case the opportunity cost and risk of not innovating in a timely and competitive manner – when there’s no history of failure or bad outcomes from change.
This concept – continuous, reliable, predictable change and release – is the product of well-executed adoption of agile methodology and DevOps tooling. The concept and practices associated with agile and DevOps are far from new and are used broadly across the software development community. Unfortunately, in the world of SAP they are much less common. This lack of modernization in SAP practices has in many cases left us stuck with waterfall-driven release plans and innovation prevention calendars.
This is where ActiveControl, part of Basis Technologies’ DevOps and test automation platform, can benefit organizations running SAP. By providing the technology necessary to support agile/DevOps and fully automate change and release within SAP, ActiveControl dramatically increases quality, enforces release process rigor, and identifies defects in release plans before they create production issues. All with the highest level of confidence and integrity possible. Each day, and for every transport.
Our automation platform provides the confidence to eliminate your innovation prevention calendar and increase the quality and frequency of releases in your SAP environment. If fast, continuous, safe SAP change and release appeals to you, request a free demonstration to learn more about how our software can help you to achieve it.