6 Jul 2020 Daniele di Croce
In today's IT industry Automation of IT processes is a crucial topic. Recently Our global CEO, Daniele di Croce sat down with the Editor of the online IT magazine to answer a couple of questions on the subject. Here is a link to the original article.
IT organisations not only have to support the specialist departments with digitisation, but also have to put their own processes to the test and, if necessary, automate them in order to be able to react quickly to the requirements of internal customers, the market and changing collaboration models.
From Daniele di Croce, CEO of Realtech AG, I wanted to know what you can automate (how) on the SAP basis, how SAP operations can adapt to agile working methods, and what to look for in automation.
Mr. di Croce, how far are SAP organisations in automating their IT processes?
Daniele di Croce: Automation has been the method of choice for some time now to reduce operating costs and counteract the increased need for personnel in growing IT landscapes. As a result, the topic is already widespread and will become an increasingly important instrument due to the rapidly increasing complexity.
Here is an example from our work: For years we have been operating our customers' SAP systems with our Remote Managed Services. The automation of routine tasks is our greatest efficiency secret. This is how we manage to ensure comprehensive support with a very small and highly specialised team and to achieve maximum cost efficiency.
What are compulsory tasks, what is the freestyle when automating the SAP basis?
First, the operational areas should be considered with a high frequency of repetitive tasks. This applies, for example, to the import of kernel patches. The automation of system copies is also an area with a lot of potential.
The automation can then be continued step by step, from change deployment, job control, configuration or test data management to fully automated implementation of standard maintenance. The added value is measured according to the size of the SAP landscape, the number of recurring activities and the necessary implementation effort.
The freestyle, however, is the comprehensive integration of SAP processes with an automated IT service or application lifecycle management.
How can or must SAP and IT organisations position themselves if they want to work "agile"?
The change to an agile way of working is a process; you can't just pull a lever. Changes should therefore be broken down into milestones in order to implement them in small but continuous steps.
Fast decision-making processes, combined with short planning and implementation cycles, lay the foundation for this. Continuous feedback from end users is essential. In this way, dead ends can be recognised at an early stage and new requirements can be taken into account immediately. Conventional methods and behavior patterns inevitably break up, and the organisation develops step by step towards agility.
But the technical requirements must also be taken into account. SAP organisations that have already focused on standardisation, automation and the reduction of technical debts in their further development have it much easier than those who have so far failed to do so.
What do you recommend to a CIO who wants to implement such a change in their own organisation?
Above all, the user must be at the center of everything we do. Here it is important to understand and question prevailing work processes. That is why CIOs should encourage all employees to have an active feedback and error culture. This also means giving an advance of trust and delegating additional decision-making competence to the individual teams.
Automation initiatives often start with the words: "It has to be easier!" CIOs should learn to recognise these impulses and give their teams the freedom to try out their own considerations - then they will find that the smallest ideas are often have the greatest an effect.
What will be the dominant topic for automation in SAP operations in the next 12 months?
The current situation has painfully exposed existing deficiencies in SAP operations in many IT organisations. These findings can be used to best advantage to identify new potential for automation. It is important to learn from the past failures in order to continuously optimise and simplify the operation of the existing and planned SAP landscapes.
Thank you for the interview.
Helge Sanden, editor-in-chief of the online IT magazine, asked the questions.