New trends such as cloud computing, enterprise mobility, and in-memory computing offer tremendous promise for organizations that want to improve performance. But for IT, these same technology trends can prove to be a headache – increasing the complexity of already-complex infrastructure.
Despite the desire to simplify, CIOs know that sometimes you can’t avoid complexity – especially when the organization views IT as its competitive differentiator.
How can these organizations take advantage of the latest technology innovations, while increasing efficiency, reducing costs, and maintaining high responsiveness? And how can this all be done without shutting down critical processes and breaking operational systems?
For some, the answer is obvious. After all, it’s no secret that IT organizations can run more efficiently by adhering to widely accepted best practices for application lifecycle management. These methods follow the phases for a typical IT solution, from the gathering of initial requirements at the beginning to ongoing optimization after deployment. On the other hand, implementation of these practices – especially in the face of growing complexity – can prove challenging in itself.
As a consultant, I work with a number of companies that encounter this challenge. No company is immune – this affects companies of all regions, sizes, and industries. And that is definitely the case in the defense sector.
Let me tell you a story about one of my defense customers. No matter what industry you serve, you may find this story to be quite universal and relevant.
One of my clients, a defense agency, wanted to incorporate SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA into its software infrastructure that serves multiple teams. The agency only had one tool to organize its requirements, another to manage testing, and a different one to manage and process change requests. As you can imagine, this limited everyone’s visibility of how the overall implementation was progressing.
The SAP HANA platform does accelerate these processes and optimize costs. But if every process involved in the implementation initiative is not integrated together, the overall benefits are limited.
This is really an unfortunate situation – but completely avoidable. Once I showed the SAP Solution Manager solution and its power when integrated with SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, my client’s IT team agreed with me. They immediately saw the potential benefits of using a single source to manage business requirements, testing, IT services, change requests, and process monitoring in one system.
As soon as the executive team signed off on their approvals, we set out to work on implementing the solution – creating a blueprint for the deployment, testing business processes, and tracking every error and problem.
Then, the system monitoring function was installed – which proved to be transformational for the IT team. This feature automatically generates and notifies the IT team whenever there is a change to business processes.
The IT team now tracks all business processes to make sure they are in working order – no matter what new technology is incorporated into the software infrastructure. In addition, IT specialists can access knowledge articles to find best practices that can resolve the identified problem. With a complete, transparent set of methods and procedures, my client can now track IT processes and help itself, rather than relying on a third-party consultancy later on.
But more importantly, my client’s IT team is working more efficiently. With predefined change management processes and workflows, the team replaced a costly, time-consuming testing approach with a systematic testing approach to detect, prevent, and control applications and to accelerate the implementation process to build sustainable efficiencies. And better yet, my client now has a reliable and high-performing software landscape.