Some weeks ago, daniel.ciecko posted first Busting Myths of SAP Activate article and last week I followed his post with Busting Myths of SAP Activate Part 2 here. Today, I want to tackle few more myths and set them straight in this post. I remind you to let us know via comments to this post if you like this blog series. We also encourage you to share your own favorite myths or use the comment section to ask for additional topics to be covered in the future post of this series. Without further delay, here are two more myths of SAP Activate related to organizational change management and cloud mindset. Hope you enjoy those.
Myth 3.1: SAP Activate doesn’t handle Organizational Change Management.
I have heard this one often. Some of your users miss that the Organizational Change Management deliverables and tasks have been transitioned to the Solution Adoption work stream in SAP Activate. There we combine the aspects of organizational change management and end user enablement that are critical for customer success in adopting the software in their organization.
We made this change already in 2015/2016 timeframe when we have shifted from OCM focusing on the first go-live to a more holistic and comprehensive model for helping organizations drive continuous adoption of their SAP solution in their user base. This is important for all organizations, but especially critical in deployment of cloud solutions where organizations embrace the standardization mindset supported by the fit-to-standard approach and rapid adoption of innovation that SAP delivers to them. I highly encourage you to review the Solution Adoption workstream in SAP Activate for any OCM related deliverables needs in your project.
Reality: SAP Activate contains organizational change management activities in the Solution Adoption work stream.
Myth 3.2: Everybody talks about cloud mindset, but for me running software in the cloud is just that someone else runs my software on their infrastructure. Why do I need to think differently when I implement in the cloud?
This is not a true myth, but more of a question that my team hears quite often. It comes usually from experts that cut their teeth on SAP solutions like SAP R/3 or SAP ECC. Unsurprisingly I had the very same question when I started working on public cloud topics. It’s no secret that I started implementing SAP in 1995 when the SAP R/3 solution was on release 2.x and my role back then was basis consultant – for folks that don’t know this role it is equivalent of technology consultant installing and setting up the software in customer’s data centers. So, my work back then consisted of swapping a lot of CDs (and later DVDs) while installing the software.
Excuse this little digression, back to the topic. Looking from outside in, the public cloud may seem like “just software that someone else runs for me”, but that couldn’t me farther from the truth. While technically the assumption is correct (there is team behind the cloud that runs and operates the software), the cloud infrastructure and software practices bring several changes to how implementation teams need to think about the deployment of the solution.
Here are the three key areas that need to be taken under consideration by implementation teams:
Driving value through standardization – I have talked about fit-to-standard in the first myth in this post and this first item is very much the same topic. Project teams that are the most successful in deploying software fast are the ones that embrace standardization mindset powered by the fit-to-standard approach and application of 5 Golden Rules. Standardization helps reduce the number of design decisions that need to be made and helps project teams deploy the software faster. Coupled with this is the need for stronger change management in the organization that I covered in the previous myth. Standardization helps you keep the core solution clean and allows for the next topic to become reality for your organization.
Flexibility with new extensibility options – customers deploying SAP S/4HANA Cloud have many options to extend their cloud solution. This includes the key-user extensibility with built-in no-code functionality with which the customer users can tailor the functionality of the solution. SAP additionally offer side-by-side extensibility that uses open APIs to integrate applications running in SAP Business Technology Platform with your ERP system. Additionally, SAP announced earlier this year that customers will have access to more options with the built-in ABAP in the cloud in future releases.
Running business with agile mindset with increased speed of innovation – systems with clean core allow your team to adopt SAP innovation at faster pace than if your system was heavily modified. Customers in public cloud this year receive four system upgrades and recently SAP announced availability of continuous feature delivery. This capability will help your organization evolve the software on your own pace and will empower your IT team to respond to business needs that much faster.
These frequent updates will also impact your project planning, you need to account for the downtime needed for the upgrade and regression testing for each release. As opposed to on-premise solution, the upgrades in the SAP S/4HANA Cloud (public) happen at the same time for all customers. Additional considerations need to be given to receiving the software earlier that in the on-premise projects.
Reality: Running public cloud solutions requires project teams to re-think and redesign many of established practices and processes. SAP provides customers and partners with recommended practices in SAP Activate methodology which evolves with the product at the speed needed for the cloud – in some cases as frequently as every 2 weeks.
I hope you enjoyed this installment of SAP Activate Myths busting series. You can find the other posts here:
You can explore more SAP Activate resources in SAP Community using tag SAP Activate, we also encourage you to consider following our sister communities SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP Cloud ALM. Let us know your thoughts in the comments to this blog post or via questions in the SAP Activate community.
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