Not understanding the truth about your SAP systems can have serious business consequences.
A recent survey conducted by Tricentis and the Americas’ SAP Users’ Group (ASUG) found that 70% of SAP customers were not fully confident that their company understands the business and technical risks of migrating their existing SAP systems to S/4HANA.1
Given the complexity of most organizations’ SAP landscapes—for example, a company may have years of custom ABAP code deployed extensively across multiple production systems, each connected to numerous 3rd-party applications and all contributing to critical business processes—this uncertainty is easy to understand.
The fact is, many organizations lack the time or tools to fully understand the truth about their SAP systems. This can have devasting business consequences: cost overruns, missed timelines, system downtime, security lapses, lost customers, and PR disasters, to name a few.
These risks often deter organizations from updating their SAP systems in a timely manner. In his keynote speech at this year’s SAP SAPHHIRE NOW conference, SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner speculated that the average SAP customer was 6 years or more behind in their updates. When talking to leaders in these lagging organizations, upgrading or migrating to SAP S/4HANA is not even on their roadmap.
But time, tide, and digital transformation wait for no CIO. When the competition moves forward with innovations that speed time to market and increase efficiency, or when security defects are found in deployed software, standing still is perhaps the riskiest strategy of all.
Fortunately, there is a safe way to accelerate SAP software updates, but that requires facing the cold, hard truth about your SAP systems.
It doesn’t matter if your organization is planning an SAP S/4HANA conversion, applying an ECC service pack, or adding custom code to your current implementation. You need to know the truth about your SAP software and the impacts of the proposed changes before you greenlight any updates. A change impact assessment tailored for SAP software can tell you the risks of an update and whether your implementation’s unique blend of custom and standard code, configurations, settings, and external integrations is really ready for what comes next.
This assessment should be automated, giving you the twin benefits of speed and unbiased accuracy, and it must provide the following “truths” about your current SAP landscape and the technical and business risks associated with a proposed update:
Of course, knowing the truth is only half the battle. To ensure a successful update, you must test against the risks identified. The classic approach to testing SAP applications is to “test everything.” In practice, this usually means running all the tests that are documented, which is not only time and resource-consuming but provides no guarantee that the most-at-risk functionality was actually tested. At best, you’ll get a statistic showing the number of tests that were executed and passed. But these statistics don’t actually tell you how much risk was covered by these tests.
A much better solution is to use an impact analysis tool that integrates with a continuous testing platform. In this solution, the impact analysis should automatically:
Organizations using such a solution see 100% risk coverage for only 15% of their previous testing effort, accelerating the pace of their SAP updates by 40% or more.2
But to realize these benefits, they must be willing to first face the truth.