LeanIX - Taming software complexity in SAP environments

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Companies today find themselves in a state of continuous transformation. Migrating systems to the cloud, developing new products, adopting new business models, and entering new markets. They merge with and acquire other companies. All of this leading to continued growth.

These transformations never stop. They also don’t get any easier. Why not? Software complexity gets in the way.

Software has indeed “eaten the world” as Marc Andreesen wrote a decade ago. Business today is unthinkable without software – from the back office to each customer touchpoint. And the software estate every company depends on continuously grows and evolves. In fact, software spend has grown from $269 billion a year, when Andreesen was writing, to over $600 billion a year today. As an organisation’s IT estate grows, so does its complexity – underpinned by continual transformation from today’s current state to a new target state.

Taming Complexity

Software complexity is multi-layered.

  • First, there’s the complexity of the software itself, particularly as organisations move from monolithic applications to fragmented, service-oriented architectures.
  • Second, there’s the fact that this software may be owned by an organisation – possibly even built and maintained in house – or licensed as a SaaS solution, bringing a layer of complexity to software management.
  • Finally, there’s the complexity of all the relationships, interactions, and connections between different solutions and IT assets and business processes.

You can’t eliminate software complexity. But you can manage it, ‘taming it’ if you will.

The key is to combine enterprise architecture management (EAM) solutions and business process transformation tools. Together, these solutions make it possible for companies to map and model business processes. They also make it possible to understand, map, and model the specific connections between the software estate and these processes.

Software complexity in SAP environments

SAP has thousands of customers around the world and their SAP landscapes can be very complex. Aside from the fact that companies may be running several SAP environments in different branches or different regions at once, implementations can be highly customised.

Customisation breeds its own flavour of complexity. Customisations need to be maintained. And, when it comes to transformation, they can make “lift and shift” or “rip and replace” easier said than done.

What’s more, companies will always have a non-SAP landscape with its own idiosyncratic connections to the SAP landscape. A history of M&A activity can further complicate the links between the SAP landscape and everything else. This complexity becomes even more acute when executing an SAP S/4 HANA transformation.

Taming this complexity calls for precisely the combination of Enterprise Architecture (EA) and business process transformation described above.

Business Process Transformation

Through a combination of LeanIX EAM and SAP Signavio’s Business Process Transformation solutions, organisations running SAP can successfully tame complexity and continuously transform. The integration of EAM and Business Process Transformation allows for a truly holistic approach to these initiatives.

Companies that take advantage of the existing integrations between LeanIX and SAP Signavio can speed up both the mapping and modelling process, allowing for all types of business transformation. Travis Perkins, among others, recognised this in its IT modernisation project.

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