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Coming out of Retirement

I used to be a frequent contributor to SDN until I got consumed by my new SAP assignment focusing on IT Management and Optimization. So finally, after two years in the trenches, it is time for me to start becoming a more vocal SDN member again. My new (and old) passion is IT management and governance from an end-to-end business as well as technical perspective. It includes components of SAP Business Objects, the SAP Business Suite, SAP Solution Manager, SAP NetWeaver as well as SAP Solution Extensions from our Ecosystem. I also like to refer to this broad area as “The Business of IT”. – What finally made me grab my pen is that TechEd is around the corner and I will be holding a session on IT Optimization that I hope many of you will attend!


The Business of IT

While I have to leave a broad and comprehensive discussion of the exciting Business of IT topic for later, I would like to give you a flavor of my IT optimization framework/guiding principles in this blog. At TechEd, I will then expand on this framework and put it into reality with the help of three practical examples from my experience as an IT professional (from my time before joining the mother ship).


IT Optimization Framework 

I like to look at all IT activities, projects or applications from three angles. They are:


  • Business Value
  • Cost
  • Inherent Risk


If you draw them in relation like in the picture below, I see providing business value as the overarching IT goal. Every IT activity, project or application needs to be optimized to provide maximum business value!

image” mce_src=”image” alt=”Business Value of IT balanced by controlled Cost and Risk” border=”” hspace=”” vspace=”” width=”” height=”” align=”” />


However, maximum business value should not be provided without considering related cost. The days of long and excessively costly implementations are definitely over. Instead, cost needs to be well controlled and IT needs to deliver maximum business value at minimum cost: Do more with less, or I rather like to say “From Feast to Famine”.


Lastly, even cost control (better word than cost cutting) cannot be done at all cost. Going too far may result in two undesired outcomes:


  • The IT provided Business Value is going down un-intentionally, for example by across the board budget cuts, which negatively impact key IT projects.
  • The inherent IT Risk is going up, for example by extensive staff reductions or knee jerk outsourcing that leaves key IT governance and control functions exposed to failure.


And finally, as shown by the tippy triangle, all three sides need to stay in balance: Maximum Business Value of IT at controlled Cost and Risk!


Join me in Phoenix

While this all sounds a little theoretical I admit, I promise to put some meat on this framework during my sessions at TechEd. Based on past experience, I will discuss three examples from the operations, the implementation and the IT strategy areas respectively:


  • OPERATIONS – Information and data management
  • IMPLEMENTATION – Test management
  • IT STRATEGY – Make or buy decision


I know the competition for great content is stiff at TechEd and I hope to have created some appetite for my session. Please join me in Phoenix (and my colleague Stefan Discher in Vienna) at the following times:


ALM129 – Optimize IT with Solution Extensions from SAP

  • Tue, 3:15 p.m.-4:15 p.m.
  • Thu, 2:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m.


In the Expert Lounge

  • Tue, 5:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m.
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