IT Management is often associated with just managing the technical IT landscape and systems to run your IT and therefore SAP is often not seen as the vendor to be on your short list. This blog highlights why this perception leaves opportunities in your enterprise untapped.
How to make the Difference
IT Management is all about the business of IT, which can be described as doing the things that, make IT strategic within the enterprise. To be more specific let us name three areas IT needs to deliver on:
- ensure business continuity and control risk,
- drive cost efficiency in all IT operations and
- be responsive to the business and drive value for the enterprise
In the first area you cannot earn the big merits, however if you fail you are in big trouble. The second topic is about continuously reducing the budget that gets eaten up by just maintaining the status quo. Any money saved is needed to drive new innovation. The third area describes your capabilities to deliver new or changed business processes with innovation quicker.
Priorities do vary
There is broad agreement that these three domains are crucial to drive the IT departments’ recognition and contribution to the overall enterprise. However according to the research of the CIO Executive council we can also separate CIO’s along three different “focus” areas: “Functional Heads” drive primarily operational excellence, “Transformational Leaders” focus on the partnering with the business and process transformation whereas the “Business Strategists” focus rather on enterprise strategy, innovation and differentiation.
Solutions for IT Management from SAP
First let’s start at the core with SAP Solution Manager in the center of application lifecycle management (ALM). Together with integrated solutions extensions from our partner eco-system SAP can drive efficiency, value and openness along the design, transition and operation processes of IT Service Management. More than the alignment with standards like ITIL, there are specific processes supported to manage end-to-end packaged applications more efficiently. For example solid solution documentation allows you to drive an efficient implementation and test as well as it can ensure compliance and prepares you to quickly accommodate future business needs. There are twelve detailed processes defined that easily help you to not just gain efficiency, but also drive value out of the operational insight you have into your technical functions and your business processes. We saw customers using additional test automation products to reduce the testing effort and time by 50%, or do system monitoring to detect problems before end-users report them to give IT a head-time to resolve them just to name two examples.
On top you should also realize, that while most of that functionality started around supporting SAP applications, the broader aspiration to deliver true Enterprise wide support and many capabilities of the solution extensions go beyond just managing SAP applications by supporting the end-to-end enterprise solution.
While ALM is at the core of IT Management, there is more needed to make the difference: IT Portfolio and Project Management, IT Services Management, Analytics and Governance as well as IT Infrastructure Management. In the first three areas we are leveraging SAP Business Solutions for the need of the IT department whereas IT Infrastructure Management is mainly leveraging technology capabilities of our platform SAP NetNeaver.
IT Portfolio and Project Management helps IT to start plan and determine the IT portfolio. Done in close collaboration with the business it helps IT to align the available budget on the right portfolio to increase the value provided to the business. Project Management is then the efficient management of your resources to ensure your projects stay in budget, in time and in scope.
IT Service Management helps to streamline your communication needs with your user community. Think about running an IT help desk to quickly and easily capture incidents and drive their resolution effectively. You can start small, and you can go to do IT Services management leveraging a complete state-of-the-art help desk with interaction center and web channel management.
Analytics and Governance leverages our Analytics and Business Warehousing solution to provide the appropriate insights along all IT relevant processes. IT Governance, Risk and Compliance is about understanding your risks and establishing the right controls to help you to monitor and manage potential risks in a timely manner. Profitability and Cost Management is a solution to provide the insight and the means to manage your cost and drive profitability.
IT Infrastructure Management heavily leverages our technology foundation with identity management, virtualization and landscape management: While SAP is not a pure play infrastructure provider our ambition here is to help customers leverage generic infrastructure inhe application context of our solutions.
Start now making your IT more Strategic
This concludes the overview of our IT Management solution: Highly effective, factory like processes delivering accelerated innovation along the application lifecycle all centered among powerful business solutions to better and quicker align your IT with your business. Sounds like marketing? I invite you to start today and work with us to understadn where you can start immediately to retrieve biggest return and therefore make your IT more strategic to your business! Stay tuned for further blogs, where we will go into more detail for each of the mentioned areas of IT Management as well as on how to identify the value in each of the areas affected.