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With so much happening in the applications markets today around new applications and architectures, IT leaders have a lot of options to get new business functionality into their environments that their business users can use to improve the business. Whether this is a new incentive compensation functionality to help you compete in new markets with innovative sales plans or just maintaining a system to get increasing performance, the constant refrain IT hears from the business is that they just want the new functionality without having to make a lot of other changes.

At SAPPHIRE, a major part of our message will be about the non-disruptive technology innovations we are delivering. And at SAP, we focus on developing technology that is non-disruptive to the existing technology that our customers have installed. When I was an analyst, the question would arise many times, what exactly does it mean to be non-disruptive. And the answer is that there are a lot of different types of disruptions that you need to avoid when evaluating new technology. So, I thought it would be useful to go a bit deeper into what disruptions can happen, and how different software engineering approaches can help to avoid or minimize these types of disruptions.

I’ve actually researched this topic, and I haven’t found very much in the way of thorough discussions of this topic. A lot of times this comes up in upgrade versus reimplementation discussions around ERP or other applications, but there is little in the way of overall views of this. So, I thought I’d start to lay out some of this to begin a discussion around developing the framework.

Lots of technologies have promised this type of non-disruptive uptake of new functionality, but only some have fully delivered.

This won’t be the last blog post I do on this subject. I just wanted to start a conversation here. What are your thoughts on the subject, and where have you seen other discussions happening around this?

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