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“Do not bother C-level executives with technical details!” I got this advice from an experienced colleague when I started my career at SAP more than a decade ago. I took this hint as a good piece of advice and would not have dreamed of speaking with a C-level executive about the SAP Change and Transport System for example. As far as I was concerned as an architect questions concerning this area has to be answered in RFP-documents and later on discussed with the administrators and the other technical experts.

But last week during a longer waiting time on a German airport due to a strike (that’s a completely other story about a transport system) I realized with surprise that a pattern was recurring over the last months in discussions with Executives in the healthcare industry. These decision makers were interested in the SAP change and transport system.

The reason for that is simple: External auditors from the supervising authorities are placing more and more emphasis on standard operating procedures in the IT-area during their audits and discussions with healthcare institutions. The CIOs have to demonstrate exactly that they can control changes in their system at any time with appropriate approval procedures included.

Just think of the evaluation of lab results. The healthcare institutions must be able to prove which rules has been used to evaluate certain lab results of a patient at any point of time. Healthcare customers have therefore very detailed and extensive validation procedures in place.

These requirements clash with the reality of many homegrown solutions which are still prevalent at many healthcare institutions. They often lack advanced change control mechanism. The SAP change and transport system is therefore an excellent way to meet these requirements. In many cases it is not the decisive factor for the decision towards the SAP platform for a modernization of these healthcare systems but it has a weight in this decision.

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