Hop into a time machine and fast forward SAP Integration to 2050!
Are you going through an SAP PI/PO upgrade decision paralysis and due to make a ‘go’ or ‘no-go’ action on an SAP PO upgrade? Or are you looking for an integration product that is ‘fit for the future’ and connects all your current and potential applications for your organization?
Ain’t it hard to put up a business case for an integration platform upgrade or replacement to business and get the buy in unless the vendor withdraws support? Ain’t the upgrade or replacement project often executed as IT only project because business fail to see direct financial benefits ( Really, Are there any 🙂 benefits for upgrades that use shift and lift methodology )?
I hope I can provide you with some insights to help you make that decision – if you have the patience to read the blog!
“In the new world, it is not the big fish which eats the small fish; it’s the fast fish which eats slow fish.” – Klaus Schwab
Rise of Robots & Fourth Industrial Revolution
With the rise of robots, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the explosion of mobile technology, driver less cars, genetic engineering, cloud computing and the Internet of Things (IoT), we live in a world of limitless possibilities. These technological advances are changing the way we live, work and interact with each other and the machines in the physical and digital world.
According to the World Economic Forum, the blurred lines between physical, digital and biological spheres amount to a Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Integration landscape in 2050
In the future, will AI help us download our brains onto laptops? Will I be going to a beauty salon in 2050 in a driver less car, which uses IoT to advise me which haircut is trending and then finds me a highly rated salon – via social channels – located in my vicinity and offers me the best price and then books an appointment automatically with that salon?
Will AI provide details of the haircut to the hair stylist automatically and rate the salon on social channels after the hair cut is done using facial recognition sensors? Will it automatically teleport a photo of my new hairstyle to my sister in the USA and post the image on social media channels?
What would integration road maps look like in future for such a model? Would the future of integration allow the connection of humans with the physical world and robots and AI assistants in the digital world?
Changing ‘Industry Trends’ in integration
Back in 2004, when I did my first course on SAP XI 3.0, I thought integration was all about connecting two systems. After few years, the buzz words ESB products and SOA methodologies changed how we integrate applications and expose services over the web. At that point in time, if someone claimed that they could run enterprise apps using a touch screen on my phone, I probably would have classified them as slightly crazy.
I have seen the biggest shift in technology and watched consumers guzzle content access services within a decade, and the lesson I have learnt is the world is changing at a faster pace than the speed at which your brain adjusts to the change.
The biggest lesson Nokia taught the world was “Innovate or Die”, No Secret! Android and Apple Crushed Nokia because it moved too slowly.
Gartner iPaaS Reference Model – SAP
Industry trends are changing in the integration space very rapidly and according to Gartner, Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a form of Platform as a Service (PaaS), which enables users to “implement integration projects involving any combination of cloud-resident and on premise endpoints”. This approach means that iPaaS can develop, deploy, execute, manage and monitor integration flows, linking multiple parameters, such as applications, data sources, APIs and processes and devices.
According to the Gartner Magic Quadrant report in 2015, SAP is positioned as an iPaaS visionary because it’s adapting to changing market conditions – although the portfolio isn’t fully streamlined. SAP also acquired API Edge to re-position itself as a market leader in this space, but the SAP PO road map is dynamically changing.
Would SAP consolidate all products on the HANA Cloud Platform and provide cloud-based subscription, using drag and drop interfaces to connect applications, data and processes and devices? SAP has the appetite and a big enough wallet to innovate and streamline their portfolios and emerge as the market leader.
SAP PI/PO upgrade decision paralysis
While the SAP PI/PO upgrade and migration projects provide organizations with many new features and operational and strategic benefits including building innovative interfaces at a rapid pace, companies can only benefit when they revisit their integration road map for the future. Businesses must identify the potential candidate business processes and critical interfaces and review how they can redesign innovative processes (not just interfaces:)) to exploit new capabilities and technology advancements to reap the maximum strategic and financial benefits.
Isn’t migrating all the interfaces without reaping the strategic and financial benefits of the enhanced functionality like serving old wine in a new bottle?
Where do we go from here?
We need to strike a delicate balance between emptying company wallets using a cost-benefit matrix on an upgrade project and finding out that product doesn’t fit future business objectives or have a new version of the product (or a different product) that offers more strategic, operational and financial flexibility. The best approach should be to revisit your integration roadmap and assess the product fitness and align the upgraded projects with current industry trends and future integration strategies and business objectives.
“Digital is the main reason just over half of the companies on the Fortune 500 have disappeared since the year 2000.” – Pierre Nanterme
If you want your organization to be trading in the next century with a comparative advantage over competitors then you should get your organization integration platform and strategy right for current and future landscapes.
What do you all think? Please post your ideas!