A couple of years ago I started my weight loss journey with the help of a fitness trainer. One of the important elements of my weight loss plan was to change my lifestyle with healthy meals. My nutritionist helped me to come up with a diet plan that consisted of vegetables & lean proteins. Unfortunately, my excitement and motivation died very soon. Just after the first few days, it just seemed very difficult to follow all the steps to prepare these healthy meals. The nutritionist guidelines seemed very complicated & stressful. The vegetables went rotten in my fridge and I ended up throwing them out.
“Your willpower is simply not enough. The first step is to get started. Studies have shown starting a project to be the biggest barrier to productivity. Before starting a project your brain visualizes the hardest parts to come and instead tries to simulate real work by focusing on small mindless tasks.”
After watching this video, I decided to make a small tweak in my “getting started” approach. Instead of buying raw vegetables and preparing meals with nutritional advice, I decided to buy pre-made salad kits that come with just the right amount of packaged vegetables, meats, and dressing. After this small change, a healthy lifestyle didn’t seem so stressful. I was able to see successful results in a very short time and started to enjoy this change, as I was not dependent on a nutritionist. I started small and easily scaled up as I felt acquainted to this new lifestyle.
Enterprise innovations work the exact same way. When companies think about doing new things, they send their IT and business managers to attend technology events where they get excited to see the latest IT trends. However, when they get back to work from these events, their excitement dies very quickly, especially when they begin to think about all the nuts and bolts. To add to their stress, they feel burdened with the extra time they need to take out from their daily jobs for these new projects. Even if they end up investing in the technology platforms, they overestimate the difficulty to getting started and give up before even trying. The platforms become obsolete sitting on shelve resulting in even more waste of money. There are many unknowns at the beginning, such as:
- Knowing what to make
- Knowing what technologies to buy
- Convincing their management to invest in new innovations
- Learning about the skills to maintain those new innovations
- Starting small so that they can show success in their investments
- Acting fast so that the platform investments don’t become a throw-away
- Being able to scale without difficulty
- Understanding the technical pre-requisites
The SAP HANA Cloud platform (HCP) provides opportunities to solve these unknowns. The platform comes with pre-built tools and components that allow them to easily compose new solutions and integrate them with any system. The skills and tools that are required to build such applications are readily available in the market. You can start small, learn from your initial projects and scale up as you go. For example, if you are building a new business functionality, you can easily design and develop this on HCP in the form of an APP that can run on your mobile/desktop. Many of these design and development tools are free of charge or cost minimal fee. Let us see how we can do that on HCP:
- First, you can conduct Design Thinking to discover your overall IT roadmap and prioritize the business problems you would like to focus on. During the design thinking process, you can leverage SAP Build to manage your user research phase and brainstorming phase. SAP Build provides the ability to share design ideas/wireframes and initial prototypes with other users for feedback. This approach of co-creation helps with user commitment and engagement. SAP Build is designed with the mindset that companies are becoming global with virtual teams…. so they don’t need to be physically together in one place before they can design something new. Once you gather some initial user feedback on project scope, you can start prototyping your ideas using UX tools of HCP.
- Bythis time, you should have enough feedback from various user groups that you can create a variety of prototypes that look and feel exactly like a real App. You can use SAP Splash to design tangible prototypes. You do NOT need to be a designer or developer to learn SAP Splash. There is plenty of learning material and ready-made templates available on SAP Splash.The SAP splash comes with SAP Fiori design framework, icons, and controls; you can easily drag and drop templates to make application prototypes that you can use to show to your management for budget approval.
- After you have convinced your management with the visual prototype, you can use the developer tools of HCP such as SAP WebIDE to develop the User Interface of your application. The SAP WebIDE tool comes with pre-built templates for developing the app. You can also import the prototypes you made in splash into SAP WebIDE. You can also test your application with mock data. SAP WebIDE can be easily learned if you have basic HTML5 skills. Other than the SAP WebIDE, which is HTML5 based, there are many other development tools available on HCP that use JAVA based skills. These skills are very common in the market, making it easy to learn and maintain new applications.
- The next phase of the development is enhancing this solution with additional feature such as camera and push notification (mobility), connecting with sensors (IOT), enabling analytical capabilities (smart analytics) or connecting with other systems. Based on your desired features, you can enable these functions (as SAP HANA Cloud Services) without going through any installation checks. The platform is well documented so it’s easy to find help. The development steps are often automated in the form of plug-ins, SDKs and standard APIs that are supported by SAP, unlike the traditional Zprogramming that cost us millions of dollars during upgrades. At this point, you can test your application as a connected solution, secure it and onboard your users. In my experience, the overall process should take you 80% less time compared to traditional ways of development.
HCP can transform your lifestyle and makes it easier for you to continue innovation on a consistent basis. I encourage you to try it for yourself. Simply visit HCP.SAP.COM and sign up for a free trial account. You can also reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can schedule a complimentary educational workshop to enable your team on HCP. At the end of the workshop, you will also enjoy a complimentary trial offering for our pre-built packaged apps on HCP.