The Future-Ready Enterprise: A Framework for SAP Business Technology Platform Adoption
Recently I joined the New Zealand SAP User Group Summit in Hamilton New Zealand where I had the opportunity to speak about our Future Ready Enterprise framework, which is the engagement model that the SAP BTP Customer Success team follows to support our customer`s adoption of SAP Business Technology Platform.
Inspired by the feedbacks and conversations that followed that presentation, I am writing this blog post to create greater awareness of this framework as well as to spark interest in our community to engage on a sustainable adoption path of BTP.
The “way of work on BTP”
Since the launch of BTP in January 2021 most of the discussions about the platform are around its services, capabilities, and use cases, but rarely are the occasions where the actual adoption journey that customers go through is explained. In my role as SAP Customer Success Partner where we engage in the post-sale cycle of BTP, quite often we face questions or comments like “I know there`s more in the platform than what we are using…”, “Don`t know how to start”,” which skills my team needs to acquire?” etc…
Partially this overwhelming feeling that “there`s too much out there” comes from the fact that BTP has a broad range of use cases that can be addressed by its 80+ services, it becomes a challenge to stay up-to-date on each of them individually and on the latest innovations.
That can also be understood due to the journey that most of our customers have been through so far, as becoming a “platform customer” demands a change of mindset. Most of our customers have been on a “software customer” journey with SAP for most of the time, where implementation projects are executed to replace an incumbent technology and/or implement new business processes for a specific business area.
As a platform customer, you`ll be supporting this software implementation, dealing with an environment where you need to promote the co-existence of different platforms, and your success won’t be measured by go-lives, but by how scalable and agile you are able to deliver innovation to your business through the successful adoption of the platform services.
What is a Future Ready Enterprise?
The pace of technological change is forcing businesses to rethink how they approach software development and delivery, being able to respond to external factors is a key factor for a business to thrive, and Advances in technology are creating innovation opportunities and reshaping how we interact with our customers, systems, and data.
A resilient business needs a technology foundation that enables them to: Embrace Change, Operate at Pace and Protect the Core.
- Embrace Change – The old school approach to protecting the core was to resist change, however, business disruptors and the pace of change in technology demand that businesses embrace change or risk of being left behind.
- Operate at Pace – In a modern business environment, the need to deliver innovations and improvements at a pace that matches advances in technologies, changes in market conditions and increasing consumer expectations.
- Protect the Core – Customers need an architecture that allows them to embrace change and operate at pace while protecting the stability of their core systems. This is achieved by adopting a modern architectural style with microservices and a decoupled architecture
The Future Ready Enterprise (FRE) is our framework for establishing BTP as the foundation of customers’ journey to become an Intelligent Enterprise and encapsulates the capabilities, opportunities, domains, and outcomes that can be achieved through leveraging SAP BTP in your landscape.
The FRE Framework also forms the bedrock of the FRE Engagement Approach which is aimed at helping our customers become future-ready and realize value through increasing the maturity of relevant BTP domains.
We aim to support customers to get the most from the SAP Business Technology Platform, by embedding BTP on customers’ governing architecture and strategy artifacts by using a simple and interactive engagement model driven by key stakeholders for each Technology Domain.
As part of the framework, a Maturity Assessment process supports the identification of current and target maturity levels along different criteria: Strategy, Architecture Practices, BTP Knowledge, BTP Delivery Capability, Portfolio Success, and IT Operations.
BTP Maturity Model and Assessment
The FRE engagement approach has been carefully designed to be applied through the mechanism of the BTP maturity model to support the customer’s maturity journey. This is done by assessing the current and future state maturity of the relevant BTP Technology Domains and aligning supporting activities to address the opportunities presented by this gap analysis, thereby increasing BTP maturity and value derived from BTP.
The BTP key stakeholders are usually largely situated within the IT function of an organization and are often Architects responsible for setting the strategy and the selection of supporting technologies and platforms.
Whilst those technical personas often drive key technology decisions, there are also other business stakeholders and senior IT decision makers that can both influence and make important technology decisions that would have implications around the landscape, strategy, and solutions.
As part of the continuous improvement process to improvement our framework`s capabilities, the model has been further enhanced also including business domains. In this blog post, I`ll be focusing just on the technology domain, leaving the business domain for another article.
The BTP Maturity Assessment is designed to be quick and easy, making it more likely to be completed and deliver value. This exercise is conducted by our BTP Customer Success team in the format of a workshop together with the customer`s IT stakeholders.
By starting with a current and target state maturity, we can understand a customer’s strategic intention towards BTP and outline activities that could not only help advance their maturity but also address key gaps to ensure successful consumption. It can be targeted to one or more technology domain areas at a time, giving the customer flexibility to address specific areas as per its own priority
The assessment is not intended to be a one-off activity, it can serve as a foundation for almost any conversation within the IT department or even with business stakeholders and can be revisited frequently to help keep us on track for the target state. Ideally, this becomes a practice that over time customers can embrace in their culture becoming self-sufficient in the process of assessing their own maturity.
The BTP Adoption Roadmap is a structured approach to drive strategic discussions within the customer`s team around its state of readiness towards the goals that are intended to be achieved.
The process of building a mutually agreed roadmap is a critical part of the Maturity Assessment, it secures the team`s commitment towards the execution of the activities, and the flexible nature of this engagement allows the plan to be incorporated into the wider IT strategy in the desired timeframe.
It can be even more effective if a senior stakeholder is able to participate in building the roadmap (or are at least aware of it) so it can then form the basis of the Quarterly Business Review.
Customer benefits of the FRE approach
Customers who had increased their BTP maturity have experienced a significant improvement in the quality, pace, and level of innovation on their IT department deliverables ensuring a greater Return on their Investment in the platform.
The framework provides a structured and strategic approach to building maturity on SAP BTP for your internal technology and operational teams, and partners.
The alignment of key BTP technology domains with your IT Strategy and Architecture Artefacts ensures alignment to organizational strategic initiatives moving away from an ad-hoc approach to use cases on BTP, avoiding the development of what we call “emerging architecture”, which over time tends to become unscalable, and high-cost maintenance.
The Future Ready Enterprise Maturity Assessment can identify areas of opportunity and aims to be flexible and adaptable according to the customer`s strategic objectives. Allowing the SAP team to work with you to build a mutually structured roadmap to reach your target maturity and help realize your vision.
Call to action, get in touch!
Our engagement model has been proven as a successful tool supporting customer`s BTP adoption, with this blog post I would like to encourage our customers to reach out to our team and discuss their adoption journey on BTP, sharing your ongoing use cases, challenges, and aspirations
The BTP Customer Success team is available to engage and discuss your path moving forward towards a Future Ready Enterprise state
Get in touch with your SAP Customer Success Partner, partner or SAP Account Executive to engage with us, or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for further engagement.