How to reduce the SAP technical debts
I’ve written a lot on my social media about SAP Clean Core, and have had numerous conversations with prospects about it, outlining the strategy for success with it, from adopting a cloud-first mentality to having the proper toolchain to manage and carry out the transition to the cloud. A lot, but it’s still not enough considering how much of a positive impact it’s already having and how many different initiatives the client already has in motion that are trying to get closer to the SAP Clean core method in a practical way.
We all concluded that the best way to transform the SAP Estate would be to follow the approach that was proposed. This would involve shifting away from the historical monoliths and towards a lean, clean, and composable architecture that is able to deliver the expected flexibility and agility. This would allow the business needs to be met in a modern and expedient manner, as well as refresh the enterprise so that it more effectively adapts to the unpredictable world.
Today, we can think of it as a “nice-to-have,” but the future is coming, and the future seems more and more oriented to a pure SaaS, in which topics such as the composable, clean core will be required. We can think of it as a “nice-to-have” today. SAP is not excluded: SAP is progressively approaching the SaaS not just for the satellite like Ariba, Concur, IBP, etc., but it is coming also with the S/4HANA Public edition, a full ERP as a service, similar to what we already know from Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle, and other companies. It would appear that SAP is running behind schedule, but we cannot ignore the level of complexity that the Private/on-Premise SAP RISE edition requires us to manage. This level of complexity calls for a dependable method as well as dependable multi-tenant products that are able to support large customers who have very complicated requirements and interoperability.
Let’s start in the right direction right now, starting with the right mindset, knowing that it’s a journey and that the starting point might not be easy. My main concern, when looking at the SAP installed bases, is the enormous technical debts that needs to be resolved. So vast that we cannot solve it manually or in the traditional manner. A no sense journey will necessitate years of investment.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that we carve out 100% of the ABAP stuff, however my recommendations are as follows:
- Simply follow the Zero-ABAP method into the SAP packages for the new SAP implementation. Today, there are no more excuses: we have everything we require.
- When it comes to installed bases, try to avoid adding new technical debts on top of what you already have.
- Identify eligible stuffs for a carve-out, to re-architect in cloud native – working on SAP BTP and Hyperscalers – ABAP objects where a modern UI/UX can change the life of your business users, or ABAP objects with a high repetitive changes, or operational stuffs, or interfaces, or SAP BW that is too much obsolete based on the new SAP BTP Datasphere opportunity. Yes, because clean core is applicable to all SAP domains, not just ERP-ABAP customs.
We require something akin to a magic wand… And, most likely, Generative AI can be our saviour! If it is true that Gen-AI can generate intelligent content, why not ask:
(ZGISI comes from EXTGISI, my first SAP user-id in 1998: EXT means external consultant, GI Gianluca, SI Simeone – feel free to call me GISI 😉)
QUESTION: “Gen-AI, can you please generate a CLI script to create a Microsoft Power App using the previous ABAP logic?”
…and with just a few manual corrections and enhancements, in 5 mins this is the result:
This is a very simple exercise to show how a 5-minute task can turn my simple ABAP report into a simple Power App. I could probably do the same thing in 5 minutes if I started from scratch and didn’t use AI.
Don’t worry, we can do the same thing again with SAP BTP.
Let’s say we want to turn an eligible ABAP report into a web app that can be used on multiple devices. This would include all the module pools we run with the SAP-GUI, all the BSP and ABAP Web-dynpro, and so on.
With the right approach and the right prompt, we may tackle the technical debts, switch from Pro-Code to LowCode/NoCode, and make content for the traditional daily tasks that take a lot of time while also filling gaps that the market can’t fill.
Real life is more complicated, but you know that Gen-AI is learning, and we could have more in the coming months. Enjoy 😉