SAP & Open Source: Are we prepared enough?
In recent years, there has been a growing trend toward the use of open-source software in enterprise-level solutions. SAP has recognized the potential benefits of open-source software and has taken several steps to incorporate open source into its cloud offerings. SAP’s open-source strategy is based on four key principles:
Embrace: SAP is committed to supporting open-source communities and projects. The company actively contributes to open-source projects and encourages its employees to contribute as well.
Extend: SAP integrates open-source technologies into its products and services, providing customers with additional features and functionality.
Consume: SAP uses open-source software in its products and services, reducing development costs and improving time to market.
Release: SAP releases some of its software as open source, allowing the wider community to use and contribute to the development of the software.
SAP – For community and beyond
SAP is actively using and contributing to open-source software in its cloud offerings. This includes several of its own open-source projects, such as the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model (CAPM) and the Eclipse Dirigible project, which provide frameworks for building cloud-native applications. SAP’s use of open source also extends to the SAP Business Technology Platform, which is built on the open-source Kubernetes platform and allows for highly scalable, flexible, and reliable cloud solutions. By releasing some of its software as open source, such as the SAPUI5 framework, SAP is able to tap into the collective knowledge and expertise of the wider developer community, leading to faster development times and improved software quality. Overall, SAP’s use of open source highlights the growing importance of open-source software in the enterprise market.
Where we are now?
SAP has realized the importance of open-source software and has taken steps to incorporate it into their offerings. However, it is up to customers to recognize the value of open source and embrace it early on, rather than facing a drastic change of culture and landscape years down the line. It is crucial for customers to have the right partner or vendor who can guide and educate them through the process of adopting open source. With the migration to S4HANA becoming an inevitable move for many customers, it is essential to consider if they have the necessary tools to succeed in the future. Although it may seem overwhelming, understanding what is to come and planning for it is the smart move.
In today’s market, there is a growing demand for faster time to market, efficiency, and quality. As a result, vendors may suggest DevOps and other tools to meet these demands. However, customers in the SAP landscape need to prepare themselves for the cultural change that comes with using these sets of tools. Additionally, many of these tools come from outside the SAP ecosystem, making it difficult for SAP landscape architects to make the right decisions. It is therefore important for customers to understand the impact of these tools and be willing to make the necessary cultural and technological changes to stay competitive in the market.
What are the challenges and are we prepared Enough?
Even though SAP has recognized the potential benefits of open-source software and has taken several steps to incorporate open source into its cloud offerings. However, the adoption of open-source technology is not solely dependent on the vendor but also on the readiness of the customers.
One of the key challenges in adopting open-source technology is the need for a skilled workforce. Open-source software often requires different skills than traditional proprietary software. For example, developers may need to be proficient in multiple programming languages and have a deep understanding of the underlying technology stack. SAP customers may need to invest in training their workforce to ensure that they have the skills needed to effectively use open-source technology.
SAP has recognized this challenge and has taken steps to address it. The company provides training and certification programs for its products and services, including open-source technologies. This ensures that SAP customers have access to the necessary training and resources to effectively use open-source technology. Additionally, SAP has a strong network of partners and developers who can provide support and expertise to customers who are adopting open-source technology.
Another challenge in adopting open-source technology is the need for a strong governance framework. Open-source software is often developed and maintained by a community of developers, which can lead to a lack of centralized control. This can create challenges around security, compliance, and intellectual property rights. SAP customers may need to establish a strong governance framework to ensure that open-source software is used and maintained in a responsible manner.
SAP has recognized the importance of governance in the adoption of open-source technology. The company has established an open-source office, which is responsible for managing the company’s use of open-source software. The open-source office is responsible for ensuring that SAP’s use of open-source software is compliant with licensing requirements, managing contributions to open-source projects, and providing guidance and support to SAP customers who are adopting open-source technology. SAP joined the Open Invention Network (OIN), a community of companies that are committed to protecting and promoting open source software. By joining the OIN, SAP has pledged not to assert their patents against other OIN members who are using open source software.
SAP has recognized the importance of community in the adoption of open-source technology. The company actively contributes to open-source projects and encourages its employees to do the same. Additionally, SAP has established the SAP Developer Center, which is a community of developers who share knowledge and best practices around SAP technologies, including open-source technology. The SAP Developer Center provides a forum for developers to share code, collaborate on projects, and provide support to each other.
Change in culture is inevitable. We brought an agile and safe way of work into SAP and till now achieving pure agile is a dream. Similarly, DevOps will be part of the software development strategy, and having the right governance and architecture and open mind of stakeholders(SAP Experts and non-SAP Experts) involved to listen, learn and adapt is important.
Finally, one of the key challenges in adopting open-source technology is the need for a strong business case. Open-source software can provide significant benefits in terms of cost savings, flexibility, and control over the software. However, businesses need to carefully consider the costs and benefits of adopting open-source technology and ensure that it aligns with their overall business strategy.
The Future of Enterprise Software
The relationship between SAP and open source is just one example of how open source software is changing the enterprise software landscape. More and more businesses are recognizing the benefits of open source software and are incorporating it into their operations.
This trend is likely to continue as open source software becomes more powerful and more widely adopted. As businesses look for cost-effective and flexible solutions to their software needs, open source software will become an increasingly attractive option.
One area where open source software is likely to have a big impact is in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is becoming increasingly important in many industries, and open source software is helping to democratize access to these powerful tools. By making AI software available for free, open source communities are helping to level the playing field and allow smaller businesses to compete with larger ones.
A Game changing decision
Making a decision on embedding open source into SAP requires careful consideration of various factors, including the specific needs of the organization, the costs and benefits of using open source software, and the risks involved.
Here are some steps to follow when making a decision on embedding open source into SAP:
1. Evaluate the business needs: Identify the specific business needs that open source software can address. This will help you determine which open source solutions are relevant and necessary for your organization.
2. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis: Evaluate the costs and benefits of using open source software, including licensing fees, development costs, maintenance costs, and potential savings. This analysis will help you determine whether open source is a cost-effective option for your organization.
3. Consider the risks: Identify and assess the risks associated with using open source software, such as security risks, compatibility issues, and potential legal liabilities. This will help you determine whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
4. Evaluate the available open source solutions: Research and evaluate the available open source solutions that can be integrated into SAP. Consider factors such as functionality, compatibility, ease of use, and support.
5. Consult with experts: Seek the advice of experts in open source software integration to help guide your decision-making process. This may include consulting with vendors, open source communities, and industry experts.
6. Develop an implementation plan: Once you have made the decision to embed open source into SAP, develop a comprehensive implementation plan that includes timelines, milestones, and resource requirements.
By following these steps, organizations can make informed decisions about embedding open source into SAP and ensure a successful implementation.