“Expect the unexpected” was the opening statement of Stefan Weidner, Executive Director at SAP University Competence Center (UCC) Magdeburg, in an expert discussion on data centers running SAP applications at #FujitsuForum. The session was chaired by Peter Färbinger, Editor in Chief E3 Magazine. With “the unexpected“ Stefan Weidner was not referring to new technologies provided by IT suppliers, but to new services requested by customers – including those not articulated by users, but silently wished for and perceived as a surprise.
Today, speed does not mean fast clock rate anymore, but speed of adoption – as explained by Bernd Herth, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer SAP (NetApp), and Volker Sommer Principal Business Developer, SAP Go to Market (Fujitsu). Speed is about adopting innovation and provisioning new services to drive business value and revenue. This causes customers to think about including cloud solutions and services in their overall SAP data center concept, says Bernd Herth, but without any compromise to data security and ownership.
Although driving innovation and transforming business processes have evolved from nice-to-have to must-do in recent years, Stefan Weidner states that there is sometimes a lack of fundamental insight. It can really be helpful to ask yourself three basic questions:
- Does your organization have well-defined and documented business processes?
- Does your organization have clearly-defined and documented IT architecture and processes?
- To which extend can your organization estimate the impact of any new technology on your business processes?
Quick testing of new ideas can definitely help identify impacting approaches. And what used to be a test project with long-term preparation in the past can now be greatly simplified and accelerated today thanks to cloning options provided by smart storage technology and cloud services, said Bernd Herth. But SAP data center transformation is more than just quick testing or the introduction of virtualization technologies. It is about completely redefining how the SAP applications are managed in the data center.
However, the sticking point is that IT budgets are unfortunately not increasing in line with the increasing expectations of internal users and end-customers. “Thus”, Volker Sommer stated,” SAP customers must remove silos and make data center operations more and more efficient to free up resources for innovations, such as SAP S/4HANA and new business approaches built upon this next generation business suite.
Cost-efficient deployment models can help as well as new solutions based on open source technology, which are pre-tested in the Fujitsu labs and supported by a comprehensive set of services from consulting up to a complete lifecycle management. At the end the smart combination of options resulting in hybrid and bi-modal data center structures will help to realize the transformation processes requested by business.
“Today, IT does not only matter for business, but it drives new business value. However, data centers may not be able to realize everything that is technically feasible,” said Stefan Weidner. The best way towards decisions on high-impact uses cases is a seemingly simple question. “What would the damage for my business be if I cannot adopt this innovation?”
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