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Biggest challenges that EA's face.

MartinMysyk
Employee
Employee

What keeps you up at night from an Enterprise Architecture perspective? In this community we want to address the challenges EA's face. From an SAP perspective, we have points of view on most things we can share.

What would your top three concerns be?

16 REPLIES 16

Abraham
Member

I believe the following are pain points.

1. Having disparate systems in the enterprise and competitive products from bigger players Microsoft. One example is why would the customer use BTP when they already have some of the functionality overlapping in them. For instance, Integration, Mobility, Connectivity, Identity Management etc.

2. The migration path from on prem to cloud in the view explosion of various technologies and when to use what.

3. The reference architectures for the existing and new use cases.

4. Security of the To-Be architecture

5. How to position SAP products while there are some gaps in the cloud counterparts compared to on prem versions. How the company would run hybrid model where SAP recommends to have both solutions for some time. Example: SAP PI/PO and Integration suite.

 

From your post Abraham there are a few different things that come to mind. It would be great if people created some commentary and label it as Integration Architecture to discuss use cases where there is overlap with cloud provider offerings vs SAP. That might help you with clarity there. 

I would be interested in the communities experience on the migration paths they are thinking of taking and what people have actually done already. Great discussion topic.

We will be posting links to reference architectures over time stay tuned for this.

From an SAP perspective the best site for Security information is the SAP Trust Center

Knowing the SAP roadmaps is critical for knowing when some of the product gaps and innovations are schedule to be released. You can also participate in the SAP Influence Councils across various products to help influence the direction of SAP products as well.

Does this help?

Hi Martin - yes to some extent. But you know, the Gartner says that most of the SAP solutions in the cloud space are either not marketed properly as there is a notion among the non-SAP community that these are meant only for SAP. Though SAP is capable of doing lot more stuff in non-SAP world too. Please refer to the weaknesses highlighted in the magic quadrant report for Integration. We are living in a world where every big player in the market has almost a solution that competes with SAP. It is very difficult to position SAP products where the organizations are dominated by Microsoft products already with the suite offerings. We are using one weapon that is the prebuilt content that SAP has over others but that may not stay long with easy implementation the APIs and micro services other vendors may have edge here.

Another pain problem has been not enough reference for the BTP account governance models. Though SAP help list few scenarios but those are not covering many cases. We need more clarity and expansion of these scenarios for EAs. One example is When you have Integration, Mobility, Launchpad, Work Zone, ABAP Cloud services in a company then what are the possible models for the account structure considering ALM and maintenance? We can have say separate sub accounts for each of them but then what about spaces for DEV/QA/PROD as typical setup within same sub account or different? Assuming that we don't have many departmental segregations. This is one scenario.

Thanks for the reply.

itmfru01
Member

Hi Martin,

our night sleep preventers are: 😴
What recommendations do we give to our customers just before or already in the migration regarding the "keep the core clean" approach when the alternatives (BTP Steampunk) are a) very expensive b) the customer lacks expertise and more sensible options (Embedded Steampunk OnPrem) are not yet available.
The course is set in current conversion projects - in my opinion, many "wrong decisions" are made by customers here due to a lack of (time) budget, lack of expertise, and high complexity.
Customers are lagging far behind due to the multitude of topics (BTP, DevOps, gCTS, UIx/Lauchnpad) - and the knowhow gap is growing.

Best regards
Norbert

Hi Norbert,

Interesting perspective. How do you think the skills gap will be closed? Do you think people are aware of the SAP Learning Journeys? What do you think SAP should be doing to  help close the gap?

Hi Martin,

From my point of view, customers need time to understand, digest and implement the concepts. Currently, they are drowning in day-to-day business. In my opinion, a consolidation phase in which the existing concepts can mature and become stable is urgently needed. In some cases, I see that my customers are not familiar with the Learning Hub, best practices, and so on. We do our best as SAP partners to orient customers before the next paradigm is released 🙂.

Btw: We try to activate appgyver on our productive BTP - but for weeks we can't book the entitlement- missing SAP contact persons, unclear booking UIs, understanding problems regarding the right way (which subscription is the right one, where is the booking button? Where is the promised free-tier?). If you try to buy in store.sap.com:

itmfru01_0-1649362026460.png

itmfru01_1-1649362115178.png

 

But to also send a positive message: SAP is already doing a lot right and has catapulted the product into the modern era within a very short time - chapeau! 🎩

 

 

 

Hi,

to extend this thread from @MartinMysyk Martin and @itmfru01 Norbert some personal thoughts on that:

I totally agree with you Norbert there are a lot of sleep pretenders out there:

a) A "Keep the core clean" approach is not easy to implement in all of the facets in regards to complexity, costs ( Services, products and implementation wise ) and also because of missing features.  But most important this approach needs to be implemented and supported at the heart of each organisation because it will be challenged on every use case an organisation is facing. 

b) Indeed, some customers are not well prepared for this kind of movement  (especially when we talk about S/4HANA) because it's not only complex technology it's even a problem of mindset and organisational change. In some cases the personal learning curve is huge / tremendous and won't be overcome only by leveraging training courses :-).

c) In addition to that a lot of customer do not know the learning journeys, sites, YouTube videos etc which are already out there.  so some kind of marketing in this case could be helpful. Even staying up to date is not easy because there are lot of things to do / to learn and you still have to deliver in your business on a daily basis.

c) When we talk about BTP a lot of customers trying to follow a "one hyperscaler" approach or want to leverage there investments as much as they can. In this kind of battle it's not always easy to position BTP because a lot of people do not understand the opinionated approach following an business oriented saas / paas approach compared to an iaas / pass approach coming from the hyperscalers.

d) talking about roadmaps and getting familiar with them is already infused in my daily business, but at the end there is no promise on that. If I look back on that journey I see that some roadmaps items (which I felt quite relevant) haven't been realized until now or have been move away from the roadmap.

e) I agree with Norbert that key concepts have been changed to often and should not be changed to often, because this has some impact on customer and partners as well and they're daily impact on use cases, business decisions, learning curves etc. Especially in a  cloud world / cloud native fashion where we are not able to pick the right production version we need or where we can decide when we want to move forward.

f) I agree with some guys that the BTP Governance model ( Global Account, consumption models, etc) is not very well know in the market and therefore we are preparing our customers on that topic very early. I`m looking forwarding to some improvements in that area in combination with sap for me.

g) from an architectural point of view the discovery center is a good spot to go, because there is a lot of stuff already out there, but this needs to be more aligned with the "keep the core clean" approach or even be supported with some decision tables as well. One Example: if I am an S/4 Customer with already available workflow capabilities do you think SAP BTP WF / SAP Process Automation is a replacement (it's not) or do we have to use it complementary (I know the answers 🙂 ). If I already use SAP WF what is a good approach to go forward to SPA / what are the right questions to get the right decision?

To close with some positive words: SAP is more open to the markets, customers and partners than ever from my point of view and is doing a lot of things right.

Kind regards,

Rainer

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you for all of the detail Rainer. You have been very detailed in your answer to my original question. It is good to get things out there so they can be appreciated by the community. 

Thank you for the chapeau, or Hats off to SAP.  I would make sure you log a ticket on the page not working in the app store. This should not happen but sometimes does when they are making so many changes to the store. I am not able to duplicate from my account but that does not mean the problem does not exist for you. 

Hello,

Please check the following document 

https://www.sap.com/documents/2020/03/ceeea71f-8a7d-0010-87a3-c30de2ffd8ff.html

Regards,

Slavisa

Hi All

Some pain points are like this.

  • POC is not available.
  • Documentations are good for SAP BTP but according to business concepts.

Looking for these GAPs and recommendation for SAP CX Products.

KristinaKunad
Employee
Employee

Hi Martin, 

what I hear from customers are these challenges, at least from the learning space:

  1. They really like the individual SAP solutions, but find it hard to integrate. Sometimes it takes over 5 years for acquired companies to be integrated or the integration between two SAP solutions is very hard to achieve. 
  2. The idea of having an overarching BPM model is great and customers love it, but that model has to be supported by the best-practice processes that SAP provides. A CALM > Signavio integration for example would be lovely.
  3. Sometimes it's hard for customers who are not using mainstream technology to be integrated into the larger picture. They chose their niche solution for a reason, and because SAP offers integration into the big player only, this makes it hard for them to integrate as needed.

Just a couple of thoughts from my side, and I know that SAP will take care of these eventually. 

Take care,

Kristina

Thanks for responding from your SAP perspective. I know we are address some of these issues and integration is still a priority with SAP.

shar_agar
Member

Hi Martin- Unlike other responses, my response is not SAP BTP focused as my company is still in "on Premise" mode unless we don't have a good option available.  As EA, the following challanges keep me up in the night

1.  Which product shall I recommend, when there are 2 competing product offerings from SAP for same functionality while one is not get any more innovations (though supported) and other one is not fully matured for our business needs (Example MRS and RSH). E

2.  The simplification items in S/4 that fully change the underlying arhcitecture and framework. It makes the  migration exercise really convoluted and require a lot of effort from customer to retrofit everything that was developed on top of it. For example, Task Management in Environment Health and Saftety was changed in 1809 using completely different data model, technology and UI and it got changed in 1909. That makes me hard for me to recommend upgrade to latest version of S/4.  

You point out some of the differences between on-premise and cloud architectures. This is something that Enterprise Architects need to be familiar with going forward. Make sure your account executive knows your concerns. There are ways of influencing through the SAP Customer Connection of Customer Influence programs along with us passing these concerns on to the product manager.

GrahamNewport
Member

I have been in a cloudops BTP team 1/2 time for 6 months with some limited access but what is clear in the large customer I am in is

  • An immature landscape still
  • Poor documentation still
  • Lack of skills in the workplace

Unless the products function as mature products then their limited abilities will not be used. And that means less uptake and a more expensive workforce.

An example for each above point

My task today is to try and find out if the launchpad service can be scaled up over work zones like it's Q1 improvements state. Without having to code something fancy, the customer only wants out-of-the-box. I can find hints a service can be scaled but little concrete including a lack of blogs. Maybe they are there but even asking a max attention person in attendance is not great, I have not had a response after 2 days. It is fairly clear it cannot do this out-of-the-box with a cf scale or similar like an app can, but would like to be proved wrong.

I find a note that clearly states the backups for the Neo environment. Nothing clear for the BTP.

I went on cloud admin training and the SAP trainer (employed by SAP and course owner) did not even know there was a CAC for monitoring, completely missing from ADMCLD.

If someone asked if should they go to BTP,  based on these experiences I would have to say wait. Convince me otherwise please. I cannot even get an RPO out of SAP currently for BTP.