This year's German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) Technology Days were held at the International Congress Center in Stuttgart, where its 2,300 delegates broke the previous year's record attendance. The motto for the event was "Programmed to Think Ahead: Intelligent IT Makes the Difference." The use of new technologies is becoming a differentiating factor for businesses. Today, in cooperation with these functional areas, companies now need a more flexible, open IT infrastructure. Hybrid scenarios in the cloud and on-site solutions offer an ideal approach. However, an improvement in quality is needed for one or the other IT solution.
Time-consuming amendments and additions are not compatible with agile working methods in the digital era. And flexibility and rapid results are important when it comes to attracting the next generation of IT specialists to SAP and its solutions. Through a range of joint initiatives, DSAG and SAP are working hard to cement the idea of working with SAP in the minds of the next generation.
Digitalization has long been a question of when, not if. The time has come, but what about the ERP systems? In parallel to standard operation, new business processes need to be implemented faster and faster, meaning there is a greater need for agile approaches to development. However, the speed required for this is rarely available with traditional ERP systems. This means that IT systems also need to become faster and more flexible in order to offer new features in ever-shorter cycles. Additional cloud solutions could be a great way to integrate new approaches into existing IT landscapes quickly and at little cost – with the advantage that existing overall IT concepts would remain unaffected.
No Cloud-Only Strategy
The use of SAP cloud applications is already on the rise, but it is still important that the future evolution of the SAP portfolio doesn't take the company from a "cloud-first" to a "cloud-only" strategy. Indeed, despite SAP's understandable journey to the cloud, a dual-track option with on-site solutions – even if temporary – remains indispensable. "This means there is a need for hybrid scenarios, as well as highly trained consultants and a new range of qualifications for the relevant core teams, enabling them to ensure that the SAP Cloud Platform and the hybrid landscape become established in the market," says DSAG Executive Board member Ralf Peters.
Quality Has to Be on the Money
Hybrid approaches and cloud strategies can only be implemented adequately if the quality of the software products is on the money. "IT solutions can only be used quickly and in a meaningful way if they are produced to a high quality and are fully functional. Improvements made via service packs often require considerable time and expense, resulting in a loss of speed. In this respect, SAP is, as ever, required to tighten quality standards," points out Ralf Peters.
Getting the Next Generation into SAP
An equally ambitious task is attracting the next generation of IT specialists to work with SAP solutions. "The news hasn't quite got out there yet that apps developed by SAP are available in the cloud, just like apps by Google and Apple. SAP Fiori and approaches from the SAP Cloud Platform therefore have a lot of potential to pleasantly surprise students and new entrants to the profession," explains Ralf Peters. Within the scope of the University Alliance and the SAP Learning Hub, DSAG and SAP will run carefully targeted events to ensure the next IT generation sees SAP solutions as appealing and innovative.
Need for Information on SAP Leonardo
A similar information campaign is also to be accelerated for SAP Leonardo. Although DSAG members are increasingly interested in the portfolio of technologies, applications and services for the Internet of things, there is still a need for more information. "Very often, people still don't know that, for instance, expertise invested in the SAP Cloud Platform can be repurposed one for one for all Leonardo topics and vice versa," explains Ralf Peters. When it becomes clear how the relevant technologies can open up new worlds, Leonardo will come on in leaps and bounds.
By focusing on these current topics, the DSAG's spring event once again strengthened its reputation as the place to be for exchanging information on current developments by SAP in the technology sector.
Based in Walldorf, Germany, the German-speaking SAP User Group (DSAG) views itself as an independent body representing the interests of all SAP users in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Its aim is to help ensure that SAP solutions are created in line with user needs, and to promote the exchange of expertise and information among SAP customers and between customers and SAP. Founded in 1997, DSAG currently has more than 3,300 member companies with 60,000 individual members, and is one of the largest SAP user groups worldwide. For more information, visit:
www.dsag.de, www.dsag.at, www.dsag-ev.ch