Application management Automation is the pillar of support for your SAP system, yet, surveys reveal that organizations spend a large percentage of their IT budget on maintenance and support.
At the same time, the increased focus on digital transformation is leading to new business models. To support the new processes, the IT systems must keep pace with innovation while ensuring uninterrupted service. One of the ways to fund innovation is by optimizing SAP AMS efforts through automation; hence, automation-driven SAP AMS Support is the need of the hour.
The World is Changing and so does SAP AMS Services
As the world emerges from the pandemic, there is an increased emphasis on digital transformation and innovation. However, in survey#1 of 900 CIOs and IT leaders, a majority (77%) #1 state that they face a budget crunch for investing in innovation because of heavy spending on “keeping the lights on.”
New business models are raising the bar, and the SAP system is expected to support and enable the latest offerings. The mantra for success focuses on excellent customer experience, personalized offerings, smart logistics for timely delivery, and round-the-clock service.
Businesses demand high system availability with low disruption and faster resolution of issues. Consequently, the expectations from application management providers are also changing. It is essential to focus on innovation while automating routine tasks.
Time is of the essence. Projects are delivered using Agile methodology. Initiatives such as DevOps call for greater participation of the operations team in the Build and Run phases. The limited resources are being stretched thin. Like an adept juggler, the SAP AMS manager juggles several priorities and opportunities simultaneously!
The AMS support models have been evolving over the years. Initial models were effort intensive. As the learning curve progressed, tasks were done faster following a documented procedure.
Repeated resolution of similar requests and issues led to improvement in speed. Some standardization and documentation enabled the right shoring of resources, leading to further savings. Shift-left initiatives and root cause analysis helped drive efficiencies. As applications became more user-friendly and easier to use, the “how-to” questions posed to helpdesks dwindled. Basic automation helped with some repetitive tasks, such as mass changes to data. Having achieved these efficiencies, the benefits are now tapering. Managers struggle to achieve continuous improvement targets and further optimization without upsetting the applecart.
Can Intelligent Automation (IA) be the magic tool to bridge this gap?
IA is any combination of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and robotic process automation used creatively to improve a process. The potential benefits of intelligent automation are well known; however, the implementation is slow and uncertain. Recent surveys show that targets for continuous improvement are consistently missed.
The role of automation in the AMS model is often high on rhetoric and low on implementation; hence, you need clarity of vision and a clear roadmap to achieve automation-driven SAP AMS Support.
How can automation Help?
Various automation solutions can play a crucial role in SAP AMS support. It’s not a Swiss Army Knife - but intelligent automation can be effective if applied to the right use cases. This is also referred to as value-driven SAP AMS. You need an experienced partner who can easily help you adapt to automation. To begin with, a detailed analysis of your Support-ticket volumes, type, categories, and severity can help identify the potential areas and low-hanging fruit.
The use cases must be further evaluated based on complexity, variations in the process flow, decision points, and transaction volume. It is helpful to have a ready repository for use cases that can yield the maximum impact.
Here are four ways in which automation can have a crucial impact:
The analysis of service requests can identify the potential to offload some work to the bots. Digital assistants can step in and answer simple questions or assign requests to the right stakeholders. Bots can also trigger the workflow for approvals before any request is processed.
Apps that can analyze and fix fundamental issues can ease the burden of the end user and avoid delays caused due to incorrect data or process issues.
Such self-heal apps can be built for standard SAP transactions/apps or customized apps. Typical examples are data-related error messages that stop the user from proceeding and can be resolved by a bot.
The self-help solutions direct users to refer to and resolve issues by themselves as a self-service. It is a significant initiative that reduces the volume of tickets reported to the Helpdesk.
There can be a potential to automate the efforts spent in 24x7 monitoring system health, interface programs, and background jobs. These tasks are time-consuming and tiresome for humans. We have found that autonomous bots can execute these tasks effectively and escalate them to human counterparts when required.
Test automation is one of the earliest initiatives. Even today, automated testing is critical in unit testing, regression, or performance testing. Any test automation initiative requires a robust repository of test scripts, a data library, and discipline for its upkeep whenever the process changes.
As business processes become digital, there is a need to drive innovation in SAP to support them. It is imperative to optimize the cost of keeping the lights on and diverting them to innovation, and IA can play a significant role in driving this optimization. However, you need a trusted partner to analyze your system data and recommend and implement the right solutions. There are various use cases in SAP monitoring, testing, resolution of incidents, and service requests. A ready repository of solutions and bots can expedite your automation-driven SAP AMS support.
#1: The State of IT Innovation: Priorities and Challenges – A global survey of IT and Finance Decision Makers, by Rimini Street
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