PaaS and DevOps: Renovating a Legacy of Digital Innovation for the Intelligent Enterprise

Imagine living in a house that was renovated 10 years ago. It is comfortable, following every standard and containing the amenities you would expect to see in anyone’s home.

The structure is not old nor bad, but it is still missing the latest technologies, which were developed after that last update made the house more energy-efficient and able to meet the needs of changing living situations. But routine tasks, such as mowing the lawn and maintaining the HVAC system, always get in the way in making those changes over time.

Such an experience is not uncommon for many companies – the house is IT infrastructure and the updates are software implementations. In most cases, running a 10-year-old IT system is not bad if everything runs smoothly. However, the business may not realize its fullest potential if the latest intelligent technologies – including cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, mobile access, and predictive analytics – are not integrated into the existing infrastructure.

Businesses can simplify this legacy of digital innovation with the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and DevOps services from the New SAP MaxAttention engagement model. I had the pleasure of discussing how these services are helping our customers transition to intelligent enterprises connecting people, processes, system data, and analytics with Sabrina Hartmann, head of Data and Technology Services for Integration at SAP.

Q: Can you explain the benefit of tying together PaaS and DevOps into one set of services?

A: Sometimes innovation is the product of three things: an old problem, a big idea, and new technology. As businesses become more software-driven, it’s not unusual to see digital investments being modified over time. Sometimes there are thousands of customized development objects that deviate from the standard operation of the original release – most of which went unused over time.

Now that more companies are adopting the cloud, we are finding that the cloud platform is providing much more than the opportunity to develop new applications. It’s also about reducing custom code in core systems and improving development processes from idea creation to deployment with latest practices. And by supporting the latest technologies as they become available, businesses can ignite a new era of innovation that is intelligent, timely, and relevant.

By putting a cloud platform at the center of the development landscape, companies can access the functionalities they need from one source, making it easier to develop new capabilities that deliver expected outcomes and serve as building blocks for future change. Furthermore, de-coupling functionality from core systems increases the stability of the core system. With this approach, the PaaS becomes the single development platform with the latest technology that allows businesses to develop, extend, and integrate innovations in the cloud.

Q: How do our PaaS and DevOps services help our customers evolve their development capabilities to innovate with intelligence, agility, and speed?

A: The services are designed around cloud-application development and DevOps. Whether our customers are focused on achieving quick wins or improving continuously, we help them address workforce culture, automation, data management, and information sharing and connect them to their technology investments, people, and processes.

Our approach sets up DevOps to become an agile operation that delivers new releases faster and more frequently. Our customers gain access to the right technologies and tools necessary to eliminate wasteful activities, change processes as needed, and fulfill their potential. Plus, by improving development effectiveness they are freeing up resources to create new processes, technologies, products, and services that open up new strategic opportunities.

Q: The services appear to be a great opportunity for customers that need to adopt a structured development framework and those that want to mature their DevOps capabilities. But is it critical enough that they should pay attention to this area of their business now?

A: The rise and evolution of intelligent technologies and cloud platforms has reached a point where it is imperative to pay attention to the presence of efficient and agile development practices. To stay competitive, companies require digital support to seamlessly connect people, processes, system data, and analytics. Processes should be integrated beyond system borders and supported with artificial intelligence to automate processes and generate more insight.

The key is to establish a holistic enterprise cloud architecture that covers all application areas with a stable core and without disruption and enables continuous innovation. And with the PaaS and DevOps services of SAP MaxAttention, our customers can face this reality by accessing the latest tools, knowledge, best practices, and expert guidance to navigate their way to strong development capabilities in the cloud.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll offer a real-world view of these focus topics that can help your business acquire the foundation and capabilities of an intelligent enterprise. Bookmark the series landing page and check it each week. In the meantime, read our overview of the New SAP MaxAttention program, “Customer Success for the Intelligent Enterprise,” to discover the opportunities ahead for your business. And for more information, reach out via email at maxattention@sap.com.


Christian Leja is director of SAP MaxAttention Solution Marketing. Follow him on LinkedIn.
Sabrina Hartmann is head of Data and Technology Services for Integration. Follow her on LinkedIn.