The number of systems underlying the fundamental structure of a house is astounding – and it’s only growing. From HVAC systems and water heaters to electric wiring and Internet connections, homeowners are gradually purchasing and installing interconnected devices, smart home appliances, and open-source furniture, rendering the basic systems they rarely worry about more vulnerable.

This delicate coexistence of legacy systems and intelligent technology is also reflected in most businesses. While finding new ways to increase IT efficiency, operational speed, and data-driven insight, chief information officers are charged with running a mix of on-premise and cloud applications. And this hybrid IT environment is only becoming more complex and susceptible to downtime when it’s not managed properly.

For many of our customers, solving this puzzle of running multiple landscapes calls for the expertise and support of end-to-end hybrid operations services in the New SAP MaxAttention program. I caught up with Thorsten Diegel, portfolio area manager of End-to-End Hybrid Operations at SAP, to discuss how this service is providing the transparency, efficiency, and continuous improvement necessary to realize the full potential of today’s hybrid IT operations.

Q: Why is the operation of an end-to-end hybrid environment more relevant and important now than ever before?

A: From mainframes and PCs to client servers and Internet to cloud, mobile, and Big Data technologies, businesses have undergone significant shifts in how data is used to make decisions and run operations over the last few decades. This has led to a collection of processes that straddle between two different deployment models: on-premise and cloud. This can be quite challenging for most companies as they work to keep systems up and running without disruption and maintain efficient and smooth processes.

Different solutions deployed with different models call for specific administrative tasks that need to be executed both on-premise and in the cloud but maybe in a different way. Some activities should be done by the business while others are managed by the cloud provider. However, these responsibilities are rarely easy to divide, bringing a complex situation of redundant efforts, varied understanding of IT performance and requirements, and unchecked risks.

Q: How can our end-to-end hybrid operations services help customers gain the full benefit of this new model of cooperation?

A: The ultimate goal of our end-to-end hybrid operations services is to empower our customers to operate their solutions properly – on-premise and in the cloud. When we find considerable gaps in the overall technology experience, we refine this service to identify customer needs, address issues proactively, and ease how users transition to a new process or business model.

The services help customers tackle seven critical areas of hybrid operations:

  • Solution and system management: Core operational activities to keep the lights on
  • Operations control center: A central team to control the operations, including processes, tools, and documentation
  • Continuous improvement: All activities that reduce the total cost of ownership and improve the realized benefit of the solution
  • Security: Maximum security of data across the complete solution
  • Application lifecycle management: All processes for building and maintaining the solution with an agile methodology
  • People and organization processes: Setup and optimization of the operations and support organization
  • Solution operation platform: Establishment and fine-tuning of the operation platform

Whether they are undergoing a new installation to transition operations or are already live and want a continuous operations health check, our customers can get the guidance, expertise, and tools to address these criteria.

Q: Can you tell me how our customers apply this line of thinking when optimizing their IT operations?

A: Many of our customers have adopted the concept of deploying cloud solutions alongside their on-premise, legacy applications. However, the challenges related to integration and process-layer monitoring as well as transparency, incident management, and distribution of IT roles and responsibilities persist.

With our end-to-end hybrid operations solutions, customers can influence how their business transitions into an intelligent enterprise. With comprehensive, fact-based analysis of current operational challenges, they can identify and prioritize areas for improvement; develop a road map for transparency, data-volume management, and performance optimization; and reprioritize and define next steps.

Over past few weeks we offered a real-world view of focus topics that can help your business acquire the foundation and capabilities of an intelligent enterprise. Bookmark the series landing page and read the overview of the New SAP MaxAttention, “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.
Thorsten Diegel is portfolio area manager for End-to-End Hybrid Operations.