Blog Editor-in-Chief

Bipolar ERP Strategies and SAP Roadmaps

None of what SAP presents is bad or unusable. But while SAP is celebrating digital transformation with S/4 at one pole, customers and partners are trying to keep the IT infrastructure and ERP architecture running at the other. There is nothing wrong with this bipolar situation; it's simply not very productive to have market forces pulling in two opposite directions.

The poles of the community

There are presently two currents within the SAP community: SAP with its many business innovations is at one pole; customers and partners with IT tools to harden infrastructure and ERP architecture are at the other.  This creates a bipolar challenge.

Bipolar challenge

SAP currently places a high demand on customers’ and partners’ competence. On the one hand, customers and partners must complete a technical release change from ECC to S/4 in record time; on the other hand, they must also adapt to innovations such as IoT, blockchain, machine learning, process mining, and cloud computing. SAP’s ALM product, Application Lifecycle Management, is a good paradigm for this enormous task. The innovative Signavio tool for business process reengineering stands at one pole, and other general IT tools for operational and automated testing stand at the opposite one. SAP customers must face these bipolar challenges, with the end goal being to organize process mining and automated testing simultaneously with SAP ALM.

The key is automation

One solution at SAP Basis to manage the disparate currents is automation. Never before have so many SAP partners addressed this issue. The topic of automation and monitoring can not only guarantee secure SAP operations, but also cushion the current IT labor shortage. SAP partners Avantra and Nagarro explained that automation can achieve significant savings of two-thirds or more in basic customizing. This means that whether the CCC manager has to schedule 15 workdays or only five makes a significant impact in operations.

ALM and Steampunk

SAP itself is currently juggling several tasks. With ALM and Steampunk, the ERP world market leader is showcasing the entire spectrum that spans between the operational and the innovative poles. The entire SAP community is working off of this bipolar roadmap. With IT tools such as automated testing, monitoring, and license measurement at one pole and innovative app development on the BTP, Business Technology Platform, with low-code/no-code and Steampunk, the embedded Abap, at the other, SAP, its partners, and customers are attempting to reach their digital transformation goals.


Serendipity. Even with a bipolar challenge, the two poles need not necessarily repel each other. Those who can harmonize the operational with the strategic will reap added value. As is so often the case in the SAP community, it will be necessary for users to orchestrate different currents, trends, visions, and poles. The challenge here lies in the complexity of a Hana database and an S/4 ERP system. Those who can connect the two poles end-to-end will be able to use the digital transformation to their advantage.

Any questions, comments, or concerns? Feel free to let us know in a comment below.

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Sign up for e3zine´s biweekly newsbites

Please do not use administrative mail adresses like "noreply@..", "admin@.." or similar as these may get blocked for security reasons.

We use rapidmail for dispatching our newsletter. By signing up, you agree that the data you have entered will be transmitted to rapidmail. Please take note of their terms and conditions and privacy policy.termsandconditions.

Our Authors