enterprise rtos erp sap [shutterstock: 1627407061, New Africa]
[shutterstock: 1627407061, New Africa]
Blog Editor-in-Chief

ERP Is Dead

The Intelligent Enterprise no longer has a future. No amount of artificial intelligence (AI) can save SAP’s concept anymore.

I am a computer scientist. I studied at the Vienna University of Technology. So the statement “ERP is dead” has to be seen from an IT perspective. Enterprise Resource Planning, the holistic management of operating resources, can only be one aspect of the bigger picture, digital transformation. Abandoning concepts for a business warehouse, predictive analytics, machine learning, blockchain, or IoT would be foolish. On-prem, virtualization and cloud operating models have and will continue to have their place. But customers need an enterprise operating system that responds in real time – an enterprise RTOS.

Former SAP chief technology officer Vishal Sikka shared this belief. He recognized the need to respond in real time. In a 24/7 world, there is little time for analysis. The first step in that direction at SAP was the Hana database platform. It allows deep and comprehensive analyses to be completed in a fraction of the time compared to traditional databases.

SAP executives, according to Vishal Sikka, did not understand the real-time concept of Hana. Instead of building on the Hana database platform to replace the outdated ERP and turn Hana into a real-time operating system for the enterprise, SAP got bogged down in cloud computing. But the idea of an enterprise operating system is not dead. The former SAP partner Celonis is currently attempting to build this operating system platform for digital transformation through partnerships with IBM and ServiceNow. The important real-time component is still missing, though – an opportunity for SAP: Hana becomes an enterprise RTOS!

A colorful user interface is nice to have. Inexpensive cloud storage is beneficial. Business process analysis and repair can save resources. But we will survive only if we find real-time verified answers to the problems at hand. Computer scientists speak of real-time when an answer to a problem is available at the exact moment when the answer is relevant to the solution. The enterprise real-time operating system provides answers in the time of greatest need, when solutions become critical to survival.

ERP, and by its very nature S/4, is dead. Those already running Hana and S/4 have done nothing wrong, as S/4 is a worthy successor to ERP/ECC 6.0. However, migrating to S/4 in the coming years under the given circumstances and challenges would be negligent. S/4 is a very good ERP system, but all ERP systems are no longer capable of providing the necessary answers for digital transformation. Digital transformation needs an enterprise RTOS.

The enterprise operating system is the new ERP. This also makes concepts like the Intelligent Enterprise obsolete, because an enterprise operating system is by definition the platform for IoT, machine learning, analytics, sustainability, blockchain, finance and all other enterprise functions. The challenge is to sustainably manage, in real time, the valuable resources and assets of our world.

E-3 Magazine November 2021 (German)

About the author

Peter M. Färbinger, Editor-in-Chief

Peter M. Färbinger is Editor-in-Chief and Publisher at E-3 Magazine, B4Bmedia.net AG, Munich, Germany. He can be reached at pmf@b4bmedia.net

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