Rajeev Menon shares some of the knowledge he has gleaned about securing SAP systems, cloud computing, and disaster recovery design and implementation.
Identifying the root cause of SAP performance problems is not always straightforward. Multiple SAP systems, federated databases, and increasingly complex business processes can make diagnosis considerably more challenging. It is important to analyze each stack in software and infrastructure.
-- Rajeev Menon, vice president, SAP practice, Wharfedale Technologies Inc.
Rajeev Menon is vice president, SAP practice, at Wharfedale Technologies Inc. During his career he has held several positions with various responsibilities for SAP software. In this Q&A article, I asked him to share some challenges he or his clients have faced during various implementation or upgrade projects.
In your current role one of your responsibilities is blueprinting for SAP in a private cloud. Could you discuss some of the challenges you face when helping clients set up a blueprint for running an SAP application in a private cloud?
We look at the cloud as a set of powerful technologies that a company can leverage to optimize and increase return on their technology investments. In the beginning, challenges included customer distrust, migration, application integration, service level agreements (SLAs), and disaster recovery; however, recently, the challenges are greater in IT management and control. Self-service portals and utility computing models challenge traditional IT management processes and create friction between IT and end users. Also, the cloud enables faster service delivery; this sometimes causes challenges in change management for the user community and results in user dissatisfaction.
Could you give some examples of the friction between IT and end users that you mentioned? Also, why would faster service delivery cause change management challenges for the users?
Traditionally, IT is managed in silos. For example, take the case of storage. Usually a storage administrator or a team is responsible for provisioning storage for a new system, but in the case of a true cloud, the computing, storage, memory, and other resources are grouped as pools and assigned to self-service portals for automatic provisioning with the right security, policies, and procedures. This simplifies and accelerates system provisioning, but inadequate policies and procedures can create waste as well as operational management challenges for IT and, in turn, create tension between IT and the user community.
The fast provisioning can be further optimized using catalogs of system templates, so the end result is a shorter implementation cycle for new applications. A new application can bring changes to existing processes and procedures, and a lot of organizations fail to plan for accelerated training for the end users of the application in parallel to implementation. This can lead to user resentment and dissatisfaction.