The ROI of automated SAP change management – Building the business case

For businesses in today’s digital economy, automating SAP change management processes is essential for success. Discover how to use predictable costs and know baselines to build a compelling business case to automate your SAP change management processes and quickly realize value from your SAP investment.

The ROI of automated SAP change management – Building the business case
The ROI of automated SAP change management – Building the business case

Managing SAP change effectively comes with a cost whether you invest in new technology or maintain your processes and procedures. More and more businesses are automating SAP change management processes to meet the challenge head-on. Software solutions that are easy to implement and quick to return business value are crucial. Project costs don’t begin and end with a purchase decision.

Table of contents

To invest in automation or not to invest
Is your business ready for SAP change management automation?
SAP change management automation – the fundamentals
Investigate your transport activity
How much can you save with Rev-Trac Platinum?
What else should you consider?
Inbuilt safety + compliance
Cost to Implement
Ease of use
How can you measure ease of use?
Win the support of your CFO

For businesses in today’s digital economy, automating SAP change management processes is essential for success. But managing change effectively comes with a cost, regardless of whether your business invests in a new solution or maintains the ‘status quo’. Use known metrics to determine how much SAP change management costs your business and the real gains you can achieve using Rev-Trac Platinum to automate your SAP change management processes.

This article details how to calculate the actual savings your organization can make using Rev-Trac Platinum to automate your SAP change management processes for better, faster, and safer SAP applications.

How much do inefficient (and largely manual) SAP change management processes cost your business? Unscheduled downtime is bad for business. IDC reported that critical software application failures are costing businesses $500,000 to $1 million/hour. The problem is, the more manual intensive your SAP change process the greater the risk of a production incident that can seriously impact your bottom line.

To invest in automation or not to invest

For modern businesses, automating SAP change management processes is essential for success. But managing change effectively comes with a cost, regardless of whether your business invests in a new solution or maintains the ‘status quo’.

To get the CFO to fund your investment requires a demonstration of value to the bottom line. Automating your SAP change management processes requires believable ROI projections based on predictable costs and known baselines.

Here we look at the ‘real’ gains you can achieve with Rev-Trac Platinum, enabling organizations to use their (limited) budgets more effectively and quickly realize business value from their SAP investment.

Is your business ready for SAP change management automation?

Before taking the plunge, you should have a clear understanding of the benefits of automation and how it can simplify your SAP change management processes to increase productivity and minimize risk.

Start with a vigorous investigation of how you currently deliver SAP applications and enhancements.

  • How do you detect or initiate change?
  • How are changes allocated to processes?
  • How are these processes enforced?
  • How and when you may deploy transports?
  • How do you detect transport sequencing errors?
  • What actions initiate workflow alerts?
  • How do you automate approvals?

This provides insight into the degree of automation within your SAP environment, which can vary significantly from business to business and industry sector, as will the projected benefits of eliminating manual tasks.

SAP change management automation – the fundamentals

To calculate the benefits of automating your SAP change management procedures and processes consider 3 key areas – workflow automation, business value, and error detection.

Workflow automation

The degree of workflow automation in your SAP environment has a significant impact on the cost of your application development. If you rely mainly on manual processes to deliver SAP applications and enhancements, maintaining the status quo will affect your productivity and overall costs.

For example, A typical medium-sized organization conducts over 87,143 manual SAP change control tasks every 12 months. If you could eliminate 15 seconds/task through automation, averaging $63.50/staff salary, optimizing your processes with Rev-Trac Platinum would save you approximately $1.4m.

Business value

An ability to react quickly to constant changes in the marketplace is a must in today’s digital economy. Meaning all applications – SAP included – have to be delivered faster and without risk. Automation is crucial to delivering business-requested SAP changes at speeds not previously possible with manually intensive processes.

A US retailer, for example, made 675 percent more SAP changes in 24 months since implementing Rev-Trac’s SAP change management automation platform. This equated to $2.56m in extra business value based on $3m worth of SAP change calculated on a nine-month ROI.

Error detection

Discovering errors before they migrated to Production is critical for minimizing the risk of costly and frustrating unscheduled downtime. SAP IT teams who can correct errors in the development process can save their business huge amounts of time and money over an application’s lifecycle.

An American manufacturing company reduced the number of errors leaked into Production from 81 percent to 8 percent using Rev-Trac. At the same time, it raised its UAT defect detection rate from 60 percent to 90 percent through integrating automated testing. The result is $989,363 saved for the first six months of releases using their calculations of $1,875 per fix in QAS vs $3,125 per fix in Production.

Investigate your transport activity

To project meaningful ROI of SAP change management automation that your CFO can believe, use pre-automation figures as the base for your calculations.

Transport Activity

Basis

  • New standard transports per week entering the landscape (#)
  • Non-standard transports presented per week (rush transports) (#)
  • Complex transport migrations per week (migration configuration required) (#)
  • Migrations to move transport from DEV to PRD (#)
  • Return code problems / total transport migrations (%)

Time

  • Extra time to perform non-standard (rush) transports (minutes)
  • Extra time to perform each extra complex transport migration (minutes)
  • Normal time to perform transport migrations and check return codes (minutes)
  • Time for manual identification of return code problems (minutes)
  • Time to rectify return code problems (minutes)

Functional

  • Functional wait time for non-standard transports to be performed (minutes)

How much can you save with Rev-Trac Platinum?

The savings you can achieve in configurable workflow and transport automation alone are significant. To see the possible savings add the values below and calculate 50 percent of the result.

Time

Basis

  • Standard transport migration tasks (standard transport load x time (minutes) x rate)
  • Non-standard migration tasks (rush transport load x time (minutes) x rate)
  • Complex migration tasks (complex transport load x time (minutes) x rate)
  • Return code problem identification and rectification (return code load x time (minutes) x rate)

Functional

  • Time waiting for the basis to perform non-standard transport migrations (minutes)

What else should you consider?

Rev-Trac Platinum replaces manual tasks with automated, enforceable, and consistent processes to improve efficiencies and minimize risk. The degree of automation your organization adopts affects how quickly you realize business value from your investment.

Inbuilt safety + compliance

Unexpected and unplanned system crashes can cripple a business. Time and resources are wasted as businesses attempt to fix the issue/s fast and lessen the impact on the bottom line. The level of automation within your SAP environment influences the ROI of incident prevention.

SAP transport conflicts and overwrites can lead to costly systems problems, driving up the costs of production, and limiting the ability to respond to changes in business demand. If you could virtually eliminate all overwrites in Production through automation, then doing nothing at all to avoid possible conflicts comes at a substantial cost.

For example, a large UK beverage company admitted overwriting 10 percent of their BAU support changes at every project go live. The cost to fix an error in Production varies but taking a figure of $14,000/error from a University of Southern California1 research paper as a guide, the firm would save $140,000 for every 100 changes at go live.

Cost to Implement

Costs don’t begin and end with your purchase decision. Traditionally, implementation is the time when ‘unexpected’ costs occur – often quite rapidly. How you manage and control potential disruptions and ongoing costs impact the projected ROI of automating your SAP change management processes.

A tip for evaluating potential ROI – begin at the end. Meaning estimate project implementation and continuing costs before calculating operations-based expenses. Factors like days to full productive use inevitably add to daily costs and internal resource requirements, impacting the total cost of ownership, so it’s important to understand them before committing to a project.

With Rev-Trac Platinum – an out-of-the-box solution – consulting costs are among the easiest to predict. It’s as simple as:

Training days x daily rate + travel or accommodation expenses.

Our experienced consultants can help you put Rev-Trac into productive use in just two weeks, even on large and complex landscapes. A one or two-person internal team can then bring it to full production productivity within a few months.

Ease of use

Organizations considering automating SAP change control processes need to understand how easy the software is to use and administer. Solutions that are easy to use gain more rapid acceptance from IT staff and business users.

Common ease-of-use issues, regardless of company size are:

  1. Time and difficulty of user training
  2. Likelihood users will look for workarounds, increasing the risk of unscheduled downtime

If your automated SAP change management solution isn’t user-friendly business and IT staff are less likely to use the software, which is a real problem for governance.

How can you measure ease of use?

costs of an automated solution can improve your business case. Areas that link ease of use to ROI include:

  • Time savings: transports, documentation, enforcement, etc.
  • Repeatability: how many manual steps are eliminated?
  • Traceability: automated, enforced documentation significantly reduces time to troubleshoot or to support audits
  • Ease of configuration: flexible configuration enables nimble system changes

Win the support of your CFO

Today, more than ever before, businesses across every sector must react quickly to constant changes in the marketplace to survive.

Automation is increasingly seen as the way forward. Businesses that automate change processes can build and enhance SAP applications and services faster and more efficiently.

With Rev-Trac Platinum, error-prone manual tasks are eliminated and replaced with automated, repeatable processes. The software allows organizations to accelerate the frequency and volume of SAP change, avoid costly and frustrating unscheduled downtime, and better align application delivery with business requirements.

The key to winning over your CFO is to create a compelling business case demonstrating the value to the bottom line. This involves undertaking a rigorous investigation of your current SAP change management practices to provide believable ROI projections based on predictable costs and known baselines.

Source: Rev-Trac