Dieter SteigerDieter Steiger Proactive Impact Management – the basis for BTO

06/25/2008 by Dieter Steiger

Business Technology Optimization as a Challenge
Business Technology Optimization (BTO) targets at a closer collaboration of IT and business – nothing really new, just a daily challenge to the CIO. To support SAP IT organizations in reaching this target, beteo has designed the beteo Impact Hourglass.

beteo Impact-Sanduhr

With the beteo Impact Hourglass, principally all objects of the business domain (in the following BD) and the technical domain (in the following TD) which are involved in changes are seen integrally, comprising system and development, as well as in relation to each other. Thus, business and IT aspects of a system can be comprehensively understood, viewed and analyzed.  Relations between objects of both areas can selectively be established, according to the object type. Due to interdependencies, effects of changes can be mapped and understood across all levels.
Persons from business and IT who are planning a change and are in charge of specifying the change requirements can use the beteo Impact Hourglass to have all dependent objects from BD and TD displayed. This means that all objects which might have to be changed can be identified. This view including the technical objects as well as the descriptions of the business processes and all other describing objects of the development ensures that all objects affected by the change can be managed.

The beteo Impact Hourglass is a suitable instrument to allow all persons involved in SAP system analysis processes – from planning to implementation of changes – to proactively carry out system impact analyses and simulations. Before there are any changes to the system, all possibly affected objects are identified. Special filters can be used to have particular object types and their relations displayed. So it is easy for users of the beteo Impact Hourglass to keep track of things. What is new about the beteo Impact Hourglass is that it not only allows viewing objects related to technical implementations (results from development and testing), but also organizational processes (business processes, activities, depending organizations) and describing objects (concepts, specifications, training, testing scenarios). Changes and their effects can be exactly planned, analyzed and controlled, and potential for optimization is revealed right away.

beteo Impact analysis
Basically, beteo Impact Hourglass enables three types of impact analysis.

  • Concurrent Impact Analysis
    The Concurrent Impact Analysis shows how many parallel changes are potentially made per object. This facilitates identifying risks on the one hand, and the grouping changes on objects on the other hand to address them at once. In most cases it is quite helpful to know in advance that there are upcoming concurrent changes to particular objects.
  • Dependency Impact Analysis
    The Dependency Impact Analysis shows which objects of the selected object type across the whole system and the development documentation might be directly affected by a particular change.
  • Interference Impact Analysis
    Starting from an object, which for example has been identified through Dependency Impact Analysis, the Interference Impact Analysis finds out which superordinate objects not directly connected to the same change are additionally affected. This might reveal processes using an object which has been indirectly affected by a change to another business process and therefore has to be tested after the change, because technically the same functions and settings are used in the system.

Versioned documentation of Business Domain (BD), Technical Domain (TD) and related objects of system development

The BD mainly includes organizational objects and objects resulting from describing system development measures. With the beteo Impact Hourglass, these objects and their relations can be documented and to each of them a lifecycle can be assigned. This ensures that the describing, organizational objects for each change request are identified and kept updated. Change requests not only refer to technical objects, but also to business objects and to all supporting objects which are created and customized in the context of the development process.

The versioned documentation of the objects of business process management makes it easier to understand the evolution of all objects. Dependencies on real and describing business domain and technical objects and interdependencies between these objects are identified. Changes to programs and customizing activities can be presented and understood comprehensively and in relation to each other.

Summary
From the early stage of planning a change, before it is actually executed, the beteo Impact Hourglass provides a clear and complete conception of its effects and the possibility of evaluating them. This allows all types Impact Analyses to be proactively carried out and subsequently be tracked in the project phase.  Decisions in the context of practicability, planning of implementation – particularly of parallel upcoming changes – and project management and controlling can largely be improved and simplified.
There are a number of useful tools available for the reactive Impact Analysis applied to objects of the technical domain (TD), such as IntelliCorp´s LiveCompare, Panaya Inc.´s Panaya, IBIS´ RBE Plus and Hewlett Packard´s Universal CMDB. However, they basically support the programmer and not as much the business analyst. The beteo Impact Hourglass integrates business processes into impact analysis and allows enterprises to benefit from Business Technology Optimization (BTO).

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