08/11/2008 by Dieter Steiger
Whereas ERP is a synonym for software-supported Enterprise Planning and Controlling, ERP4IT stands for software-supported IT Planning and Controlling (ITPC).
Those who are looking for solutions will without much doubt check out the ERP4IT offerings of the leading ERP system manufacturer SAP. SAP seems to be the only ERP software vendor for managing one´s own customer IT organization and IT products through SAP Solution Manager. Theoretically In view of the special requirements of IT planning and controlling frameworks and standards, SAP scores quite well. But judging the Patchwork of SAP Solution Manager from real ERP4IT requirements´perspective, which includes comprehensive application lifecycle management, the SAP Solution Manager will at most suit to support the management of SAP customizing.
While in general the market seems to focus on trying to define the IT processes mainly by means of frameworks and standards. Because of the missing tool support or incomplete offering several large SAP users have already started their own projects to tackle diverse ERP4IT challenges building their own solutions. Like that already more than ten years ago, the first management platforms targeting SAP change und configuration management using ABAP and workflows have been built.
Meanwhile, in the context of digitization and automation of IT processes including testing, Mercury products had provided the logical supplement of the above mentioned basic ”ERP4IT“ platforms. HP acquired and integrated these products into their portfolio.
HP today is capable of offering a comprehensive solution „HP Best Technology for Optimization“ (HP BTO). HP BTO is a very useful compilation of software components. In suitable combinations it can fully meet the requirements for a real solution management solution, i.e. a comprehensive Application Lifecycle Management system, as well as those of an SAP ERP4IT system, even more so if combined with some basic functionalities of SAP Solution Manager.
However, HP seems to primarily promote its software in the form of individual products, missing the opportunity of offering the integrated solution as HP BTO ERP4IT to customers more emphatically. Should the market success of the separate software components be an obstacle to a broad positioning of the comprehensive HP BTO solution? Too bad for IT organizations which are (still) left beyond the reach of this enormous potential value.