frlu's picture

Many companies are struggling with their application portfolio, there is no complete overview of the application landscape, which leads to maverick application buying and repeating integration issues. The application strategy (best of suite versus best of breed) has been defined, but in practice it is very difficult to maintain this strategy. Most companies have a hybrid application landscape and therefore it is important to have a continuous application portfolio management program and a standard integration platform.

Most application portfolio's contain the following 4 types of application suites; The ERP business suite (Enterprise Resource Planning), EIM (Enterprise Information Management), ALM (Application Life-cycle Management) and EAI (Enterprise Application Integration). The following picture gives an overview;

Most application portfolios consist out of multi-vendor purchased applications with customizing and / or in-house developed modifications with interfaces. These complex application portfolios makes it sometimes difficult to quickly implement new innovations and new application services. To reduce the complexity, companies should improve the application portfolio via a continuous application portfolio management rationalization program.

The application portfolio is required to support the business transformation life-cycle (which is different within every company). The 4 application suites should be integrated as much as possible in order to improve the speed of the innovations.

The role of the EAI integration platform will shift from an interface ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) provider to an integration platform which will integrate the internal business and technical applications (like IoT) with external services (like cloud platforms and cognitive services). The EAI integration platform should maintain a canonical messages meta-data model to ensure the data consistency between the platforms. The integration platform will also combine the E2E process performance information from the different suites to measure and optimize the results of the LEAN innovation projects.

Many ERP business suite vendors (like SAP) are integrating the 4 application suites into one platform (like HANA) in order to make the business suite platform also the integration platform. The business suite vendors are also extending their offerings with cloud services (e.g. HCP (HANA Cloud Platform) and HCI (HANA Cloud Integration)).

Many EAI suite vendors (like Software AG) are extending their application suite to cover parts of the 4 application suites (e.g. EIM data governance) and extend their integration / innovation platforms with IoT and cloud based BPMS services. The EAI suite vendors are also extending their application suite with cloud platforms and an API catalog of external services.

The VNSG ADM expert group is organizing a meeting on 8 December

To better understand the integration capabilities of the application suites of SAP and Software AG and to discuss the impact on the application portfolio and application strategy. The agenda of the VNSG expert group meeting is the following;

1 How to manage a hybrid application portfolio

Every company has defined the focus of their application strategy and has made a choice between the Best of Breed (BoB) strategy or Best of Suite (BoS) strategy. The right strategy depends on their industry requirements, company culture and ICT maturity. Both strategies have their advantages and disadvantages. Many large companies are in favor of the Best of Suite (BoS) application strategy because of the integration advantages, but in practice all companies end up with a hybrid application strategy. This presentation will explain the principles of the Hybrid application strategy and why it is important to have a continuous application portfolio management program.

2 Overview of the SAP application portfolio

The mapping of the SAP application portfolio into the business and ERP transformation life-cycle will be explained. The integration areas between the 4 application suites will discussed and linked to the application strategy of SAP.

3 Overview of the Software AG application portfolio

The mapping of the Software AG application portfolio into the business and ERP transformation life-cycle will be explained. The integration areas between the 4 application suites will discussed and linked to the application strategy of Software AG.

4 The impact of the innovation platform on the application portfolio and strategy

Based on the previous presentations, the objectives and limitations of the integration platforms is compared and the impact on the hybrid application strategy is discussed. The importance of also having a 'best of platform' application strategy is evaluated.

More background information on the concepts of the hybrid application strategy and the Business and ERP transformation life-cycle can be found in the book of the ADM expert group; "Business Transformation in operation(s)"

Thank you for reading my post and "like it if you like it". If you would like to read my future posts then please click 'Follow' and feel free to also connect via linked-in or Slide-share

You can also go to; Previous Blog => Next Blog

Tags: ARIS Cloud Enterprise ARIS for SAP BPM Enterprise Architecture