Exploring How to Make Operations Core Compliant

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Keep operations effective and efficient

Clean Operations

Keep the Operations Effective and Efficient

We now turn our attention to the final dimension of clean core: operations. In the dynamic business arena, efficient processes drive value, and accentuating the role of IT as a service provider bolsters organizational agility. Clean SAP S/4HANA Cloud operations are a linchpin to achieve this feat. The mantra here is "Keep the operations effective and efficient".

Guiding Principles

Watch the video to get an overview of the dimension — operations.

Mantra: "Keep the operations effective and efficient."

Clean Core Must Be Integrated in the End-to-End Value Process Chain for Operations

Clean core must be integrated in the end-to-end value process chain for operations.

It is imperative that the clean core principles that we have discussed in this course are integrated into everything the company does. Governance frameworks, strategic and tactical decision-making and even day-to-day decisions must always be designed and applied with clean core in mind. While each company is unique consider assigning the IT department as the owner of both the end to end view and end-to-end processes of keeping clean core operations. This approach facilitates improved decision-making, enhanced performance, and equipped enterprise management.

To this end, IT must establish integrated monitoring and alerting of all facets of clean core, such as data and extensions. An integrated view fosters effective control and management. Procedures for event management and escalations must also be established by IT (with input from all stakeholders) and those procedures must be in line with all clean core governance models.

There are two tools that are highly effective in achieving this goal, SAP Solution Manager and SAP Cloud Application Lifecycle Management (SAP Cloud ALM). Customers can use both solutions to operate cloud and hybrid business solutions within system landscapes. SAP Cloud ALM is itself a newer cloud native designed solution built entirely on cloud technology. It is included automatically in all cloud subscriptions, ready to use. Here are some of SAP Cloud ALM's features that support clean operations:

  • Detect if any incidents have occurred.
  • Analyze the root-cause of incidents.
  • Correct the identified problem.
  • Automate recurring activities.

By using SAP Cloud ALM, customers can ensure business continuity and safeguard their cloud investments.

Release Management Is an Established Foundation for Clean Core

Remember from Unit 2 Lesson 1, "Analyzing Clean Core Components", that one of the essential elements of clean core is for the system to always be at the latest release. For SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition customers that is not an issue. All updates are pushed out simultaneously to all customers. However, for those customers using SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition and SAP S/4HANA (the latter term is used for customers using on premise or hosted approaches) automatic updates are not required. Those customers can roll out product-based innovations based on their timeline. Nevertheless, those customers must still strive to be on the latest release and if not have a clear understanding as to why. Moreover, a timeline for adopting releases must be established. SAP S/4HANA must not remain "frozen". This timeline must be clearly outlined in governance frameworks and any exceptions to it must be for extraordinary reasons only.

Regular Housekeeping Tasks and Procedures Are Established

As part of end-to-end clean operations process, design housekeeping tasks and procedures must be established. Exactly which tasks and procedures vary from company to company. Consider the following a short list to get started with:

  • Designing Background Jobs for Efficient Use of Infrastructure.

    Ensure that your background jobs contribute to an efficient utilization of infrastructure rather than creating unnecessary system loads. A conscientious design process creates a performance-oriented system, expanding productivity while limiting the strain on resources.

  • Avoiding File Interfaces for Data Import or Export.

    Considering system security, consistency, and maintainability, organizations must refrain from using file interfaces when importing or exporting data. Adhering to more secure and reliable data transfer methods can protect integrity and safeguard business confidentiality.

  • Regular Reviewing and Adapting User Authorizations.

    Lastly, it's critical to review and adapt user authorizations regularly. Unnecessary authorizations must be unassigned and discontinued, ensuring a secure system and mitigating potential misuse or security breaches.

Goals to aspire to:
  • Day-to-day operations are planned and applied regularly.
  • Opt-in on lifecycle events such as periodic upgrades
  • Compliance with preapproved maintenance windows

To help facilitate clean core operations, customers can take advantage of the clean core dashboard. Available through SAP for Me, you can access it by choosing Systems & Provisioning on the left side of the user interface, then choosing the Systems tab. You see the Clean Core Compliance tab, from which information about certain clean core metrics can be gleamed. Among the metrics the user sees are the software stack version, the amount of custom code objects, the amount of business modifications, and Tier 1 extensions that have been done.

There are several things to note about the clean core dashboard:

  • The dashboard is only available for SAP S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition systems.
  • Customers can grant access to the dashboard to partners.
  • Metrics are collected for productive systems only.
  • Two authorizations are needed to access the dashboard: (1): SC_CCCREAD + (2): INSTDISP (read) or INSTPROD (edit).
  • The main channel for collecting dashboard data is Early Watch Alert (EWA), which SAP will set up.

Conclusion

In summary, to achieve clean core compliance within your SAP S/4HANA operations, planning, regular reviews, and strategic use of IT services become paramount. By following these steps, your organization is well positioned to safeguard system integrity, improve efficiency, and deliver value-driven business results.

IT teams must consider "Keep clean" not as a purely technical task, but as a service IT provides to business, where IT can add tangible business value. IT must strive to own the view of the clean core and all processes around a clean core end-to-end.

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