Leverage the full potential of the SAP Business Technology Platform by building a Center of Excellence

It’s no longer a secret that the SAP Business Technology Platform (BTP) comes with great capabilities to drive your digital transformation with SAP. The available capabilities and services help you to develop applications to extend your SAP landscape and to integrate your business processes around the SAP eco-system. Furthermore, there are a range of data management and analytics services available to fully harness the value of the data stored in your SAP applications. You might also think about the use of intelligent (business) services such as Intelligent RPA or Conversational AI? No worries, the BTP has your back and provides you with the right services.

Whether you already use some BTP services or plan to do so in the long term it is important to get the most value of it. From some customer projects, we have noticed that either the full potential of the BTP is not leveraged or there is lack of governance after a certain time. In a previous blog, we addressed this and described how to continuously create value with the BTP and brought up the importance of a BTP Center of Excellence (BTP CoE). With the help of a BTP CoE you will be able to build a sustainable BTP strategy and get your organization ready to build innovation on the platform by empowering and boosting the productivity of your teams. In the following, we would like to explain in detail why you should build your Center of Excellence for the BTP.

Build and evolve a sustainable BTP strategy

The BTP with ready-to-use services allows you to respond faster to the rapidly changing demands of your customers. As already mentioned, the BTP provides quite a lot of services for different capabilities whose number is continuously evolving. Therefore, especially in the initial phase, it is crucial to define a BTP strategy in order to not find yourself in the situation of encountering a certain complexity and lack of responsibilities. Moreover, whether in an initial or already advanced usage of the BTP, you need to evaluate and decide which services will match your current needs. As requirements change rapidly in today’s world, this is a continuous process that must be implemented effectively and efficiently to enable fast decisions. If your people with the respective knowledge and decision rights are working independently of each other, it can become difficult to develop and evolve a sustainable BTP strategy and leverage the full potential of the platform.

Get your organization ready for the BTP and set up a governance model

The BTP can be a game-changer for your digital transformation and therefore it is key to have a ready to go organization and a clearly defined governance for the platform. Some central processes should be established and managed to ensure the effective and efficient use of the BTP, for example:

  • Identifying, evaluating and implementing use cases for the BTP
  • Defining onboarding processes and guidelines for development on the BTP
  • Ensuring that used BTP services are assigned to a specific owner
  • Monitoring costs and SLA’s for used BTP services
  • Managing BTP subaccounts
  • Defining support processes for the platform

To set up these and more processes and to synchronize or decide on other BTP related topics it is advisable and beneficial to form your BTP CoE.

Simplify things and boost the productivity of your development teams

One key goal of building a Center of Excellence is to make things easier and to let the other teams focus on their day-to-day work. For the BTP this means that a central team should operate and ensure a stable and secure cloud landscape. Tasks such as setting up the BTP account structure, managing entitlements for BTP services, monitoring platform and service availability or providing productivity tools for development on the BTP can be covered centrally. By providing the right underlying infrastructure and services, your development teams can focus on building the actual extensions and applications and therefore will deliver faster innovations and value.

Empower and train your teams

From some customer projects we know that the BTP is rather seen as a new and unknown solution within the organization. The BTP with all its services addresses both business and IT teams. Therefore, relevant team members from both sides should be fully aware of the capabilities of the BTP. For example, SAP AppGyver offers a no-code app development platform that allows business users to build sophisticated applications. Someone needs to be in charge of empowering the teams by positioning this service in the business and enabling the teams. Another example is the training of the development teams in cloud-native principles such as the SAP Cloud Application Programming Model. By sharing knowledge and experiences, defining guidelines and best practices for relevant use cases or reviewing architectural designs your teams can be empowered, educated and encouraged to take their ideas to the platform while focusing on the innovation part of the project.

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The role of a BTP Center of Excellence

If you haven’t done it yet, you now have 4 more reasons to build your Center of Excellence for the BTP. However, there are few points you should keep in mind when building your BTP CoE. First and most important, you should define a clear mission and purpose. Moreover, get the right people on board by finding key members on each team which are willing to drive the platform. Another important thing you should not forget is to foster an innovator-centric approach for all of your people. With the BTP you certainly have a great opportunity to attract innovators from your teams, whether from business or IT.

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