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DevOps with SAP - sexy instead of sluggish?

The term DevOps first made the rounds in 2009 and triggered a rethink in software development at many companies. To what extent has DevOps arrived in the SAP world? And more importantly, can DevOps be "sexy" in SAP?
Christian Steiger, Solutive
Christopher Pommrenke, Solutive
Philipp Schilling, Solutive
April 9, 2020
DevOps column
This text has been automatically translated from German to English.

In times of "release often, release early", you are faced with many different difficulties in the development, quality assurance and provision of software. Examples of this include staff pressure, manual communication efforts and countless partial releases.

It might be tempting to try and beat these difficulties to death with resources. However, the past has shown often enough that more resources do not equate to increased speed, more quality and greater functionality in software development.

DevOps and agile methods can offer an approach to tackling these challenges. It is important to note that DevOps is not the panacea for every company.

And for those for whom a DevOps approach makes sense, a clear strategy and holistic implementation are the most important success factors.

Now to the question of whether a DevOps approach can be "sexy". The term "sexy" in relation to the world of work usually conjures up associations such as "young", "new" and "innovative".

This is best reflected in employees in the SAP environment who are either fresh out of training or university or are making a lateral entry from the non-SAP world.

If they are now thrown into a company structure that is characterized by classic waterfall model concepts with major and minor releases, this has a very disillusioning effect and can severely inhibit the drive for innovation that these people bring with them.

Have you ever heard the phrase "this has grown historically"? Do you find this statement fascinating and inspiring for change or even innovation? Neither do we!

In the SAP environment, much has grown historically, but this should not obscure the possibility of innovation in the approach to software development.

Thanks to its modern and motivating concepts, the introduction of DevOps can revitalize the innovation engine of your own employees, as new tasks and responsibilities give them a view beyond their own horizons.

However, merging the various IT departments to enable DevOps is far more difficult than simply merging the department names into the artificial word that has become more and more hype over the last decade.

Especially when SAP and non-SAP departments are involved, experience has shown that the relevant processes of the two ecosystems can differ greatly. Nevertheless, with a little effort, it is possible to make the familiar and widely used tools from the non-SAP world usable for the SAP world.

This makes it possible to set up a homogenized pipeline of shared tools. The need to manage both worlds separately is eliminated, which reduces overhead.

In addition, the use of the same resources for SAP and non-SAP creates a uniform terminology among all employees. This breaks down walls of communication and strengthens the sense of unity.

A corporate culture that promotes an understanding of the global strategy and brings all those involved within this strategy closer together should therefore crystallize for the meaningful use of DevOps.

New potential can only be derived if the SAP and non-SAP worlds are familiar with each other's working methods. It is these synergy effects that make a DevOps approach successful in the first place.

So the conclusion can only be: Yes, DevOps in SAP can be "sexy"! Provided that SAP and non-SAP colleagues have an understanding of the overall process and are willing to learn from each other, the supposedly slow-moving SAP world can appear in a completely new light and turn from a brake on innovation into an accelerator of innovation.

Christian Steiger, Solutive

Christian Steiger is CEO of Solutive.

Christopher Pommrenke, Solutive

Christopher Pommrenke is a developer and consultant at Solutive.

Philipp Schilling, Solutive

Philipp Schilling is Customer Success Manager at Solutive.

Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

This gives the Competence Center strategic importance for existing SAP customers. Regardless of the S/4 Hana operating model, topics such as Automation, Monitoring, Security, Application Lifecycle Management and Data Management the basis for S/4 operations.

For the second time, E3 magazine is organizing a summit for the SAP community in Salzburg to provide comprehensive information on all aspects of S/4 Hana groundwork. All information about the event can be found here:

SAP Competence Center Summit 2024


Event Room, FourSide Hotel Salzburg,
At the exhibition center 2,
A-5020 Salzburg

Event date

June 5 and 6, 2024

Regular ticket:

€ 590 excl. VAT


Event Room, Hotel Hilton Heidelberg,
Kurfürstenanlage 1,
69115 Heidelberg

Event date

28 and 29 February 2024


Regular ticket
EUR 590 excl. VAT
The organizer is the E3 magazine of the publishing house AG. The presentations will be accompanied by an exhibition of selected SAP partners. The ticket price includes the attendance of all lectures of the Steampunk and BTP Summit 2024, the visit of the exhibition area, the participation in the evening event as well as the catering during the official program. The lecture program and the list of exhibitors and sponsors (SAP partners) will be published on this website in due time.