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SAPinsider Takes On How to Lead in a New World During 2020 Conference Experience

During November 17—19, 2020, more than 1,500 attendees joined SAPinsider for three days of virtual conference experiences, including Your Move to SAP S/4HANA Virtual Summit, Supply Chain Virtual Summit, and EMEA Virtual Conference Experience. Companies like SAP, Coca Cola, Siemens, Deloitte, Nokia, and IBM led 200+ educational sessions, including customer stories from companies like Hilti, Equinor, Orkla, and Hunter Douglas.

Headlined by a keynote line-up discussing topics such as how to lead in a new world, turn disruption into an opportunity for innovation, and stories of impressive SAP S/4HANA moves, the virtual event (still available until December 18 when you register) provided guidance and networking opportunities to help SAP customers navigate today’s unique challenges. Keynote addresses that aired live and can be accessed on-demand by event registrants include:

  • CIO’s Perspective on Innovation, Diverstiy, and Leading in this New World, presented by Miao Song, Global CIO, Mars Petcare and Rizal Ahmed, Chief Content Officer, SAPinsider
  • The State of the Market of Financial Management, presented by Michel Haesendonckx, Global Solution Owner Financial Planning & Analysis, SAP and Martin Naraschewski, Senior VP, General Manager, Line of Business Finance and Risk, SAP, and Rizal Ahmed, Chief Content Officer, SAPinsider
  • GRC and Security Spotlight Session, presented by Vishal Verma, Head of Solution Management – Risk, Compliance and Tax, SAP
  • Turning Disruption into Opportunity, presented by Timo Elliot, VP, Global Innovation Evangelist, SAP
  • Key Learnings from Hilti’s Move to SAP S/4HANA, presented by Christoph Baeck, Head of IT Infrastructure, Hilti

SAPinsider’s Vice President of Research Robert Holland says “we have really refined the experience for our attendees, providing more live sessions for a greater interactive experience. SAPinsider has continued to pioneer in the virtual event space for our Community, who were excited about learning, networking and participating in this innovative event.”

SAPinsider shared a few key takeaways and highlights:

Insider Insights

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How Randstad Deutchland Thinks Big and Builds for the Future

By Annie Kennedy, Associate Conference Producer, SAPinsider

Detlef Richter, Manager IT Back Office Applications at Randstad Deutchland, delivered a keynote address, “Seamless User Experience with SAP and Google Applications in a Multi-cloud Environment,” to open the second day of the SAPinsider 2020 EMEA virtual conference experience.

With over 20 years’ experience in SAP, Richter contains deep knowledge in both application and system setup. In prior positions, he has led parts of bigger-scale projects with KPMG/BearingPoint as manager, and at STADA he completed several implementations in Germany, Western Europe, Serbia, and Russia in this field. In his role at Randstad, a global leader in the HR industry and Germany’s leading staff services provider, Richter has built a multi-cloud-ready landscape and bridged the user experience gap between SAP’s and Google’s universes.

Providing agility to the workforces of their customers is a core business model for Randstad, Richter explained, and the company believes that end users deserve user-friendly solutions—something that has been even more critical during the global pandemic. However, with a complex solution stack and the need to remove legacy debt, Randstad faced significant challenges in meeting these requirements. Richter explained how the company was able to work with SAP and Google to deliver a seamless integrated user experience for its back office systems by building the next level of G-Suite integration, putting the structure in place for a thoroughly multi-cloud environment, and implementing a self-organized and agile team.

Richter first presented on Randstad’s strategy in a disrupted economy and how they transitioned from their prior SAP system to the next level. They had first asked, what changes are needed in people’s minds? Why do we do all of this, and where do we want to go?

Randstad had to be flexible to meet customer needs, so the organization needed scalable and flexible IT and processes. The ability to digitalize was crucial for the company, as doing so would serve as a significant differentiator when compared to its competitors.  However, in order to stay true to Randstad’s reputation of being a people company, the company needed to find a way to achieve an agile IT landscape while also remaining true to its people-centric business model. To do so, the company initiated its “Tech and Touch” strategy.  Randstad transitioned support from a mix of technology investments, including Amazon Web Services, Citrix, and Microsoft Office, to today’s support from SAP and itelligence, which ensures a stable, scalable, secure environment for Randstad with error-free payrolling and invoicing.

In September, Richter said, Randstad built bridges between the mobile world and the on-prem world to create a direct connection that the company experiences now. How did they accomplish this? Mainly through change management. Randstad’s IT team took time and care to explain things and train people, doing it all piece by piece with videos, how-tos, and other guides. The change wasn’t top-down, but rather was made through small groups that worked on parts of the whole. Building transparency and team performance is key, Richter told attendees. He also advised others to think big, building for the future rather than the present (thinking not ahead to not only just next year but to the next 10 years). Finally, he reiterated how Randstad’s Tech & Touch strategy was the differentiator in a disrupted economy. The company has saved about $20,000 Euros a month by removing the computer power from Citrix and focusing on integration.

Sessions for three SAPinsider virtual events are now viewable on demand through December 19. Register now to view!

Your Move to SAP S/4HANA Virtual Summit

SAPinsider 2020 EMEA Virtual Conference Experience

Supply Chain Virtual Summit



The Southwire Company LLC Story: Redefining Agility, Security, and Innovation in Google Cloud

Webinar - On-Demand

Southwire Company LLC, a global leader in manufacturing, was looking to migrate their SAP workloads from an outdated data center to a secure and user-friendly cloud environment that would both optimize their business processes and provide enhanced functionality.

To transition their data, Southwire Company entered an unchartered climate—a completely remote transition. Google’s Cloud Acceleration Program not only provided Southwire a cost-effective option but also empowered them with Google’s industry best security, innovation, and availability in an optimized SAP environment in the cloud. How did they achieve these results during such uncertain times?

Attend this webinar to:

  • Hear directly from Southwire on the benefits, challenges, and enhancements realized over the course of the migration
  • Review how moving your workloads to the cloud using Google’s Cloud Acceleration Program can result in a more agile, mobile, secure and cost-effective environment.
  • Understand what a remote migration to a cloud environment looks like in terms of timeline and scope

Enterprise Cloud Deployment: State of the Market - Research Webinar

Digital transformation and the deployment of applications in the cloud has been a key topic of discussion within the enterprise software market for several years but that conversation has been accelerated by the global events of 2020. Organizations whose workforces had been entirely on-site have had to quickly convert to a remote work environment. Many…...

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Central Finance and Improving the Financial Close - Research Webinar

Financial close management increases in complexity as organizations increase in size along with the number and variety of ERP instances. To centralize or consolidate the financial information from multiple ERP instances, SAPinsider community members can manually report and reconcile the information, centralize information on a non-SAP system, deploy SAP S/4HANA for central finance foundation (also…...

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Early SAP S/4HANA Adopter Shares Key Learnings During SAPinsider Keynote Session

By Annie Kennedy, Associate Conference Producer, SAPinsider

Hilti’s Head of IT Infrastructure, Christoph Baeck, launched the Your Move to SAP S/4HANA virtual event on November 17, 2020 with a keynote address, “Key Learnings from Hilti’s Move to SAP S/4HANA,” to a live audience about the learnings the Hilti team made on this journey with his team and technology partners.

Hilti, the leading supplier of tools, consumables, services and solutions for the construction industry, proved its early adopter strategy with SAP when the company kicked off the move to SAP S/4HANA back in 2017 and successfully finished the transition in November 2018. Two years later, Hilti has nearly unrivaled experience and expertise with SAP S/4HANA. Baeck presented on the impact of good partnerships and detailed test planning and execution as key factors for success. In addition, he shared some thoughts on why Hilti is running SAP S/4HANA on premise today – and where he wants to go tomorrow.

Hilti’s consolidated global back-end system is a great basis for services and our digital future, Baeck noted, with four notable steps in its timeline toward its transformation:

2001-2005: Hilti went global with data, processes, and systems based on SAP Business Suite, moving to global processing implemented at its top 25 sales organizations as well as all eight plants and its headquarters in Liechtenstein.

2006-2010: Hilti focused on leveraging, implementing another 25 sales organizations and creating shared Service Centers for finance and global logistics.

2011-2015: Balancing agility and reliability came into play, as Hilti moved to a Solid Core/Flexible Boundary architecture model, expanded mobility with smartphones and mobile applications, moved to cloud computing, and rolled out SAP Business by Design.

2016-present day: Hilti implemented a comprehensive digital strategy, defining how the company works, what it offers, and how they interact in the digital age.

Now, Baeck said proudly, the new SAP S/4HANA system and Hilti’s great employees are enablers for future digital aspirations. Hilti has centered itself in a strategy of digital customer interface, customer application software, and connected tools.

But how did they succeed in their SAP S/4HANA implementation, and what did they learn?

Baeck shared Hilti’s DRIVE initiative, an acronym for “digital, reliable, innovative, value-adding, and engaging,” for which they teamed up with SAP. DRIVE provides future differentiation potential in full alignment with the Hilti business strategy. In this program, Hilti set out to:

  1. Replace the core of their current global system used in all their major MOs and plants for all business transactions
  2. Provide cloud-based technology to drive 1:1 marketing and digital customer interaction
  3. In close alignment with business, provide cloud-based technologies from SAP to enable connected tools
  4. Build the application platform for flexible boundary applications with full integration to the SAP S/4HANA digital core
  5. Build a first version of future reporting capabilities with regards to performance and user experience

Hilti’s global IT team, Baeck revealed, has experienced a very busy past two years, during which time they converted gamma and delta systems and ran multiple pre-tests, tests, and re-tests that included stress, integration, regression, non-functional, and end user tests as well as training. The test scope and the number of testers, he noted, depends on the risk of the process. Unit tests ensure that all parts worked without dumps, while integration and regression tests ensure that processes worked end-to-end, while stress tests ensured that users were able to work. In DRIVE, he revealed, Hilti communicated on all levels and all channels for the entire program duration, from newsletters and communication packages to meetings and visits to trainings to dedicated websites with videos and explanations, while intensive testing by Business, IT & SAP ensured the success of this huge project.

Attendees had more than a dozen questions for Baeck, from the geographical scope to the implementation type to whether Hilti has upgrades and how those upgrades compare to the initial transition. One burning question was asked by two different people:  what was Hilti’s biggest challenge in its move to SAP S/4HANA? There are always pitfalls and problems, Baeck informed the crowd; the way to overcome those challenges is to be prepared. Focus on data quality and testing, he advised. Particularly at the beginning of the transition, Hilti received monthly sizing reports with totally different results each month. When you hit memory barriers, consider them a no-go and avoid by all means. Above all, Baeck, advised, find and develop good relationships with your partners.

Hilti’s partnership with SAP and Red Hat and HPE SGI was extremely good, and he was very satisfied with their support. Partners were on site for the entire project, with top management providing support and with engineers from every vendor on site. The move to SAP S/4HANA was a big learning opportunity for them as well, Baeck noted.

Sessions for three SAPinsider virtual events will continue to run this week, November 17—19, with on-demand sessions available. Register now!

Your Move to SAP S/4HANA Virtual Summit

SAPinsider 2020 EMEA Virtual Conference Experience

Supply Chain Virtual Summit



License Compliance in the Transition to SAP S/4HANA

License audit is a task that many SAPinsiders spend months preparing for, but may still not fully understand users’ actual product usage. This is critically important when moving to SAP S/4HANA as making the wrong license decisions will have a significant cost impact.

By Robert Holland, VP Research, SAPinsider

In order to ensure that they are fully compliant from a license perspective, many organizations err on the side of caution in their SAP user license estimates simply because they do not have enough insight into what users are doing across different systems. As there is a significant variation in cost of different SAP license types, with the default professional license being the most expensive, understanding usage and assigning the right license type before moving to SAP S/4HANA offers considerable cost saving opportunities.

Staying Compliant with SAP Licenses

As SAPinsiders move to SAP S/4HANA, they should be aware that this is not an upgrade but a new product that they must license from SAP. And as with any new product, organizations must ensure that they understand the usage implications of making that move as they can be expensive. At the same time, SAP customers should also remember the findings of the lawsuit between SAP and Diageo which resulted in a £54 million finding against Diageo based on API access involved in integrating data with Salesforce. Since SAP licenses are based on variable metrics like users or type of users, or amount of memory used, incorrectly stating usage can result in license or maintenance fee surprises.

As SAP can be aggressive in performing license audits, it is incumbent upon SAPinsiders to be able to manage their licenses well and defend any position that they take in an audit. But for enterprise organizations this can result in months of preparation for an audit if they want to ensure that they are providing the correct information. Not only does this require an extensive use of resources within the IT area, even if all the preparation is done correctly the usage data may still not be completely accurate. And in a transition to SAP S/4HANA, having the most accurate information possible can offer significant cost savings.

Given the complexities involved in understanding licenses, and particularly what type of license different end-users require, many organizations are looking for third party applications to help address this need, particularly SAP certified applications that are available in the SAP App Center. One provider of applications that help organizations manage their SAP licenses is Snow Software. SAPinsider recently spoke with solution experts from Snow Software about managing licenses of SAP solutions, the move to SAP S/4HANA, and the trends they’re seeing from customers across the globe.

Managing Licenses During the Move to SAP S/4HANA

According to Snow Software’s Telma Rafael, customers who come to Snow Software want a greater ability to manage their SAP licenses. “Customers want to manage their licenses well and defend their position. They want to reduce the risk of digital access licensing fees since SAP has extended the digital access program,” said Rafael. Licenses must be in place for organizations to allow other non-SAP systems access to SAP data. This access can be licensed either through digital access or by licensing indirect access by user. SAPinsiders can choose which metric to use, so it is critical to have accurate information on which to base this decision and avoid costly mistakes.

Having a tool like Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software means that organizations can ensure that they have the actual usage data for each user and each system that they access. These tools can help prepare for audits in a matter of days rather than months. “We can also configure alerts and notifications so that system tells them when there is an issue so that they can be proactive with licenses,” said Rafael. With organizations moving to SAP S/4HANA, understanding exactly how many users you have and in what ways they are accessing your existing ERP systems will then have a significant license impact. Since for many SAPinsiders the one of the main drivers of their business case for SAP S/4HANA is around the increasing cost of maintaining highly customized environments and older technology, the last thing organizations want is the transition to SAP S/4HANA to result in an increase in spend. This is why understanding usage and licensing within your SAP solutions is so critical for that move.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

Whether or not organizations are moving to SAP S/4HANA now or at some point in the future, taking control of the licensing of your SAP systems can offer significant cost savings and avoid time consuming and expensive preparations for SAP audits. To understand and control costs in their own SAP systems, SAPinsiders should:

  • Examine your current plans for understanding and controlling SAP usage. Any organization running an enterprise ERP likely has hundreds or thousands of users of that system. Understanding exactly what access those users need, and what systems they are using, is a key step towards preparing for any potential SAP license audit and minimizing licensing and maintenance costs. SAPinsiders should look at how they are currently achieving these goals, and whether they will be sufficient to support a move to SAP S/4HANA.
  • Plan for time to understand licensing and usage when building your SAP S/4HANA business case. Many organizations are still trying to determine if and when they will perform their transition. Regardless of when the actual move may occur, ensuring that you have a good understanding of your software licenses and usage going into that move has the potential to offer significant cost savings in commercial negotiations. Plan for sufficient time to gather this information.
  • Fully prepare for SAP license audits. As 2020 is a challenging year for many organizations, it is more important than ever that you ensure you are prepared for an SAP license audit. Take the time to stay on top of which users are connecting to which systems, check whether they are actively accessing the system, and what level of access they need. This is particularly important as many users permissions are being changed on systems to allow them to perform roles that they may not have done in the past due to remote working environments and the difficulty of assigning tasks to those they are not personally interacting with.
  • Evaluate solutions that can help manage licenses and reduce costs. The maintenance savings that can be gained from using license management tools is only part of the ROI around using license management tools. Other areas involve the reduction in the time staff need to prepare for audits, allowing them to be assigned to more critical tasks, but also the benefit of end-users having the right access they need to the systems they use—something that they may have to wait days for if the appropriate license has to be found and assigned to them. These savings can, for an organization running an enterprise ERP system, cover the cost of a solution, so they are worth evaluating for inclusion in the organization’s SAP landscape.

About Snow Software

Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Snow Software produces solutions that help organizations understand and manage their technology consumption. Snow produces the only native SAP asset management solution, Snow Optimizer for SAP® Software, which is an SAP Certified App and is currently available in the SAP App Center



Christian Klein Talks to SAP’s North American Customers

SAP’s 2021 Focus Remains the Cloud and the Move to SAP S/4HANA

by Robert Holland, VP Research, SAPinsider

 

Understanding that many customers are anxious about SAP’s Q3 revenue announcement, SAP CEO Christian Klein took the time in early November to speak directly to North American customers and answer questions about what the announcement means for them. At a high level, Klein focused on the fact that SAP is planning on staying true to the core principles of the move to SAP S/4HANA and transformation into the cloud, but he also acknowledged that there are challenges along the way and that SAP is committed to helping customers address those challenges.

 

Customer Transformation and Integration

The number one priority for SAP coming into 2021 is that of transformation, both in terms of moving to the cloud and in moving customers to SAP S/4HANA—something Klein mentioned several times during the call. But what Klein described was a “transformation of customers” and how SAP wants to invest in making customers successful. He acknowledged during the conversation that 2020 has been a challenging year, with many customers and partners under financial duress. But Klein emphasized that SAP has been working with these customers by doing things like extending payment goals. SAP also reorganized earlier in 2020 to put the entire customer-facing organization into one board area in an effort to have all the ways in which customers interact directly with SAP managed by a single organization under Adaire Fox-Martin. To tie everyone in the company to this customer focus, SAP’s 2021 bonus plans will also be directly connected to customer success.

When it comes to the cloud, Klein emphasized that SAP’s goal is to triple cloud revenue by 2025. He said that there has definitely been an uptick on the adoption curve that he hasn’t seen before, particularly when it comes to the ERP customer base moving to the cloud—though numbers from SAPinsider research suggest that less than 10% of those deploying SAP S/4HANA are running SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Part of this cloud focus will also involve the Industry Cloud which will offer specific features for each industry, building on SAP’s history of innovation and expertise in that space. Klein mentioned that SAP is working with co-innovation partners during the development process, as well as using partner solutions on top of Industry Cloud to extend what SAP offers.

Talking about SAP S/4HANA, Klein indicated that SAP continues to focus on expanding its core business with SAP S/4HANA being a key growth driver. One thing that Klein mentioned more than once in the conversation was that, for many organizations, the biggest challenge in transformation is not how to apply the technology, but how to redesign business processes to use that technology. The topic of working to improve architecture and TCO is something that Klein mentioned multiple times. SAP is looking for simplification in the stack, which very much acknowledges that today’s landscape is complex and signifies that organizations need a clearer and less complex path towards deployment if that is to be successful.

Related to that clearer path for success is the topic of integration. This was something else that Klein returned to several times during the discussion, and in discussing it he acknowledged that while SAP is improving SAP to SAP integration, they are also working on new APIs to open up integration with non-SAP solutions. This integration complexity is connected to the challenges that Klein acknowledged organizations are facing as part of the migration process. Along with redesigning processes and making the data model work, getting all the SAP systems within an organization integrated, and then ensuring that they can also integrate with third party applications, are issues that SAP is looking to both solve and prove the value of to customers.

SAP wants its customers to move forward, but in talking to North American customers Klein admitted that the environment in 2020 has not been conducive to that move. Part of this has been the global pandemic which has impacted everyone to at least some degree, but the need to improve the business model and make integrations work has been another barrier. As a whole, the SAP audience is highly customized and change is not easy. SAP is looking to help customers make these changes with industry specific cloud and by improving solution integration and the data model that is behind everything. However, they also know that they not only need to do better with making the move to the future possible, but also make it achievable.

 

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

Klein did not reveal anything unexpected in this tightly scripted conversation, but rather emphasized that customer success remains a focus for SAP in 2021. SAP will also continue to push the move to cloud-based solutions, with SAP S/4HANA being a central part of that transition. However, SAP has acknowledged that customers face challenges in taking these steps, particularly around integration where they will focus resources and efforts. SAP knows that they must solve their existing issues and prove their value to customers for their strategy to be successful.

To be prepared for 2021, SAPinsiders should:

  • Look for better integration options both between SAP products and with non-SAP solutions. Integrating solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Concur, and SAP Ariba with SAP’s digital core has been a complex process that SAP has been working to improve. Klein stated that SAP Cloud Platform Integration Suite now offers two thousand APIs for on-premise customers with a focus on hybrid landscapes, and he said that SAP will expose further APIs in 2021. They will also work to make APIs available to integrate third party applications. Customers should keep pushing for these improvements and look for them to be more available to link their own SAP applications.
  • Expect to see more industry-specific solutions in Industry Cloud. While Industry Cloud has seen significant interest from SAP customers who are looking for SAP to provide cloud-based solutions equivalent to the available on-premise options, SAP knows that they need to make more progress on this topic in 2021. Where SAP cannot develop these solutions in house, they are looking to extend their capabilities through partner solutions. It is vital for SAP’s continued cloud progress that there is feature parity between cloud and on-premise solutions. This isn’t available yet, but SAP will be pushing increased cloud adoption ahead of this.
  • Evaluate how SAP is making a cloud move easier. The SAP audience is highly customized and is not easy to change, so SAP knows that it needs to find ways to make any transition both easier and more attractive. Working to improve the overall architecture in the move and reduce TCO will partially achieve this, but SAP is looking for other incentives to make organizations more likely to consider the move. Look for these changes and evaluate how they will impact your organization to determine whether these moves make sense for you.
  • Educate your teams on what SAP is doing. For SAPinsiders in EMEA, November 17-19 offers the opportunity to hear more from SAP about their 2021 strategy and direction at the SAPinisder EMEA Virtual event. The same week will also feature an SAP S/4HANA summit with sessions running later into the day to support a community members in the Americas. Attendance is free to registered users, so use this opportunity to learn more as you make your own plans for 2021.


Simply Securing a System Is No Longer Sufficient

With SAP systems moving into the cloud securing those systems has become more critical than ever, but ensuring that those systems meet compliance regulations is now just as important.

By Robert Holland, VP Research, SAPinsider

Securing an SAP system used to involve checking access and process controls and ensuring that the most recent SAP Notes had been applied. Now it involves not only ensuring that the system itself is up to date but must address cybersecurity and compliance issues as well.

The Threat Landscape for SAP Systems

A few years ago, the most critical systems that SAP customers needed to secure were SAP ECC and SAP NetWeaver and the on-premise applications to which these connected. However, as organizations have started digital transformation projects, security and compliance have evolved as has the risk and threat landscape.

Organizations may now be in the process of migrating to SAP S/4HANA either on SAP HEC or with a public cloud provider, as well as consuming SAP Cloud Platform using Cloud Connector and utilizing data from solutions running though SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, or SAP Concur. And as they grow through acquisitions, or simply because they are running both SAP and non-SAP solutions, they may find they need to integrate solutions from Oracle, Salesforce, and Workday into their SAP landscapes. This complexity of applications, and the complexity of integrating these systems, also complicates the security landscape.

But even as organizations ensure that they are working to detect and control the risks in their landscapes, as well as defend them against potential intrusions, they also need to ensure that they are addressing increasing compliance requirements. To gain a better understanding of how this is impacting SAP customers,  SAPinsider recently spoke with Juan Pablo Perez-Etchegoyen, CTO of Onapsis, about security, compliance, and the trends he’s seeing from SAP customers around the world.

Making Your Systems Secure and Compliant

According to Onapsis’ Perez-Etchegoyen, the threat landscape for SAP systems is growing. For example, since the RECON vulnerability was addressed by SAP in July, there has been an uptick in sources exploiting that vulnerability across the internet. “Most of the time it’s not as simple as a patch, because the process of deploying the patch requires a downtime window which introduces a lot of friction with the business,” said Perez-Etchegoyen. This downtime window means that someone needs to decide when the system will be offline. And any mitigation can also have a different impact when they must be applied per node or per system, or when the weakness can still be exploited via user credentials. According to Perez-Etchegoyen, “because these are business applications the complexity levels require the right technology and focus to keep them secure.”

A big trend that Onapsis is seeing is that of not only keeping systems secure but ensuring that they are also compliant. “Regulators realize more and more the need to include cybersecurity as part of system control because in large enterprises SOX compliance is critical,” said Perez-Etchegoyen. He sees both regulators, auditors, and the compliance ecosystem really starting to pay attention to cybersecurity specifically when it comes to SAP applications. This is especially true when it is covered by some sort of compliance regulation. “Somewhere, these organizations will be covered by a compliance regulation, and so they’ll need to make sure that they have tools in place to measure that and ensure that they are meeting those regulations,” added Perez-Etchegoyen.

This is where having a security and compliance solution can make an impact in an organization. Onapsis’ offering in this space, The Onapsis Platform for Cybersecurity and Compliance, provides four main functionalities to assist organizations: Assessment, so that risks can be detected; Control, so that a risk can be prevented from being introduced; Defend, so that a user has the right visibility when risks are identified; and Compliance, which automates the compliance posture to address compliance needs. Any risks found can then be completely transparent to the end-user who can readily address the issue. This also extends to the cloud, where the data consumed in a cloud instance is still the responsibility of the customer. Even with SaaS applications like SAP SuccessFactors where patching isn’t an issue for the end user, there may still be data issues because of the complexity of services, modules, components, and customizations that organizations don’t have visibility into. And the more that any functionality is customized, the more difficult the application is to secure and ensure compliance.

What Does This Mean for SAPinsiders?

As organizations accelerate deployment of cloud-based technologies, something which 99% of the SAPinsider Community say they are already running, the security and threat landscape within an organization must be extended to include these new systems. At the same time, these systems must also follow compliance regulations like GDPR, SOX, and CCPA. What steps should you be taking to make sure that your systems and data are secure?

  • Determine your security and compliance plans before deploying applications in the cloud. “Adopting security and compliance policies when migrating to the cloud provides an acceleration of timelines,” says Perez-Etchegoyen. If these policies aren’t in place in the beginning, organizations will need to come back and implement them which causes delays. Having policies in place early helps ensure a faster and more secure adoption.
  • Investigate which regulations impact your organization and implement plans for ensuring compliance. With the growing prevalence of regulations for data and financial governance, organizations need to know exactly which ones impact them, and how they will ensure that they meet those standards. Given that these standards may come into play even if they only work with a vendor or have a customer in a region impacted by these regulations, knowing the extent of regulations and having plans in place to comply to those is very important.
  • Carefully examine your existing security tools to determine whether they will meet future needs. While most SAPinsiders ensure that their systems apply critical SAP Notes and patches, SAPinsider research showed that the top driver around enterprise security was a demand for a more holistic security strategy. In addition, a key action they were taking was that of building an integrated security strategy. Both these steps suggest that most organizations current security strategy does not fully meet their needs, so examining what they are doing from a security standpoint and what they will need for the future, particularly when moving to the cloud, is critical.
  • Implement training plans for internal security and compliance teams. Although solutions like The Onapsis Platform do not require every user to be a cybersecurity expert in order for the organization to gain significant benefit, ensuring that compliance teams and SAP security officers have the appropriate training can help provide a greater benefit for the organization. And while benefits will be gained in the security tools being used, they will also extend to the whole organization as they help SAPinsiders prepare for future regulation changes and compliance and security challenges.

About Onapsis

Based in Boston, Massachusetts, Onapsis protects mission-critical applications from SAP, Oracle, and Salesforce, and serves more than 300 of the world’s leading brands including 20% of the Fortune 100. Onapsis’ flagship solution, The Onapsis Platform for Cybersecurity and Compliance, is an SAP Endorsed App and is one of the first cybersecurity and compliance platforms to become an SAP endorsed app. It is currently available in the SAP App Center.