Landscape transformation

Landscape transformation refers to making significant changes in how a company manages its systems and processes. It involves reshaping the overall technological environment to better meet business needs. This can include upgrading software, changing infrastructure, or adopting new technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness. Essentially, it's like giving the digital 'landscape' of a company a makeover to keep up with modern requirements and challenges.


Important Reads

Data harmonization

Data harmonization is the process of combining and integrating data from different sources or formats to create a unified and consistent dataset that can be easily analyzed and compared. This is often necessary when working with data that has been collected or recorded by different organizations, each with their own standards, definitions, and structures. For example, data harmonization is often needed when two companies make a merger, as they may have different data systems, structures, and formats. Merging the data from both companies can be a complex and challenging process, as there may be variations in the way the data is collected, stored, and reported. 

Data harmonization involves identifying and resolving any discrepancies or inconsistencies between the various data sources, such as differences in naming conventions, units of measurement, or data formatting. This can require transforming the data into a common format, reconciling conflicting values, and establishing a standardized set of rules and procedures for collecting and organizing data going forward. 

The goal of data harmonization is to create a high-quality, reliable dataset that can be used for a variety of analytical purposes, such as trend analysis, forecasting, and decision-making. It can be especially important in fields such as public health, environmental monitoring, and social sciences, where data from multiple sources must be combined and analyzed to draw meaningful conclusions. 

System landscape optimization (SLO)

In the context of SAP systems, system landscape optimization refers to the process of analyzing and reconfiguring the overall structure and setup of SAP systems within an organization. It involves making strategic decisions about the deployment, consolidation, and integration of SAP systems to achieve optimal performance, scalability, and cost-efficiency. 

The system landscape refers to the collection of SAP systems that are interconnected and used by an organization to support its business processes. This landscape typically includes development, quality assurance (QA), and production systems, along with any additional systems such as training or sandbox environments. 

System landscape optimization aims to streamline and rationalize the SAP landscape to improve system performance, reduce operational costs, and enhance business agility. It involves evaluating the existing system landscape, identifying areas for improvement, and implementing changes to optimize the overall structure and configuration. 

 Some common goals of system landscape optimization include: 

  • System consolidation: This involves reducing the number of SAP systems by consolidating multiple systems into a smaller number of instances. It helps to minimize hardware and software requirements, simplify system management, and enhance system performance. Here you can read how Charles Machine Works consolidated four company codes into one. 
  • System harmonization: Harmonization involves aligning the configuration, data, and business processes across different SAP systems within an organization. For example, this aviation industry company had to harmonize the processes of the division’s business units. It facilitates standardization and improves data consistency, enabling easier integration and reporting. 
  • System integration: Integration focuses on seamlessly connecting different SAP systems and non-SAP systems to enable smooth data exchange and seamless business process flows. It ensures that information flows efficiently across systems, eliminating redundancy and improving overall efficiency. 
  • Performance optimization: This involves analyzing and fine-tuning the SAP system landscape to optimize performance. It may include activities such as hardware upgrades, tuning system parameters, and implementing caching mechanisms to enhance system response times and throughput. 
  • Cost optimization: System landscape optimization aims to identify opportunities to reduce operational costs associated with managing and maintaining SAP systems. This may involve optimizing hardware and software licenses, consolidating system administration tasks, and implementing automation or cloud-based solutions. 

By undertaking system landscape optimization, organizations can achieve a more streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective SAP landscape that better supports their business objectives. It requires careful planning, analysis, and collaboration between various stakeholders, including business users, IT teams, and SAP consultants. 

A company may need to consider system landscape optimization in several scenarios: 

  • Mergers or acquisitions: When two or more companies merge or when one company acquires another, there is often a need to harmonize and integrate the disparate SAP systems. System landscape optimization helps in consolidating systems, standardizing processes, and ensuring smooth data exchange between the entities. 
  • System complexity: Over time, as a company grows and expands, its SAP landscape may become complex due to multiple systems, versions, and customizations. This complexity can lead to inefficiencies, increased maintenance costs, and difficulties in data integration. System landscape optimization helps simplify the landscape and reduce complexity. 
  • Performance and scalability issues: If the existing SAP systems are experiencing performance bottlenecks, scalability limitations, or frequent downtimes, it may be necessary to optimize the system landscape. By analyzing the performance issues, identifying the root causes, and making appropriate changes, system landscape optimization can help improve system performance and ensure scalability. 
  • Cost optimization: Organizations often seek to optimize costs associated with SAP systems. This could be due to factors like high licensing fees, excessive hardware infrastructure, or increased maintenance expenses. System landscape optimization allows companies to identify cost-saving opportunities, such as consolidating systems, optimizing resource utilization, or adopting cloud-based solutions. 
  • Business process changes: When a company undergoes significant changes in its business processes, such as introducing new products, expanding into new markets, or restructuring operations, the existing SAP landscape may need to be reconfigured. System landscape optimization enables aligning the SAP systems with the revised business processes, ensuring smooth operations and efficient information flows. 
  • Regulatory compliance: Changes in regulatory requirements or industry standards may necessitate system landscape optimization. Companies need to ensure that their SAP systems comply with the latest regulations and standards, and that any necessary changes or enhancements are made to achieve compliance. 
  • Technology upgrades or migration: If a company plans to upgrade its SAP systems to newer versions or migrate to a different platform, system landscape optimization becomes crucial. It involves evaluating the existing landscape, planning the upgrade/migration strategy, and reconfiguring the systems to leverage the new technology effectively. 

System landscape optimization is a strategic initiative that requires careful analysis, planning, and collaboration between business and IT teams. It helps organizations streamline their SAP landscape, improve system performance, enhance data consistency, and reduce operational costs. 

Hiring a consulting company can be a beneficial approach when undertaking system landscape optimization. It is important to select a reputable consulting company with a track record of successful SAP system landscape optimization projects. Proper communication and collaboration between the consulting company and your internal stakeholders are also key to ensuring a smooth and successful optimization process.