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Mendix on top of SAP enables innovation for migration

More than 4 decades ago, programming was still a real craft activity. Typing instructions from behind a screen was not yet common. For a number of years now, low-code development environments have attracted a great deal of interest. Programming no longer consists of merely tapping instruction lines. The developer selects the necessary functional components from a library and drags them into a visually displayed workflow. "A child can do the laundry", you would say, were it not for the fact that someone must have the necessary domain knowledge and therefore know something about the process to be automated.
The emergence of low code tools is closely linked to changing views on system development. No longer does a group of programmers voluntarily isolate themselves for a while. It no longer takes months to realize a first working version of an application from a functional design within a few months, only to learn within a few seconds that the result is not satisfactory. Agile development with multidisciplinary teams is now the norm. Daily scrum session between the IT and business team members ensures focus on the goal and scope of the project, as well as the right alignment with each other's tasks. The time of months-long waterfall projects has been exchanged for projects in installments of a few weeks. Under this favorable constellation, the Cloud-based low code development system Mendix has also been able to thrive. According to Gartner the low code development environment will be involved in 75% of all application construction by 2024.

Transition to the Cloud

Mendix has an extra boost to growth as SAP informs its global customer base that it will stop supporting the core modules of the ERP system (ECC-Business Suite) at the end of 2025. The primary business processes at organizations of all sizes worldwide have to migrate to another technology: SAP S/4HANA. It is expected that most users will switch to the cloud variant. In that case, the custom software can no longer be used under the current version. Now everyone will recognize that making the most of SAP's core functionality is always preferable. Undoubtedly, SAP will continue to enrich the S/4HANA environment with new functionality, making a lot of customization unnecessary. But because companies still want to distinguish themselves in their business processes, the need for specific functionality continues to exist.


Get rid of shadow IT

Just take the amount of applications created outside the responsibility of the IT department in the office environment, based on Excel, SharePoint, Lotus and so on: the shadow IT. This plays an important role in information logistics at many companies. They often share data with formal IT applications. As long as they work, we will not just disable those informal business applications, just like the business-critical components of the customization around the SAP kernel. Mendix, as the only low code platform seamlessly integrated into the SAP Cloud Platform, provides the solution. The partnership between SAP and Mendix has ensured that the platform has been included in the official delivery program of the German superpower under the name SAP RAD. What benefits does this bring to current EEC users who have to draw up their migration plans?

”Go make the core clean!”

Mapping customization

SAP scan tools can already be used to determine which applications from the current ECC domain will no longer be available in the future environment. An in-depth functional inventory of S/4 HANA shows whether customization or additional office applications are needed at all. If that is the case, then those parts of the software package to be migrated can be replaced by quickly developed Mendix on top or SAP apps before the migration. And because they act on the same layer as the SAP core, they will continue to function well after the S/4 HANA migration, regardless of whether it resides on-premise or in the cloud. Not only office applications but also apps, aimed at the user experience on the front-end of the SAP systems and additional software, aimed at optimization and business continuity can currently be converted into usable applications within a short period of time via the generation of low code.

Do not interrupt innovations

And what about developments in the field of innovation? iot; Edge Computing; Big Data Analysis; RPA; AI; VR; AR; Machine Learning: all high-tech promises for which the innovators within an organization are eager to get started. The existing IT infrastructure need not stand in the way of the urge to experiment with innovation. APIs from both SAP and Mendix make it possible to start today. Why wait for a migration sometime before 2025? After that, the most important work has already been done and there are jobs left that either lie in the margins of continuous system maintenance or allow the organization to confidently continue on the innovative path. Both the revision work and the innovative processes can be completed very effectively with low code.

Start building app development factory

Activating a Mendix learning path does not require an extensive change management approach. Let a small number of functional SAP administrators, under the guidance of some experienced Mendix programmers, build a not too complex app within a few weeks. Show the end result extensively to the rest of the organization. In no time, everyone is convinced that the 'Citizen Developers' contribute to a serious business-driven software development process. Break through the IT – Business barrier and start building a mature app development factory today that will differentiate your organization by developing 10 times faster and using 70% less IT resources. “Go make the core clean!”