IT is challenged and rapidly changing—consider the shift to Cloud, demand for Five 9s, ever more complex landscapes, increasingly strict SLA’s, and drive for digital transformation. Uber, one of the largest transportation companies, doesn’t own cars. Airbnb, one of the largest accommodations sites, doesn’t own properties. Cloud means data centers managed by IT, which is now more than ever, the mission-critical heart of a company.
IT must lead, be innovative, and find resources in the face of pressure to do more with less. To free the needed resources, you must be efficient, effective, and lean.
We always talk about analytics for the business. So what about Analytics for IT?
In this blog, I will give an overview of the value SAP IT Operations Analytics brings to IT, share case study results, explain why SAP created it, and offer resources for you to learn more. (Like this overview video.)
How Does SAP IT Operations Analytics Work?
SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) brings analytics and a predictive, holistic, single pane-of-glass view to IT, by correlating data from disparate sources across your IT landscape, including existing monitoring tools. Amazing work has been done with Lenovo to integrate Lenovo XClarity as a source providing data from Lenovo systems that can be combined with other data for necessary insights. (Read about this work.)
The capability to ingest ABAP and SAP HANA logs enables IT to understand the performance of SAP systems in context of its broader IT landscape. Importantly, SAP ITOA can combine a variety of master data with IT events, which brings business value and insights to IT and IT decision makers. It also brings predictive capabilities and insights in addition to providing an overview and orchestration.
With SAP ITOA, when an event occurs, you won’t have impacted teams working in parallel and finger pointing till the right owner is identified. Instead, you can identify the correct team to deal with the issue out of the gate, optimizing resource utilization and reducing wasted effort. And, with fewer tickets generated, you have faster post-event cleanup.
Insight to Business Impact—A Case Study
Insight to business impact helps with prioritization and planning. Built on SAP HANA, SAP ITOA lets you react immediately to issues as they occur. Refresh rates of 5 seconds are a far cry from lags of 15 to 30 minutes from when an event happens to when it is searchable and usable.
Read this case study to discover how one large organization used SAP IT Operations Analytics to:
- Reduce the number of unique monitoring tools deployed, reducing complexity and saving licensing costs
- Use analytics and a real-time single pane-of-glass view across tools and data center landscape, combined with customer and other master data. Benefits:
- prioritize responses
- Breakdown team and tool silos
- Reduce duplicated effort
- Achieve efficient orchestrated responses resulting in fewer wasted resources that were redeployed to achieve a multitude of things
You can learn more by watching these videos:
- See how SAP IT Operations Analytics can help IT in your organization with Business Impact Analysis in this video.
- See how it could specifically help an IT practitioner with their day-to-day responsibilities in this video.
How Predictive Forecasting Enables IT to Become Proactive
Most importantly, IT must become proactive and stop fighting reactive battles. You need to anticipate and predict incidents before they happen to increase uptime, customer satisfaction, and liberate even more resources. Out-of-the-box predictive forecasting can help move you toward proactive activities along with the ability to automatically run scripts to automate processes.
Utilizing SAP HANA’s Predictive Analysis Library (PAL), SAP ITOA provides predictive forecasting at the slide of a toggle. This helps capacity planning, optimizing resource allocation and utilization (under- and over-used assets), and justifying capital budget asks.
It can also be used to identify issues that are not of concern. For example, a CPU may be set to alert at 75% but if based on historic trends a peak of 85% is expected over a given period, it’s not a real issue. Trigger automated actions—for example adding and/or removing resources in a virtualized environment—can save time, and even avert and outage.
- Watch as SAP ITOA automatically adds and removes storage in this video.
Augmenting SAP ITOA’s out-of-the-box predictive forecasting capabilities with SAP Predictive Analytics can take you to the next level. It will bring true predictive capabilities to IT and shift it to a strong proactive stance.
- Combined corollated data will allow you to move toward preventive maintenance.
- Models use the data to predict the failure or event with an associated confidence level.
- These insights will let you operate more efficiently and to mitigate downtime.
- You can be alerted to potential issues, or at a critical time (like quarter end), you can proactively examine key components to be forewarned of any potential concerns.
- Companies that have implemented predictive maintenance have seen cost improvements of up to 40% over their preventive expenditures.
Using a combination of SAP ITOA and SAP Predictive Analytics can also provide causal analysis to help with root cause analysis. When an IT event occurs, it’s rarely isolated—a domino effect impacts other systems and components. An incident may see several things worked on, but if there is no clear path back to the origin, it may be traced to 2 or 3 with no indication of which is the cause.
Causal analysis can assist with this root cause effort and identify the origin—which means you have the knowledge to work to prevent the incident from reoccurring. You’re not just reacting and fixing things, you are gaining knowledge and insight to help you to become proactive.
Get Results You Need
With SAP IT Operations Analytics, you can become proactive, orchestrate responses, and optimize resource allocation by bringing analytics and a predictive holistic end-to- end view to your IT operations.
An Aberdeen study found organizations with an end-to-end view of IT operations visibility are:
- 3 times more likely to reduce the time needed to fix issues,
- 6 times more likely to have very low error rates for IT services,
- 2 times more likely to have high availability for IT systems and services and
- 40% more likely to detect problems before their services are deployed.
- Get the Aberdeen knowledge brief here for more details.
Created to Solve SAP’s IT Problems
SAP created SAP IT Operations Analytics (SAP ITOA) to help solve our own IT challenges, and it can help you solve yours. The genesis of SAP IT Operations Analytics came from challenges faced by SAP’s own IT department. SAP IT has 42 datacenters in 12 countries, over 87,000 servers on over 20,000 physical hosts, and a virtualization rate of 70%. Supporting customers on SAP Ariba, SAP, SAP Hybris, Concur, and SAP SuccessFactors means SAP IT is also supporting Cloud business.
SAP IT needed analytics and a holistic real-time view across their global datacenter network and they needed to understand the business impact of issues. And they wanted to predict issues before they occurred. As Martin Heisig, Senior Vice President Infrastructure Services Cloud Delivery of SAP IT said, “I needed a better way to monitor and predict issues and outages.”
- Hear Marin speak about the value SAP ITOA brings to SAP IT in this video.
- Learn more about the solution’s benefits in this SAP ITOA, What and Why video.
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This document was created to assist the consultant in creating “Cost Clement value categories for Project reporting for standard SAP hierarchy reporting. I discovered that my cost elements were not assigned to the Value categories.
Value Categories are used to group cost for Standard SAP Hierarchy reports. The following are among the cost/revenue/payment values available for Value Category reports:
- Sales order
- Results analysis
- Internal business volume
- Transfer price
- Orders for projects
- Overall plan
The PS (Project Systems) Value categories work for PS ‘hierarchy’ reports only, and not for Cost Element and line item reporting. Value categories are used to report Cost, Revenues or specific Statistical key figures (SKF’s). All Cost Elements should be Assigned a group or range of Cost Elements to the Value Categories for cost reporting within PS.
Validate the Cost Element Value Categories, by displaying the exiting Value Category assignments to determine the next step:
- Is each Cost Element assigned to at least “one” Value Category?
- Which category does the Cost Element belong?
- Are there enough “Value Categories” to assign
the Cost Elements?
- Check this by using T-Code CJVC
Once, the unassigned Cost Elements have been identified, the next step is to assign these Cost Elements to a Value Category.
Meet with the Accounting Manager or Controller to receive reportingguidance on how the Cost Elements should be categorized. The primary components of assigning Cost Element/s to a Value Category require the following:
- Cost Element- Determine the type of Cost Element to create with the following transactions
- FS00 for General Ledger accounts – click “edit Cost Element” button to create primary, revenue and the external settlement
- KA01 to create Cost Element
- KA06 for creating secondary Cost Elements
- Cost Element Group – classify Cost Elements with similar characteristics and to reduce data volume
- KAH1 to create Cost Element Groups – to classify Cost Elements with similar characteristics
The following components (Nodes) are required to create the Cost Element group. Each node has exactly one parent node (predecessor). The “depth” (the level) of the node corresponds to the number of its predecessors increasing up to the root of one. This means that the roots have level 1.
- Cost Element
Create/Edit Value Category – OPI1 = configuration for Project systems Value Categories and OIK1 configuration for Plant Maintenance
When editing the “Value Category” ensure you are in the correct component, as some companies have multiple components in this example there are two.
Next select the Value Category to edit:
For this example select External Services. Assign Cost Element to the Value Category – OPI2 = configuration
Next step is to enter the Cost Elements that will be assigned to this Value Category. This can be done in two ways. The recommend method is #1
- Cost Element groups – The grouping of Cost Elements with similar characteristics. The Cost Element group is entered in the Value Category data field. Remember to update the Cost Element group when there are changes to the Cost Element.
- Individual Cost Element assignment – Enter a single value or a sequence using the “to” “from” data fields.
Once the Cost Elements have been assigned to a Value Category, execute CJVCto ensure all Cost Elements have been assigned. If any Cost Elements are unassigned return to Step 1.