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Why Open Source Solutions are Playing a More Powerful Role in Enterprise IT

TAKE NOTE (Insights and Emerging Technology)


One of the biggest IT challenges government organizations face in their efforts to modernize their systems is how to keep their options open for the future — and avoid the trappings that can come from committing to one primary vendor or technology platform…

Given shift from big monolithic IT environments to more agile cloud services, it would seem that agencies have more choices and flexibility today than in years past. Yet all too often, agencies find themselves trading one set of proprietary on-premise technologies for another set of proprietary services in the cloud.
Melissa Di Donato, CEO, SUSE

That’s in part because, while the technologies may have changed, the economic forces have not. Agencies want the best value, as they should, but that often requires them to concentrate IT investments with a handful of contractors and their preferred suppliers. Vendors, meanwhile, live or die by ROI; so the more of a customer’s stack they can “own,” the greater their chances for survival.

It’s no wonder that the resulting technical debt, and its corrosive effect on modernization efforts, are driving CIOs and those they support to seek a better approach.

Open source solutions are an increasingly powerful way to future-proof your IT operations, especially as organizations continue to transition into the new technology era, built on portable services, APIs and agile development. Open source solutions:

  • Modernize aging IT systems while enabling cloud and mobility for mission-critical initiatives, and time sensitive decisions.
  • Ensure security perimeters are in place when accessing cloud applications from anywhere on any device, at any time.
  • Facilitate rapid and continuous updates — keeping your systems safer and more secure.
  • Provide the tools to stay compliant with pertinent regulations and guidelines for infrastructure and services across all environments.

But the power of open source solutions, and the vast community behind them, perhaps can best be illustrated by the remarkable speed with which the open source community has helped develop open source projects to tackle issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These projects — from tools to predict hospital enrollment from COVID-19 to tracking systems to develop the disease’s “family history” — remind us that it’s not the technology we have, but how we apply it to solve complex, real world problems.

With open source, you are not locked into a vendor, you have the ultimate flexibility to build your IT based on your needs. This is the value of open source, and with the powerful community of innovators, the power of many, open source innovations can help agencies start from where they are and get them to where they need to be.

In the end, it all comes down to serving our customers. It shouldn’t be about be beholden to our suppliers.
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UNDER DEVELOPMENT (Insights for Developers)

10+ New Features in S/4HANA Finance Group Reporting 1909

S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting 1909

S/4HANA Finance for group reporting is the on-premise version of SAP’s next generation software for financial consolidation and close. SAP delivers one major on-premise release each year. From a functional standpoint, the annual on-premise version inherits from all the features delivered in the cloud version each quarter.

Release 1909 of S4Hana Group Reporting, GA on September 20, 2019, includes the following new and enhanced functionalities as compared to 1809…

In 1909, you’ll also find capabilities developed for cloud version, which are now available on premise.

These include:

  • Streamlined master data maintenance with the Import Consolidation Master Data app
  • Data Mapping apps to transform and load data from non-SAP systems
  • Easier selections with the new Fiori Define Selections app
  • Improved Data and Consolidation Monitors
  • Enhanced preparation for consolidation group changes
  • Intelligent Reporting Logic
  • Group Data Analysis apps
  • Matrix Consolidation
  • Group Structure apps
  • Consolidation validation result analysis
  • Drill through from consolidation validation logs to the SAP S/4HANA company level
  • Time dependent mapping between financial statement items and G/L accounts
  • Account driven consolidation rules

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– Dig Deeper –
S/4HANA Finance Group Reporting 1909

Q&A (Post your questions and get the answers you need)

Q. We keep hearing about Intelligent RPA for SAP. What is Robotic Process Automation?

A. Robotic Process Automation is a software-based technology utilizing software robots to emulate human execution of a business process. The bots mimic and integrate human actions within digital systems to optimize business processes. RPA captures data, runs applications, triggers responses, and communicates with other systems to perform a variety of tasks.

It is predominantly used to automate business processes and tasks, resulting in reductions in spending and giving businesses a competitive edge, all considered of which are proving crucial during the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic.

RPA is versatile and flexible enough to be used in a business of all sizes, from start-ups to enterprise organizations. Here is a rundown of the two common types available in the market:


  1. Bots – A programmable bot is defined by set rules and instructions. Parameters need to be defined by programmers before the bot can get to work. Ultimately, this involves mapping out a process – step-by-step – which can be very time consuming for more complex tasks. (UiPath)
  2. Intelligent bots – Bots with artificial intelligence can analyze data – both historical and current – to learn how employees perform a process. The robot will follow your clicks, mouse movements and actions. After a period of time when enough data has been analyzed, the bot will have enough data to complete the process itself. Intelligent and self-learning bots are better suited to perform processes involving unstructured data and processes that involve fluctuating parameters. (DataRobot)

RPA is a broad field and there are a wide array of technologies in the market that greatly differ from one another. However, most RPA products will comprise of RPA developer tools, a controller and the robot itself.

Businesses can leverage RPA in a multitude of different ways. Flexible and easy to implement, some businesses may find that they use it in a way that is unique to their organization. Determining what processes should be automated is a key strategic point. There is no point in automating a process just for the sake of it.

While RPA is great at driving operational excellence, some processes are more viable for automation than others. The most viable candidates for automation are those that tend to process in a way that is simple, repetitive and easy to define. These processes will likely be rule-based and comprised of easily definable structured data.

Take a look at the explainer video below. Please reach out directly if you have more questions.

Cheers!

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