Outsourcers ‘bungle SAP customisations’
Run simple? Not likely, say researchers who’ve uncovered poor SAP customisation jobs
Junior coders are botching SAP customisations, increasing the cost to companies running the software.
This is according to Cast Software, which examined millions of lines of Abap (advanced business application programming) code written to customise 83 SAP applications.
Chief scientist Bill Curtis told IT Pro that most of these customisations were performed by outsourcers, including SAP partners that are responsible for implementing the German tech giant's software.
But he accused them of being inexperienced and bungling the job.
"You've got people who just don't know how to write good information management routines," he said. "You wonder how many of them really have a computer science background or at least an IT background."
The consequences for the customer are severe, he warned increasing the total cost of ownership because the complexity of the code is costlier to maintain.
It also makes it harder to add new functionality to the applications, meaning businesses upgrade their software at a slower rate.
"If they're in a very competitive environment, that puts companies at a disadvantage. The agility of a business is directly tied to the agility of their code," Curtis said.
The report found evidence of faulty code across several industries, including public sector, energy, IT consulting, manufacturing and retail.
It said: "The number and density of violations is high in every health factor, and this should be of concern for many applications."
Many of the applications Cast tested were business-critical systems, it added.
Curtis recommended companies introduce targets that outsourcers must meet when customising their applications, as well as quality assurance processes, to reduce the amount of complexity added to the software.
"Create a quality gate for everything that's coming back from your suppliers and set targets in your contract equivalent of service level agreements," he said.
"Say these are numbers I expect you to hit, and this is the rate at which I want to see improvement towards these targets', and measure the code as it comes in."
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