Why ALM for the Cloud? Many people think “In cloud, ALM is done by SAP as provider! Therefore a cloud customer does not need an ALM solution at all.” But even cloud customers need ALM.
In the cloud, the provider offers the cloud service and ensures its availability and performance. But the provider does not control how you configure (Build) and use (Run) the service. Like on premise, you, as a customer, are still responsible for setting up your master data and organizational structure in a cloud application (SaaS). You must define whether optional steps in a business process shall be executed or not. And you should check if any business exception (like a blocked account) requires an action. All of these activities are part of the application management life cycle. So, ALM is relevant for you in the cloud.
If you use more than one cloud service in an integrated fashion (e.g., SAP S/4HANA Cloud and SAP SuccessFactors), it is not the responsibility of the individual cloud providers to manage the integration. You must take care of building and monitoring the integration or checking data consistency. This is part of ALM as well.
And if you use the SAP Cloud Platform (PaaS) to enhance e.g. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you develop and run your own (or 3rd-party) software. The platform provider will ensure the availability and performance of the platform, but it will not build, test, deploy, and operate the software. These aspects of ALM are also in your responsibility.
On September 18, 2018, SAP announced SAP Cloud ALM (Cloud Application Lifecycle Management), a cloud-based Application Lifecycle Management offering tailored to the needs of SAP Cloud customers.
The first step into SAP Cloud ALM is the implementation portal for SAP S/4HANA Cloud planned to be available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud in Q4 2018. SAP intends to extend SAP Cloud ALM step-by-step from implementation support to the entire lifecycle and from SAP S/4HANA cloud to all SAP products with the entire roadmap planned to become available by 2021. SAP cloud solution customers will get access to SAP Cloud ALM based on their existing contract.
“As SAP customers continue to pursue cloud-based applications, providing access to cloud-centric ALM offerings is more important than ever,” said Andreas Heckmann, Senior Vice President, Support Delivery, SAP. “With SAP Cloud ALM, we're giving customers an Application Lifecycle Management offering that is ready for immediate consumption and thus best fits their solution preferences, and business needs.”
The implementation portal for SAP S/4HANA cloud will offer customers increased guidance, including: