The SAP phased system landscape – or N and N+1 – is a recommended method for continuous delivery of SAP changes. Once only used for limited periods of major project work such as installing new function modules or managing release upgrades, the landscape has become a permanent fixture in a large number of organizations. Many SAP IT teams rely on this approach as a long-term solution to help them maintain system stability while managing a steady flow of significant projects, functionality improvements and business-related changes.

The benefits of an N and N+1 landscape – where N is the business as usual track and N+1 is for project, releases, upgrades etc. – are well documented. However, the risk and challenges associated with managing SAP change in a complex environment are not so clear. It is essential CIOs and IT managers address the challenges in ways appropriate to the business’s change release strategy, regulatory requirements and other such control factors.