Comparing SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Solution Manager: Why SAP Cloud ALM Is the Future of ALM

Digital transformation has revolutionized business operations, compelling companies to adapt swiftly to new technologies like cloud computing, big data, and artificial intelligence.


In this evolving landscape, SAP Cloud ALM emerges as a pivotal tool for optimizing cloud applications and business processes. This blog post compares SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Solution Manager, another SAP application lifecycle management (ALM) solution, highlighting why SAP Cloud ALM stands out as a more beneficial choice for modern enterprises.


Understanding SAP Cloud ALM

SAP Cloud ALM is a cloud-based application designed to maximize the performance of cloud applications and enhance business processes. It offers a comprehensive suite of functions for monitoring application performance, diagnosing and resolving issues, and minimizing risks. Furthermore, it fosters collaboration across various departments within a company, ensuring streamlined operations.


To leverage SAP Cloud ALM effectively, businesses need a robust implementation strategy. The SAP Activate methodology, known for its agile approach, provides a clear framework for planning, implementing, and monitoring projects. By understanding SAP Cloud ALM and SAP Activate, companies can optimize their implementation strategies, harness the power of cloud computing, and boost their competitiveness.


SAP Solution Manager: A Legacy Approach

For over a decade, SAP Solution Manager has been the go-to tool for managing the entire ALM cycle. It has been particularly useful in operations (monitoring technical components), change management, and project planning for migrations. However, its monolithic design is tailored to on-premise system landscapes, which are becoming increasingly obsolete in the era of SaaS (software-as-a-service) models. As businesses transition to cloud applications, the limitations of SAP Solution Manager become evident. It lacks the agility required to manage modern cloud environments effectively.


Why SAP Cloud ALM is the Better Choice

As companies navigate the complexities of digital transformation, the choice of ALM tools becomes critical. While SAP Solution Manager has served businesses well in the past, SAP Cloud ALM offers distinct advantages that align better with modern cloud-centric strategies. Here’s why SAP Cloud ALM is the better choice for forward-thinking enterprises:

Cloud-Native Architecture

SAP Cloud ALM is built from the ground up as a cloud-native solution, ensuring better scalability, flexibility, and agility compared to the on-premise–centric design of SAP Solution Manager. This cloud-native approach enables seamless integration and management of modern cloud applications, which is crucial for businesses looking to stay competitive in a fast-paced digital world.

Enhanced Operational Efficiency

One of the standout benefits of SAP Cloud ALM is its operational efficiency. Unlike SAP Solution Manager, which requires significant effort for regular maintenance and updates, SAP Cloud ALM is managed entirely by SAP. This eliminates the need for businesses to dedicate resources to maintaining and updating the solution, allowing them to focus on core business activities.

Superior Integration Capabilities

SAP Cloud ALM offers seamless integration with other SAP cloud solutions like SAP Integration Suite, SAP SuccessFactors, and SAP Ariba. This level of integration is less complex and more robust compared to the integration capabilities of SAP Solution Manager, which primarily supports older SAP technologies.

Focus on SaaS Applications

Designed specifically for the unique challenges of managing SaaS applications, SAP Cloud ALM provides specialized tools and processes that SAP Solution Manager lacks. This makes SAP Cloud ALM particularly effective for companies that have adopted or plan to adopt a cloud-first strategy.


The cost of operating SAP Solution Manager is relatively high, considering the resources required for its maintenance and operation. In contrast, SAP Cloud ALM offers a more cost-effective solution by reducing direct operational costs and providing automatic updates. Additionally, SAP Cloud ALM is available for free to SAP cloud product users, with optional paid tiers for additional storage and features.



As companies continue to embrace digital transformation and cloud-based solutions, the need for a modern, agile, and efficient ALM tool becomes paramount. SAP Cloud ALM, with its cloud-native architecture, enhanced operational efficiency, superior integration capabilities, and focus on SaaS applications, clearly outshines the legacy SAP Solution Manager. For businesses looking to optimize their cloud applications and stay ahead in the competitive landscape, SAP Cloud ALM is the ideal choice. By adopting SAP Cloud ALM, companies can ensure they are well-equipped to meet the demands of today's dynamic business environment and secure a sustainable competitive advantage.


About the SAP Cloud ALM Book

In today's rapidly evolving IT landscape, managing applications effectively in the cloud is crucial. Our book SAP Cloud ALM: Application Lifecycle Management is designed to help you harness the full potential of SAP Cloud ALM for efficient cloud-based application lifecycle management. Whether you're an IT project manager, administrator, test manager, IT landscape architect, or consultant, this guide offers the insights and practical advice you need for successful cloud application management.


The introduction delves into the fundamentals of SAP Cloud ALM, providing a comprehensive overview of its features and capabilities. You will learn about the key components of SAP Cloud ALM and how they fit into the broader SAP ecosystem, setting the stage for a deeper understanding of cloud-based ALM processes.


The book is structured around the SAP Activate methodology, starting with the prepare phase. You will explore how to create a new SAP cloud tenant, set up the project environment, connect systems to the transport system, and adopt agile methodologies for project implementation. Each chapter in this section is designed to guide you through the critical tasks of the prepare phase, ensuring a solid foundation for your project.


As you move into the explore phase, the focus shifts to understanding and documenting your company's requirements. You'll learn how to use SAP processes to structure and document these requirements, conduct fit-to-standard and fit-gap workshops, and plan and execute tests to ensure your project meets its goals.


In the realize phase, the book covers how to implement the documented requirements. This includes creating user stories, developing test cases, and performing tests within SAP Cloud ALM. The deploy phase then takes you through planning and preparing for system changes, implementing and testing these changes, and releasing them for production.


Operational topics are covered in the run phase, with chapters dedicated to business service management, incident management, and implementing a suitable monitoring system in SAP Cloud ALM. Finally, the book explores the extension options available with SAP Cloud ALM, providing a look at the basics of implementing extensions and practical examples of their application.


This book aims to equip you with the knowledge and tools needed to effectively manage your cloud applications using SAP Cloud ALM. By following detailed guidance and best practices, you will be prepared to navigate the complexities of cloud-based application lifecycle management.


About the Authors

Matthias Friedrich has been with NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH since 2008, leading the global innovation and optimization service area. He supports customers in expanding, optimizing, and developing applications and integrating them into business processes. Matthias began his career in 1998 at SAP Systems Integration AG in Dresden, focusing on IT service and change management concepts, project coordination, and product idea implementation.


Fred Kindler, a business informatics graduate, started his career at NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH in 2011. He consults in ALM and manages an ALM team, focusing on application transition in the application solution advisory division. His expertise lies in advising on ALM processes for implementing hybrid landscapes in the cloud.


Marcel Kirsten has been with NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH since 2016. With a master's degree from Chemnitz University of Technology, he specializes in application lifecycle management and application operations. Marcel supports SAP Solution Manager 7.2 projects and develops monitoring services for SAP Focused Run, advising on SAP Cloud ALM implementation.


Daniel Kloppich is an ALM expert at NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH, focusing on IT service management in hybrid landscapes. He started his career in 2009 as a consultant at Comarch AG and holds a degree in media informatics from the Technical University of Dresden. Daniel specializes in process consulting for IT transition and operations on a global level.


Mathias List has been an ALM expert at NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH since 2022. He started his career in 2008 as an SAP consultant for SAP Solution Manager at BIT Group GmbH. Mathias is experienced in IT service management, change and release management, and uses methodologies like ITIL and Scrum in his projects. He has authored two SAP PRESS books and specializes in ALM solutions, including SAP Cloud ALM.


Bert Lorenz is a development consultant at NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH, supporting over 100 customers in SAP Business Technology Platform, automation, low code, integration, and ALM. He is responsible for global development operations within SAP and application services, integrating these methodologies into business processes.


Lars Teuber has been with NTT DATA Business Solutions GBMS GmbH since 2008. With degrees in economics and engineering in data and information technology, Lars has managed projects in ALM since 2005. He supports the transformation of ALM processes to SAP Cloud ALM, specializing in optimizing ALM processes using tools like SAP Solution Manager and SAP Focused Run.


Who Is This Book For?

This book is intended for IT professionals managing SAP systems and looking to optimize their application lifecycle management in the cloud. It is particularly useful for administrators, IT project managers, test managers, IT landscape architects, and consultants. Whether you are new to SAP Cloud ALM or seeking to deepen your knowledge, this book offers valuable insights and practical guidance to enhance your IT operations.


How to Purchase

If you’re interested in purchasing SAP Cloud ALM, follow this link and choose the format that works best for you: e-book, print edition, or bundle (both e-book and print).


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Optimize your ALM practices with SAP Cloud ALM! Get started by deploying SAP Cloud ALM, defining your project scope, and exploring the tools you’ll use. Walk through process management, requirements management, and fit-to-standard workshops. Create and execute tests and then deploy your project, focusing on release and change management features. Follow a continuous example throughout this guide to ensure your SAP Cloud ALM projects run smoothly!

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