There is no doubt that SAP HANA is a central piece of SAP’s developing product architecture. According to PAC’s latest survey, SAP users are aware of this fact and are already expressing a lot of interest in the topic. However, customers are not sure yet about the role which SAP HANA should play within their companies. On the one hand, companies can imagine that this technology provides value, on the other hand, they ask how SAP HANA can be used best to actually benefit their company.
Funded by IBM, PAC conducted an analysis on these and other issues and created a white paper based on the findings.
One key element of our research we did for this white paper was a survey among more than 100 SAP users worldwide. According to this survey, almost half of the companies consider SAP HANA as a relevant topic.
Among other things, the white paper describes the following aspects:
- Use cases and value-added of SAP HANA,
- SAP HANA-related projects that are planned, in process or finished,
- Alternatives to SAP HANA,
- Aspects to consider when starting a project.
The SAP customers identified two major use cases for SAP HANA: analysis of customer data and improvements of reporting.
Considering current SAP HANA projects, we were not surprised to hear that customers focus on “low-hanging fruit” such as the improvement of financial reporting and KPIs. But many companies already have higher aspirations. Some companies are planning or realizing SAP HANA projects in the area of line of business analytics.
Alternatives to SAP HANA
While some SAP users recognize a certain relevance of SAP HANA for themselves, others say that they are happy with today’s existing database technologies.
In general, we believe that almost every existing or new customer of SAP will evaluate SAP HANA. We are also sure, however, that SAP HANA will not be likely to replace any database any time soon, even in companies that belong to the heavy users of SAP software. Why? Firstly, because companies will need complementary technologies to use SAP HANA and not all components will be from SAP. Secondly, we expect other software vendors to come up with new developments in the database space, including in-memory technologies.
Aspects to consider
The white paper also describes what we think companies need to consider before they start an SAP HANA project. One aspect here is that companies need to assess topics such as data integration or data quality as part of a data management strategy.
One key finding of the survey that has been realized as part of the white paper is that SAP HANA is already on the IT agenda of some, yet by no means all SAP users.
From PAC’s point of view, there is a vast number of use cases for SAP HANA but companies need help in identifying and evaluating them. Despite the buzz around SAP HANA, this discussion should be held as open as possible.
More about SAP HANA coming soon.
The white paper can be downloaded here.