Saturday, February 6, 2016

1.3 Why HANA?

I have heard this question many times from customers and colleagues and I usually ask back:

"Why not HANA!?"

There are pro’s and con’s and I won’t even try to do a 100% feature-to-feature comparison with alternative technologies. I do not get paid by SAP to promote HANA either. But if we look from an enterprise architecture perspective we know that with the existing SAP systems there is no way around HANA in the next 10 years. SAP won't simply support anything else than HANA anymore and will ship all current and future innovations only on top of this technology. For the SAP world the decision is easy: either a) implement HANA or b) shutdown the SAP systems.

As I personally do not know a single SAP customer who goes for option b), the central question for them is: "Can we use HANA beyond the SAP systems?" The answer to this question is obviously “yes”. But what are the prerequisites? What are the benefits, what the obstacles? From my experiences a lot of companies have the wrong picture in mind when answering these questions. Instead of using dedicated databases for each application, I intend to implement one single HANA instance for many, if possible for all (!) applications. So from a technical perspective, the decisive question is:

Is HANA capable of serving the needs of many different applications in parallel at once?
Does it have enough power and flexibility to do this?
And if yes, how does it change the current enterprise architecture?
And most important - what does it mean for Business and IT?

But even if a company does not have any SAP system at all in the whole landscape, if the IT department there has absolutely no idea what HANA is and is far away from implementing the software, this company will most probably widely benefit from it. I will show that even without any synergies with existing SAP systems, HANA is still a very attractive option and that it is not really difficult to find a business case. Instead the benefits are huge.

By the way and off the records: in my opinion SAP has very good reasons to bet on HANA and you will find many of them also in this blog.

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