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Where Companies Stand on the Big Shift Toward SAP HANA and the Cloud

by Dr. Marco Lenck | SAPinsider, Volume 16, Issue 1

January 1, 2015

Companies are understandably cautious when it comes to disrupting their traditional ERP systems. Changes to this central component of an organization’s IT landscape require compelling justification. DSAG examines what factors companies weigh when they consider adopting new technologies such as the cloud and SAP HANA, and what sometimes holds them back.


Many companies consider the ERP system to be the heart of their business, so it is not entirely surprising that companies are treading lightly when it comes to changing that core component. While the future seems to be shifting toward running core processes in the cloud and implementing in-memory solutions to get real-time information, some worry that changing the heart of their business will bring about unwanted challenges.
To learn more about how companies view SAP’s innovations that disrupt core ERP systems, such as cloud technology and SAP HANA, DSAG surveyed over 520 members in July 2014. Let’s take a look at the findings.

Hybrid Model Versus Cloud

Cloud technologies offer many benefits, such as lower total cost of ownership and faster access to new functions. While these benefits are appealing, some companies worry about security in the cloud and increased dependency on service providers.

When questioned about moving to the cloud, only 5% of respondents considered moving their ERP systems in the next five years a viable option. For most companies, ERP systems are among the most complex IT solutions. Therefore, they’re extremely cautious when making any changes to these mission-critical applications.
However, 18% of CIOs are contemplating implementing hybrid models, where they keep some of their processes on premise and move others to the cloud. Many consider this a safer option because they can still take advantage of some of the benefits of cloud technology while keeping on premise systems that may require extra security.
When moving business-critical processes to the cloud, the parameters have to be right. SAP customers may feel more comfortable transferring only individual, non-critical processes if the risks seem too great for other systems.

The Proof Is in the Pudding

The survey also addressed SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. Although DSAG has helped companies see benefits gained in licensing for the product, consolidation and rollout projects are still taking priority for those surveyed. However, more than 15% of companies have already completed the transition to SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA, or plan to do so.
More than 80% are still waiting on proofs of concept. In these instances, the impediment is not necessarily the cost or technical knowledge — the companies are simply looking for a business case.
As more concrete examples of how SAP HANA can help innovatively improve standard business processes or reduce costs by simplifying IT structures emerge, companies will feel increasingly comfortable implementing it.

An email has been sent to:


Marco Lenck
Dr. Marco Lenck

Chairman of the Board

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