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Where Are Customers in Their SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform Adoption?

by Thomas Wailgum | SAPinsider, Volume 18, Issue 1

January 27, 2017

SAP HANA plays a central role in SAP’s product strategy — it serves as the foundation for two recent technologies, SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform, that are set to serve as cornerstone SAP technologies. So where are SAP customers in their journey toward SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform adoption journeys? This article looks at the results of ASUG’s SAP HANA adoption survey, and provides insight into just how quickly the adoption rate of SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform is growing.    

SAP HANA is central to SAP’s entire product strategy. Two of the most recent SAP technologies based on SAP HANA are SAP S/4HANA, the successor to SAP’s flagship SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) 6.0 business suite, and SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP’s platform as a service.

For SAP customers, SAP S/4HANA is their business apps destination, whether now or in the next couple of years. SAP HANA Cloud Platform is the extension and integration platform common to all of SAP’s software, and the foundation for many new SAP and partner products, from microservices to full-blown applications.

So, when thinking about the third annual SAP HANA adoption survey of ASUG members, the focus was clear: Find out what SAP customers think about SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform. We ran our SAP HANA adoption survey over an eight-week period between mid-September and mid-November 2016. The survey drew 749 respondents, most of whom are ASUG members occupying a mix of roles across a range of industries. Here are some of the findings.

SAP S/4HANA: Steady As It Grows

Debuting in February 2015, SAP S/4HANA represents perhaps the most all-encompassing rethinking of SAP’s core business suite, whether in terms of simplified and speedier business processes, a fresh SAP Fiori-based user interface, or the ability to incorporate a broader set of functionality free from the constraints of the relational database management architecture. As with any new offering, SAP S/4HANA has evolved, and users are wondering how and when they might adopt it. Our survey revealed different clusters of SAP S/4HANA usage. Thirty-three percent of respondents say their organization has purchased SAP S/4HANA, 28% expect to buy it before the end of 2018, 19% are not currently considering a purchase, and 20% don’t know or aren’t sure about their organization’s plans.

Of the 33% of respondents who have already invested in SAP S/4HANA, 8% are live, 15% are in the process of implementing it, 7% are running one or more proof-of-concept projects, and 3% have not yet worked on any projects related to SAP S/4HANA. Turning to the 28% of respondents who plan to invest in SAP S/4HANA, 7% expect to buy the suite before the end of 2016, 8% expect to purchase SAP S/4HANA in 2017, and 13% expect to invest in the software during 2018.

SAP HANA Cloud Platform Coming into View

With SAP HANA Cloud Platform, customers are still learning about the platform as a service. Thirty-three percent of those polled say they’re completely clear on what SAP HANA Cloud Platform is and why their organization might use it, but 33% say they need more information. Meanwhile, 29% of respondents say they do not know what SAP HANA Cloud Platform is.

When asked about their organization’s current or planned use of SAP HANA Cloud Platform, 38% said they didn’t know or weren’t sure, 24% have no plans, 22% are actively using it, and 14% plan to use it in the next 12 months. Among active users, the most popular usage is building apps.

We were also interested in discovering what type of app development functionality interested ASUG members. Thirty-one percent want to create apps that take advantage of SAP HANA, 27% want to fill in functionality gaps in existing apps, 18% are keen to build brand-new apps for their organization’s own use, and 9% are eager to create brand-new apps to sell.


As the business benefits, adoption paths, and product roadmaps become clearer for SAP S/4HANA and SAP HANA Cloud Platform, we’ll see a substantial uptick in customers not only investing in the technologies, but actively using them. Many organizations are looking to hear more from both their peers and SAP about how and when to make the move to an SAP HANA-centric world. For more details on the survey results, download the pair of ASUG Research HANA Adoption Survey 2016 reports “How ASUG Members Look at SAP S/4HANA in 2016” and “How ASUG Members Look at SAP HANA Cloud Platform in 2016” at

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Thomas Wailgum
Thomas Wailgum

VP of Marketing

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2/1/2017 4:00:56 AM

Hi Thomas,great insight on SAP product strategy for HANA ..As more and more companies look to transition from their traditional environment to Cloud , Few points that they ponder upon …Complexities and risk of migrating to Cloud without affecting the Application performance and the time for migration and more importantly , A solution provider that can support entire Application lifecycle and understand your business making these transition seamless.
SAP does not follow a Bing bang approach when promoting HANA ,that’s exactly why many customers are still not sure how HANA can help their business grow strategically. Having said that SAP follows a slow yet penetrating blueprint for its existing HANA Customers to share their experience therefore creating a stronger customer base. The results are for us to see how SAP HANA is gradually making its way to acquire greater market share.