More clarity needed on HANA business cases: ASUG survey


Kevin Reilly

SAP customers want more clarity on business cases and potential cost savings before they adopt SAP HANA, according to a survey of North America SAP user group members.

The results come from the Americas’ SAP User Group’s (ASUG) second annual member survey on HANA adoption.

Fifty-eight per cent of respondents who have not yet purchased SAP HANA said it was due to a lack of business case that justified investment. Other reasons were budget issues or timing for funding to support a move to HANA (48 per cent), not having identified a full set of optimisation scenarios requiring HANA (33 per cent), a lack of understanding of the SAP HANA roadmap (22 per cent), and the need to catch up on SAP upgrades or enhancement packs as a predecessor activity (21 per cent).

“The licensing structure of the unfolding S/4HANA products is currently not well understood,” said Kevin Reilly, ASUG’s S/4HANA Community Advocate.

“No successful CIO can sleep easy at night without knowing all of the ramifications of the cost/benefit calculations around any product. SAP still needs to address this licensing question before many of the ‘wait-and-see’ customers hop on board the S/4HANA train.”

Despite issues around understanding the licensing structure and roadmap for S/4HANA, the survey showed that SAP’s new platform could be an accelerator of HANA adoption overall.

When asked how the release of the new suite has changed their views on migrating from their existing SAP landscape to HANA, 32 per cent of respondents said they plan to invest more in HANA in the near term, and they are most interested in the real-time analytics capability of S/4HANA. However, 37 per cent said they don’t know or are not sure about S/4HANA’s impact on a move to HANA, 22 per cent said they have no immediate plans to increase investment in HANA, 17 per cent said they don’t plan to make any changes in their SAP landscape, and 3 per cent said they plan to move off SAP rather than move to HANA.

“With S/4HANA still a relatively young product, it is not surprising that more than one-third of the respondents are still in wait-and-see mode,” Reilly said. “The initial release of S/4HANA functionality in the finance software was too small and focused on an area that was going to be challenging to convince the majority of customers to jump into S/4HANA with both feet. The November release of S/4HANA 1511, however, will likely change that, as added functionality is now available.”

Overall the survey showed an uptick in the proportion of customers who had purchased HANA, rising from 40 per cent last year to 45 per cent, and there were plenty more planned HANA investments: 23 per cent of those who have implemented HANA said they had one or more additional HANA projects underway, 22 per cent said they have one or more planned and approved, 31 per cent have one or more planned but not budgeted, and 23 per cent said they had no more work planned.


Steve Lucas, president, platform solutions, SAP, has commented that the most important finding of the ASUG survey is the “notable year-over-year increase in customer adoption of SAP HANA”.

“It’s substantial and significant and I am optimistic it will continue to grow as customers are deploying HANA in multiple business scenarios versus a single use case,” Lucas said.

“Regarding organisations who have yet to adopt HANA, SAP has thousands of use cases across dozens of industries that show the power of HANA and how our technology is transforming companies. What matters to us is generating better business outcomes for customers using HANA that they couldn’t achieve using legacy database technology – and our customers are achieving record levels of performance by the thousands.”

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