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Data analytics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and similar technologies are helping all sorts of companies transform their digital presence. Lots of companies want to join the fun.
Moving to SAP/HANA could help: it enables lines of business to analyze data in new ways and apply what they learn to help close sales and shorten the sales cycle. For many businesses, moving to HANA helps accelerate business process improvements that drive value. Real-time analytics enable changes that can improve customer service or speed time to market for new services.
But SAP/HANA deployments come with challenges. You may already have major investments sunk into SAP licenses for your CRM deployment that may not transfer to a HANA installation. Plus, with a new platform comes a steep learning curve. How can you change your business processes to best use HANA’s capabilities and realize a strong return on your investment? Will HANA really provide the benefits it promises?
Many IT leaders face the same questions and dilemmas when considering a move to the SAP/HANA platform:
- 26 percent of businesses surveyed by Frost & Sullivan have moved their SAP deployments to HANA.
- 44 percent are planning a move in the future.
Recognizing the benefits of HANA doesn’t help execute a migration, however. It is difficult for SAP users to move to HANA without help and support.
Managed cloud service providers can help bridge the gap between in-house expertise and knowledge necessary to successful move to the SAP/HANA platform. Among managed cloud users, 26 percent have moved to the HANA platform, versus only 9 percent of businesses not using managed cloud.
What can the right managed cloud provider bring to your business?
- Critical expertise in planning and migrating your SAP/HANA deployment. Providers that have developed specific expertise in moving SAP installations onto the HANA platform are well-positioned to help your business plan and execute a HANA migration. Among managed cloud users, 49 percent used their provider for migration services; 82 percent found their managed cloud provider’s assistance extremely or very important to the success of their cloud initiative.
- A plan to leverage the HANA platform. Many providers will help you create a transformation roadmap, showing how and when a HANA migration can provide the best returns for your business.
- Application service-level agreements (SLAs). Provider SLAs ensure your critical SAP applications are performing to the level your business requires at the time they need it.
- Global capabilities. Providers with global managed service capabilities can ensure that your business-critical HANA databases are available around the globe, regardless of where your team needs to access them.
- Security and regulatory compliance. Maintaining the security of the data in your SAP/HANA platform is also of highest importance. Since SAP applications typically involve sensitive customer or employee data, safeguarding that data is paramount. Data breaches or leaks can damage a business to the point of ruin, so being able to turn to a provider who makes security a prime focus offers a level of comfort that a do-it-yourself approach simply doesn’t offer. Keeping data compliant with applicable regulations is also key, and a managed services provider can help with oversight and auditing to help ensure you follow regulations applicable in your region and industry.
- Routine application management. By offloading your SAP/HANA workloads to a managed cloud provider, you are not only able to augment your in-house expertise, but free your own team for more innovative projects that can drive productivity and service delivery for your business.
The move to SAP/HANA can be key to a business’s success but difficult to plan and implement. Many enterprises today are turning to the service of a managed cloud provider, which can help plan a successful HANA migration, as well as providing daily management capabilities and a roadmap of how to best use HANA to drive results for your business.
Providers such as IBM, with its deep expertise, global capabilities, and secure and compliant cloud data centers are well-positioned to help you achieve strong business results from your SAP/HANA deployment.
For more on how you can transform your SAP/HANA deployment with cloud managed services, download the Frost & Sullivan report.