At Gekkobrain we’re experts at helping businesses migrate from current IT infrastructures to new SAP HANA solutions. With a vast number of technical migration projects under our belt, we understand the business benefits of switching to HANA and wanted to share them.
Although SAP HANA is technically a database, it’s important to note it’s also so much more than that. So you'll often see it referred to as a data-platform instead. This is because it contains a multitude of other functionalities that give it the ability to not just store data but process it too.
SAP was one of the first organizations to embrace in-memory processing, which essentially means that HANA performs intensive data processing, calculations and analysis at the database-level rather than at the application level. It's closing the gap between data and insight that confers many of the following benefits to HANA users:
1. The Power to Handle Bigger Data
With SAP HANA your organization is much better equipped to handle, and even go beyond, the Big Data trend. Not only will you be able to process a far greater volume of data, but, thanks to changes in the way it’s stored and accessed, you’ll also be able to make use of a much wider range of data.
HANA seamlessly integrates information from a wide range of external and internal sources. Its machine learning and advanced analytic capabilities also mean that vast amounts of unstructured data can be incorporated – including text, predictive, spatial, event streams, and time series.
Soon, all businesses will realise they need to change the way they think about data if they want to keep up with competitors. Many organizations don’t yet see the value in processing floods of unstructured data, but as bigger Big Data becomes the norm, the ability to find insights at a much more granular level will prove to be invaluable.
2. Real-Time Analytic Capability
If your organization has a need for up-to-the-moment information or processes reports that take a long time to generate, SAP HANA can undoubtedly help you.
In-memory technology means you'll waste no time loading data from one location to another, and we’ve seen basic HANA setups process data up to 10-times faster. This drastically reduces the amount of time needed to perform even the most comprehensive of reports.
Accelerated business intelligence functionalities are built into HANA itself, which, combined with the increased speed, means you can process data in near-real time. This radically reduces thow long it takes you to make business decisions.
In short, with SAP HANA you can react in almost real time to events affecting your business and take appropriate actions to capitalize on opportunities or overcome challenges.
3. Scalable Solutions
No business should be aiming to remain static, and one benefit of migrating to SAP HANA is that, when your needs increase and your business grows, you can very easily increase the size of your HANA solution.
In fact, there are basically no limits to how large you can grow with SAP Business Warehouse, with the largest certified configuration reaching a colossal 168TB RAM.
SAP HANA also introduces dynamic tiering, which means frequently accessed data remains in memory, while less used data automatically moves to disk when space is low.
This is an extremely cost-effective way to manage large data volumes, especially when combined with HANA's advanced compression and columnar storage – which results in 3-5x data footprint reduction.
4. Flexibility and Versatility
One of the greatest benefits of SAP HANA is its compatibility with other databases, hardware and software, making it one of the most versatile data solutions available. This means your team can achieve greater analytic capabilities, without giving up the interfaces they trust.
This also means you’re able to apply these new analytic capabilities across your old systems, allowing you to derive new insights and rethink old assumptions based on misleading data.
Although SAP HANA is compatible with a huge range of systems, it’s columnar data models mean some existing custom ABAP code will no longer perform optimally and can potentially even cause system errors.
One of the challenges you'll have to overcome when migrating to SAP HANA is preparing your existing code-base by manually adapting instances of HANA-incompatible code.
Thinking about moving to SAP S/4HANA? Download our step-by-step guide here.