Moving to SAP HANA is a lot like moving to a new home. The destination is exciting, but the process of moving isn’t. For most enterprises, migration brings significant difficulties. It’s tempting to just put it off.
However, since SAP is shutting down its support for EEC in 2025, that’s no longer an option. At the very least, planning has to begin now.
The truth is, though, that the transition doesn’t have to be painful. By being cognizant of the difficulties and planning ahead, organizations can significantly limit the impact of migration and smoothly transition to enjoying the scalability, flexibility, and analytical power of HANA. Knowing what you’re in for makes all the difference.
To that end, Softchoice and ASUG recently conducted research on how organizations are handling the move. We identified some of the most common issues out there, and we hope this information helps you develop the most sound plan possible.
Floorplans and Designers
One significant difference between HANA and EEC is in operating requirements. While EEC can be run on Linux, Windows, or Unix, HANA only supports Linux, which is currently only used by 35% of SAP users. For the other 65%, this means that the move to HANA will require a larger Linux transition. It becomes a much larger project.
This exacerbates another central difficulty that organizations face: the skills gap. According to ASUG research, only 35% of companies currently feel that their IT teams are equipped to handle the adoption of new technologies. For most, then, the move isn’t best accomplished with in-house staff.
Hiring others to do the heavy lifting is a good solution. However, this raises yet another potential issue: that there are a finite number of IT firms qualified to do this, and a lot of companies who will be hiring them. A total of 43% of customers adopting SAP HANA plan to make the move within two years. This makes it crucial to secure outside support sooner rather than later, given that such resources might become scarce as others pursue their migration plans.
Hardware and Costs
There’s a big difference between the way current and future users are implementing HANA. While most of the early adopters have gone the on-premises route, 41% of companies are planning a hybrid approach. For these users, infrastructure planning is especially important—discovering how to make the best of current investments while expanding. Nevertheless, 58% of customers who are adopting HANA haven’t yet commissioned any infrastructure providers.
This is connected to another prominent concern: cost, which 63% of surveyed companies mentioned as a potential barrier to migration. While planning for new infrastructure might seem expensive, thoughtful hardware provisioning can lead to increased performance for a relatively small outlay, leading to a better ROI over the long term. Given the scope of the project, potential efficiencies might get overlooked by in-house IT teams.
A Little Help
The evidence generally points in one direction: the majority of organizations will be helped considerably by recruiting an outside firm to make the migration process easier. Though this is an appreciable short-term expense, it’s most likely a reasonable one, given the issues around skills gap, OS requirements, and potential hardware efficiencies. This is a complicated move for which you might want to hire movers.