Although many businesses have taken the first step of acquiring an SAP HANA license, very few have completed the migration to SAP HANA so far.
Out of approximately 7,900 SAP S/4HANA licenses sold, only about 1,500 have been used. With the 2025 deadline looming, by when all SAP customers need to move off traditional SAP ERP running on legacy databases, why have so many businesses made a costly initial investment in HANA, but not followed through with the migration?
Here’s why so few have made the jump — and what to do if you’re one of them.
Why Companies Put Off Their SAP HANA Migration
Disruption and Cost
Many organizations have been on SAP for a decade or more. They may have incurred substantial costs to upgrade their landscape at various points, and may have experienced excessive disruption or cost overruns in the past.
They’re concerned that migrating to an entirely new database platform will lead to major retrofit efforts, cost overruns, excessive downtimes or other unforeseen problems.
Concerns About Risk
Businesses understand that the day-to-day functioning of their companies depends on their mission critical ERP environments, and all the infrastructure and management services to keep those environments functioning.
The fact that they’re adopting a new platform, either on new hardware or in the cloud — which requires new skills, processes and configurations — naturally makes them worry about risk.
The Need to Handle More Immediate Issues
Maintaining a legacy SAP landscape, along with any other business initiatives in flight, may already be keeping a customer’s application and technical support teams busy. A new platform project which may involve replacing and upgrading hardware, migrating to the cloud, new skills and training, and business process changes, among other factors, may strain existing IT resources.
Once you’ve decided to migrate to HANA, there are other factors to weigh before considering implementation. You should realistically use this milestone to strategize about your cloud migration options, hosting environment, whether to move your application suite to SAP S/4HANA, and your application vendor support and ongoing IT strategy.
The confluence and criticality of these decisions often result in a company unable to make the decisions required to start their digital transformation journey.
How to Complete Your SAP HANA Migration
When SAP vendors talk to users planning a SAP HANA migration, we tend to talk additionally about the benefits of S/4HANA. But the S/4HANA hype can paradoxically hold organizations back.
Suddenly, they’re not planning a needed technological platform upgrade, albeit with significant performance and architectural improvements — they’re planning a complete transformation of their business. And many organizations aren’t quite ready to be transformed by software they haven’t even tried yet.
If you’re stuck, it’s time to simplify and scale back your goals.
Concentrate on moving to Suite on HANA in a way that shows quick ROI and minimizes disruption. Remember, a HANA migration doesn’t require your organization to change, but it does bring about significant back-end improvements on how your business natively runs.
You can gain a substantial performance and visibility boost while keeping the same applications and workflow you’re used to — and you can do it with minimal downtime. Once you’ve had a successful migration and tried out HANA, it will be much easier to plan your next move, whether it’s to the cloud, transforming your enterprise with S/4 HANA or exploring new frontiers with Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain or the Internet of Things.