News Detail » SAP Throws Down the Next-Generation Architecture Gauntlet With HANA

SAP has started a new generation of application infrastructure and architectures effort focused on cloud and in-memory. The new vision will force the competition to respond; but addressing its potentially disruptive impact on SAP's most-conservative customers' requirements will be a key challenge.

Overview

SAP has begun to unveil details of its long-term application infrastructure strategy (originally announced in 2010) based on in-memory database management system (DBMS), mobility and cloud. This initiative is a bold attempt to effect a generational change for the company, and to allow it to compete with industry and thought-leading architectures. The vision is very ambitious, and, at the same time, consistent with users' aspirations. This research provides CIOs, CTOs, IT planners, enterprise technology architects, application managers and project leaders with an overview of the midterm and long-term implications of SAP's emerging technology strategy.

Key Findings

  • SAP application infrastructure and architecture strategy, dubbed HANA Architecture, combines cloud and in-memory technologies in a progressive, and potentially disruptive, vision.
  • The HANA Architecture will underpin SAP's software as a service (SaaS) and packaged business application strategy.
  • The first manifestations of SAP's new vision are the HANA analytical appliance, the Business ByDesign software development kit (SDK) and the recently announced Project River application platform as a service (aPaaS) offerings.
  • The HANA Architecture is a work in progress, and will undergo several significant changes before it is completed. This potentially exposes SAP users to challenges for migrating to, and integrating with, different technology generations.
  • SAP's vision will force megavendor competitors to respond by clearly and openly articulating their cloud and in-memory computing strategies.
  • In addition to addressing formidable technology and go-to-market challenges, SAP will have to introduce its highly innovative vision in a way that will be acceptable to the most-conservative part of its customer base.

Recommendations

  • SAP users should plan for a migration of their NetWeaver-based applications to SAP's HANA Architecture within the next three to five years. At the same time, users must determine if there are opportunities to improve their Advanced Business Application Programming (ABAP) applications with the new infrastructure.
  • SAP clients and partners should consider that the HANA Architecture likely will have a significant industry impact, because it will be SAP's focus for its next-generation application strategy.
  • Presently, users should adopt HANA technology, when available, primarily for high-return/fast ROI projects or for nonbusiness-critical applications, especially where complex analytics are crucial requirements.