Challenges and Recommendations
IDC research has shown that many organizations have difficulty building their business case for new technology. Given this state of affairs, SAP needs to be proactive in helping customers build their business case for an in-memory platform that underlies both analytics and transactions. IT operations factors should also be considered. In addition, SAP should assist organizations in measuring business benefits derived from business innovations, faster access to real-time data, and IT simplification.
Since it seems likely that other vendors will eventually offer technology to compete with SAP HANA, providing unified functionality for key business workloads, pressure will remain on SAP into the indefinite future to continue innovating in order to maintain SAP’s leadership position in this important technology area.
IDC expects profound changes to the way organizations do business as the result of an IMDB-driven unified system of record and decision. Beyond simply making applications run faster and enabling more detailed, analytic-driven in-process decisions, this technology will open the door to far-reaching changes in the ways in which business is done.
SAP HANA is an example of such a system. With it, the closely-related business-transaction areas covered by SAP Business Suite may be maintained together in a single system, and additional data used for various kinds of analysis, including trends and context provided by social media data, may be integrated with it and leveraged so that both transactions and analytics can be optimized and enriched.
With this in mind, users should consider the following:
Examine your business systems, especially the data-intensive systems, and consider how closely they are operationally interrelated and interdependent yet managed completely separately and coordinated only through extensive inefficient and often labor-intensive processes.
Consider the extent to which your enterprise is a slave to the fixed processes and definitions of IT, without the ability to dynamically change and innovate to meet shifting business demands.
Imagine what your business would look like if you could process any related data together, could transact business while simultaneously using analytic data about transactions in process, and could adjust business processes and even automate business decisions based on the actual facts of the moment rather than make decisions later, based on data that takes hours or even days to collect and distribute.
Estimate the benefits that could arise from adopting a unified in-memory data platform to drive business processes, combining both transactions and analytics in real time.
For too long, users have formed their expectations for business process integration and informed decision-making based on the limitations of their existing IT systems. It is time to demand that those systems apply the full potential of IT to transform the business. Business should never shape its processes to conform to the limitations of IT, but rather, IT should stretch its capability to meet the needs of the business.