SAP Set to Deliver HANA as a Cloud Service

Michael Vizard

Fulfilling a promise made in 2012, SAP at its Sapphire Now conference later this month will announce the availability of its High Performance Analytics Appliance (HANA) as a service in the cloud.

Speaking at the Cloud Analytics Summit today, Stephen Spears, SAP senior vice president for application development, integration and IT management, said SAP will not only deliver HANA in the cloud, but also make available a wide variety of business intelligence services running on top of HANA that will be targeted at a variety of vertical industries.

SAP HANA can already be deployed on Amazon Web Services in the cloud, but the next major SAP effort involves building out a complete ecosystem for SAP HANA in the cloud.

Spears says that one of the biggest fundamental challenges that enterprise IT organizations face today is that employees and customers alike expect them to be able to deliver an IT experience that is similar to what they get from providers of Web applications aimed at consumers.

The challenge that creates is that business users now want to be able to interact with data in real time in order to be able to respond to opportunities and issues in the actual moment they are occurring.

Unfortunately, Spears says enterprise IT organizations have a long history of slow pedaling adoption of new applications on the assumption that it will take a fair amount of time to adjust to internal business processes. But in the age of the cloud, business users want to hear a lot more from IT about what is the new art of the possible, says Spears.

In fact, Spears says organizations should now being thinking about applying “design thinking” principles to business processes as part of an effort to reimagine how they might be executed in a world where in-memory computing platforms such as HANA make it possible to process transactions and analytics applications simultaneously in real time.

While it’s not clear how long it will be before new platforms such as HANA have a material impact on business processes, chances are it will happen faster than previous major alterations to the enterprise IT landscape have occurred.

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