Common Challenges to SAP HANA Migration

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Since the launch of SAP HANA, plenty has been written about the benefits of getting on board – but are you also aware of the challenges you’ll need to overcome?

With their HANA database, SAP didn’t just produce an upgrade to previous solutions, they produced a new paradigm for data storage, management and analysis. And it was met with both excitement and trepidation.

In its current iteration, HANA provides entirely new ways of managing your data, thanks to a significantly advanced approach to data storage and the improved agility you’d expect from additional cloud functionality.

However, as with any large enteprise migration, there are significant challenges that need to be overcome for any business that wants to take advantage of everything SAP HANA offers. Here some of the more common issues:

Justifying the Costs of Migration

It’s something of an understatement to say that finance departments aren’t always eager to jump on board with plans to adopt costly new technology – especially when there’s a price increase.

So, it’s no wonder that 46% of respondents to a HCL-commissioned insider RESEARCH survey of SAP end users said high deployment cost was the biggest barrier to adoption.

To justify the investment required for SAP HANA migration you’ll need to prepare a business plan, which can be tricky with a new system. Accurately estimating the time and effort needed for adoption can often feel like guesswork but is vital to calculating ROI.

Increased Deployment Analysis, Planning Execution Costs

Although any major software change will require extensive preparation, the transition to SAP HANA from other databases will require significant analysis, planning and execution processes. And therefore a much higher cost.

Whilst HANA has the potential to revolutionise your business, sometimes it’s not obvious how you’re going to achieve this. To get the most out of HANA you’ll need to evaluate, reevaluate and assess how you’re going to use it.

The extra time and cost required to analyse your systems, plan out your migration and actually execute it can be difficult to justify to those in charge of the purse strings.

Incompatibility with Custom Code

To stay competitive, migration to SAP HANA is a must, but you can’t migrate until your custom ABAP code is HANA-ready. This is the biggest step on the HANA journey, but cleaning your code has long term value, as well as being essential for migration.

The SAP HANA database has fundamental differences from traditional row-based databases, which means you’ll need to clean up the code in all places where SQL statements are concerned. It’s extremely likely that any migration will require fixes for tens of thousands of issues and although SAP Code Inspector can identify issues, it doesn’t help you manage the fixing project.

Depending on how you approach your custom code adaptation task, it can be anything from a 5-month project for 3 people to one that takes 8 employees 8 months.

Gekkobrain was literally designed to solve this particularly time-consuming barrier to adoption. Not only does it identify SQL statements in your database but it also estimates the effort needed to fix the issues, and filters out redundant or unused code eliminating up to 90% of issues requiring a fix and delivering massive savings.

It’s also the perfect project-management tool for SAP HANA database migrations, assigning each issue a priority status indicating the level of performance degradation that will be incurred without intervention – from systems failure to slow down.

Gekkobrain also runs daily SAP Code Inspections to keep track of which issues have already been fixed, which are still open and any new issues that have occurred from any new problematic code being committed.

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