SAP headquarters

Three years into its life SAP’s HANA in-memory isn’t a push-over sale, according to a survey by the SAP Americas User Group.

As outlined in InfoWorld, of the 377, almost 60 per cent said their firm hasn’t bought into the technology.

“Three-quarters of the respondents who said they have not yet purchased any SAP HANA products say they can’t identify a business case that justifies the cost,” Thomas Wailgaum blogged othe ASUG site. “SAP partner responses in the survey also cited “better business case guidance” as the top factor that would influence their clients’ HANA purchasing decision.”

In other words, CIOs don’t think there’s a business case for the technology. Perhaps that’s not surprising. In a number of industries one of the main advantages of in-memory processing — the speed of real-time analysis — isn’t needed. Overnight is good enough. There may also be a dollar problem as well — the organization has invested enough in existing technology, something extra isn’t needed right now.

There’s a constant struggle in IT: Vendors are always finding new tools to add to their products (or new products to their lines), many of which promise to increase productivity and therefore meet business needs. On the other hand there’s only so much new technology an enterprise can absorb in a year. Even if there is no price differential between a new technology and the one it replaces, a serious shift in the way the product works and its interface naturally gives IT pros pause.

In the case of HANA, not only is the database new, applications using it may need to be re-written.

Industry analyst Ray Wang and chairman of Constellation Research told InfoWorld the survey results aren’t surprising. “Many folks are trying to make sense of their SAP HANA [proof-of-concepts],” he said. “One of the challenges is that SAP marketed the technology very well but not the use cases.”

For its part SAP told the news service that the company “has programs in place to address key priorities raised by customers, including true costs of ownership, implementation scenarios and use cases as well as the business value of SAP HANA.”

Let us know if your organization uses HANA, or hasn’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, and why in the Comment section below.