To deliver new value and enable innovation, organizations are striving to build intelligent enterprises that run on insight from data delivered in real time. The transition can be challenging especially in this digital era. Enterprises are accumulating increasing volumes of data, yet they struggle to identify what data is relevant and how to manage the data they are collecting. Success hinges on the way an enterprise uses data to transform it into data capital and the way the organization invests in data technology.
Many organizations utilize SAP enterprise software to manage their data capital; however, as of 2025, SAP software will run on only one database, SAP HANA. This deadline and the desire to leverage SAP’s next-generation applications, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, are driving enterprises to migrate to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA.
Dell EMC and Intel commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a market survey and a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI). The purpose of the study is to evaluate key challenges, drivers, benefits, and costs of migrating to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA and determine Dell EMC’s overall impact in delivering value against those factors.
To gather insights on the state of organizations migrating to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA, Forrester surveyed 550 global IT decision makers (ITDMs) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) application owners at enterprises that have either implemented or are in the process of implementing SAP HANA and are at least planning to implement SAP S/4HANA.
Survey responses suggest the migration is not without its challenges, such as high costs, cloud migration issues, storage availability for applications and data, and struggles to maintain control over the environment. Organizations pursued a variety of approaches and best practices to smooth the migration, but when we asked respondents in hindsight to choose the approaches they wished they had taken, three of the top four answers revolved around making additional investments in storage and data protection.
TEI RESULTS FOR COMPOSITE ORGANIZATION
To better understand the benefits, costs, and risks associated with investments in storage and data protection, Forrester interviewed six Dell EMC customers with experience migrating workloads to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA. Each of the interviewed customers transitioned to a modern IT architecture designed to deliver high-speed performance, scalable business architecture, and integrated security. In addition, customers found that Dell EMC Storage and Data Protection enabled them to better align their enterprises around the generation of data capital — a collection of digital assets that drive value for an organization.
Forrester modeled the $7 million of benefits for the composite organization based upon the storage and data protection experiences shared by the Dell EMC customers interviewed. Forrester calculated all benefits over three years and adjusted for the risk or uncertainty of outcomes. The top five benefits were as follows:
- Improved efficiency of business operations valued at $2.4 million.
- Increased speed of development worth over $1.2 million.
- Avoided errors and inconsistencies of global invoicing processing valued at $990,855.
- Reduced operating cost of continuing to use previous storage solution of $874,057.
- Reduced wait time for end users to complete compute jobs valued at $844,597.
Key Investment Drivers And Results
The interviewed Dell EMC customers shared the following factors for their storage and data protection investments to support SAP HANA and S/4 HANA:
- Decrease system downtime. Due to the 24×7 nature of business, business executives mandated that IT administrators compress the windows set aside for system updates and changes.
- Reduce storage complexity. Organizations pursued a strategy to standardize on a single technology platform and thereby simplify storage administration, backup, disaster recovery, and consistency in global data center management.
- Improve agility, cost controls, and reduce business risk. In response to these objectives, ITDMs expressed the need for a solution that integrates a multicloud approach with on-premises solutions.
- Changing business dynamics. Organizations needed a scalable storage solution that enabled them to invest in their data centers in a manner that was consistent with their overall business strategy.
Dell EMC Storage & Data Protection For SAP HANA And S/4HANA Investment Today Can Create Future Opportunities
The value of flexibility is clearly unique to each customer, and the measure of its value varies from organization to organization. There are multiple scenarios in which a customer might choose to implement Dell EMC Storage & Data Protection for SAP HANA & S/4HANA and later realize additional uses and business opportunities, including:
- Ease of future S/4HANA upgrades. The food products executive told Forrester, “The infrastructure that we’re on now has already put us in the position where we don’t have to worry about any future restraints or restrictions from the asset view side and what their hardware requirements are going to be.”
- Building internet-of-things (IoT) strategies. The service provider executive looking to leverage IoT data told Forrester: “We are working with Dell EMC to understand how we can have more data endpoints and leverage Dell EMC to collect, aggregate, and integrate device management beyond just its own technology. We want to manage IoT devices the same way that we manage Dell EMC storage.”
- Increased view of the data protection environment. With the automated monitoring, analysis, and reporting on backup and recovery, infrastructure administrators are better positioned to manage service levels and, if necessary, take corrective action to optimize performance in the future.
Enterprise decision makers understand the importance of their most valuable capital asset — their data. As such, organizations are investing heavily in migrating critical workloads to SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA. This investment is driven by the 2025 end-of-service life for SAP applications that aren’t running on SAP HANA databases, but also by the need for improved business agility, risk mitigation, better user experience, and enhanced time-to-value.