Data is everywhere, and can come from anywhere. Transactional systems, data warehouses, cloud apps, social media, the Internet of Things; the list goes on and on. It can take many different structured and unstructured forms, and is constantly combining and interacting to form complex, dynamic systems. This growing data chaos presents enormous challenges for businesses and public sector organizations – but also unprecedented opportunities to extract valuable insights from this rapidly expanding resource.
As the data grows, so do business user expectations. IT organizations must find a way to modernize the core to stimulate incremental growth, while being able to innovate at the edge to propel exponential growth. This is not an either/or choice: to master digital chaos you need to do both simultaneously by adopting a “bimodal” architecture. This requires a fundamentally new approach, where there is no longer a differentiation between transactional and analytical data. At SAP, we call this “universal data”.
We have defined the main principles behind creating this logical data fabric for the organization. When you search on Google, you enter a simple instruction and your question is answered by every piece of relevant information on the Internet. Think of universal data as Google in a business setting: one place where data is queried, and one logical data universe within an enterprise that encompasses all data in all systems whether on premise or in the cloud.
The key to achieving this vision of unconstrained access to universal data across the enterprise is a modern data platform. SAP HANA was designed with the goal of full data access via a single query, and provides a true universal data environment – including database, application, integration, and processing services – across the enterprise. It was built from the ground up on a simplified architecture using in-memory technology, allowing both analytics and transactional workloads to be combined on a single platform.
But SAP HANA now goes far beyond the ability to transact and analyse data from your enterprise systems in real time. It provides the flexibility to access data from virtually any internal or external source, and eliminates the need for data stores and data marts. It removes the need for indexes and aggregates, vastly simplifying the preparation of data for analysis. And its powerful compute and analytics engines means graph, geospatial, predictive, text and search can all be done within the platform without moving the data.
So this modern data platform ticks all the boxes for the successful digital enterprise. It will help create a single, trusted view of the truth with high data integrity and minimal duplication. It provides a single business interface for all users, with radically simplified data access without moving data from place to place to act on it. And it enables you to combine SAP and external data of all types from any number of sources – Hadoop, Internet of Things and the cloud – to turn data into decisions.
SAP HANA is at the heart of SAP’s digital business framework, which dramatically simplifies the IT landscape and provides an expandable platform for future business innovation. It ties into the full suite of SAP applications, both at the core with SAP S/4HANA and at the edge with our line-of-business applications and innovation accelerators such as robotics, natural interfaces, 3D printing, Internet of Things, cognitive systems, and next-generation security.
Driven by cloud, enterprise mobility, Big Data, analytics, and social media, SAP HANA provides the modern data platform you need to run a live business today, and also enables you to build the innovative applications you need to respond to the challenges of tomorrow. If you would like to find out more, download the SAP Digital Business Framework or visit SAP.com/dataislive.