By Deanna Mollett, Partner & Director of ILM Services
Archiving….when is the right time to start the process? Where does archiving fit in the overall IT strategy? System size is just one indicator when considering these questions. System performance can also be an indicator for archiving integration. While both system size and performance benefit from archiving, they rarely stand alone as the business case for archiving.
Archiving is not like other projects from a purely cost/benefit analysis view. It does not directly contribute to generating sales. ROI and other direct benefits associated with archiving are derived from avoided managed cost of the SAP landscape. This number can be very compelling; however, when or if to earmark archiving in the IT project list needs to translate the IT motivations for archiving to a business case. Building a case to start archiving on the issues of system size or even performance are rarely compelling–after all, disk is cheap!
Disk is cheap….and data is expensive.
Here are my Top 5 Reasons to Integrate Archiving (Other Than System Size):
- New Implementations. Yes, you read this correctly…NEW! Whether for a complete process renovation as part of an upgrade, or a new business process implementation, archive eligibility is important. Archiving in SAP is designed to preserve stand-alone data integrity and cross-functional integration. Data only archives when the defined eligibility criteria are met. This is referred to as “business complete.” During new implementations, the focus is on “getting this process working.” The result could range from customized variations of standard coding, or perhaps partial handling of a specific data type. Conducting proactive archive eligibility checks during new business process development or system implementation prevents surprises and added timeline in a future archiving project.
- Corporate Realignments. Companies are divested, bought, sold, and merged. Operations may consolidate from 10 plants down to a few. Obsolete or divested data is not needed going forward for day-to-day business. If realignment and organizational changes are on the horizon, or have already occurred, consider archiving this data to reduce the company’s exposure to audit or legal risk, save space, and manage cost.
- Unicode Conversion. OK, I realize I said system size is not one of the “others.” But, consider this point: Average growth rate can be up to 1.8 times greater than before Unicode. Google the phrase “managed cost and ERP systems” and you will find materials quoting per-GB annual managed cost of $250 or more for ERP Systems. Most of the companies I’ve worked with have ranged from $60 to $150 per GB, per year. Doesn’t seem like a big deal–right? This managed cost must be calculated by the total number of Production system copies and mirrors. For example, if a system has 6 copies/mirrors from Production, a $150 GB/year managed cost becomes $900 GB/year. Let’s say the Production system has used space of 2 Terabytes, the annual managed cost, just for the system to basically exist, is over $1.9 million–before Unicode! Archiving reduces used system space and, therefore, reduces managed cost.
- HANA. Currently, a single appliance to support HANA has a maximum 1 TB capacity. Converted data volumes is a barrier to entry to HANA from purely a hardware cost standpoint. If archiving has been put on the back burner for years and HANA is being planned, an archiving jump-start is an essential action item.
- Data Retention Compliance. Watch your news channel of choice and it’s easy to connect events of today and recent past to why IT and business are stewards of data governance and compliance. Certain industries mandate data retention requirements, and tax laws set limits for retaining data. Most companies have a Corporate Retention Policy. The policy may have been written for legacy systems or paper documents and needs updating to current ERP systems. Data retention non-compliance can enumerate huge risks. Integrating archiving practices and, to the greater extent, Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), supports compliant data management according to tax, legal, and regulatory data retention requirements.
Your next question may be “How do we get started?”
Contact us about setting up a meeting with me, Deanna Mollett, to discuss Archiving Express™. Our assessment produces a roadmap for archiving, based on a combination of analysis points and comparing the best options for implementing archiving in your system. Having options is important, and that is why our assessment approach has been developed to provide more than one path for successfully implementing archiving in your SAP system. With this roadmap, you are equipped with everything you need to know to build a case for integrating archiving in your SAP landscape.