By Deanna Mollett, Partner & Director of ILM Services
At the Las Vegas TechEd 2016 conference, what happened there…is happening everywhere! Whether greenfield, system conversion, or landscape transformation, HANA was the word on everyone’s lips. Digitized, mobilized, and cloud technology innovations were showcased in conference agendas and on the show floor. I was able to assess cool new tools, participate in hands-on workshops, and attend Roadmap talks. Throughout, I couldn’t drift far from the idea that the human factor is the “generational” factor in this richly integrated “next gen” technology frontier. HANA adaptation is all about transforming how companies access and apply data to expand their businesses. For Big Data to be predictive, shape market direction, influence consumer behavior, fulfill orders faster, and be compliant, it has to be clean and agile.
Data volume management is a winning bet for cashing in on the core benefits of HANA, yet many companies might roll the dice without this best practice. Feedback from customers when discussing archiving pre-HANA indicate a lot of misinformation and assumptions – “Compression in HANA reduces footprint, so volume is not a problem, and we don’t need to archive.”
Throughout TechEd 2016 sessions I attended, from ‘Preparing for HANA’ to ‘Data Volume Management in HANA,’ the messaging was very clear: Archiving data is an essential preparation step to reduce conversion costs and a continued best practice for risk and cost management.
Starting with cost, data volume is a barrier to minimizing hardware and license scaling and project budgets. In our experience at Simply ILM, we observed 20-40%–or more–of production system data is related to cross-functional technical data and housekeeping. On average, our assessments have identified that customer production systems are burdened with 6 or more years of data in the system. In the most extreme cases, an organization may have 10 or more years of data! This volume burden can be literally half or more of in-memory sizing. In many of these cases, archiving was started strategically, then stopped. Instituting best practices for data volume management before your HANA project, followed by aging (S/4), and Archiving/ILM practices in S/4 and Suite (SoH) HANA environments, controls costs and risks with implementation, landscape sustainment, and information compliance. Our blog post on data quality delves into the impact of poor data quality and the human factors setting up new initiatives to fall short.
Simply ILM presented at the Chicago and Wisconsin ASUG chapter meeting on November 15, 2015. This event hosted a CEO panel discussion that offered a full deck of insights on the human factor of successful SAP roll-outs. Here are a few takeaways that are still hot topics at SAP TechEd and beyond one year later:
“Identify shadow processes users ‘innovate’ to make the day go easier.” – Our observation is that shadow or short-cut processes are often at the root of data quality issues and are destined to reappear without a data management monitoring and action plan in motion.
One executive stated “87% of projects fail due to lack of executive support and treating the project as an IT rather than business process transformation project.” – This number may have been a figurative reference for emphasis, and it’s not far off. Gartner is widely noted for a study of 50 ERP projects in which 75% failed at some level, with lacking executive support or governance as key causes. This is a true parallel to data volume management practices and a big reason archiving processes are not maintained.
“A sign of success on the human side of technology is when people are curious and dig deeper.” – In the documentary “Sound City,” Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor said it best: “Tools are great, but you need the human element to make it work [sic]”. Process transparency, benchmarking, collaborative problem solving, and creativity are all supportive to the human side of next gen technologies and maximizing the investment.
Meaningful metrics, transparent knowledge sharing, and 16 years of data archiving projects. The team at Simply ILM applies over 50 collective years of SAP implementation experience to build bridges between the human and technical elements that IT and Business teams are challenged by in “next gen” projects. We have done the homework to optimize your data management and archiving practices to offer “best of breed” solutions through strategic technology partnerships. What’s on your mind when it comes to data quality, data management, archiving, or preparing for HANA conversion? We invite you to contact Christine Young at firstname.lastname@example.org, and set up a consultation so we can help you get answers to those questions and start planning for your business’ future. And be sure to follow us on Twitter for more news from our team: @SimplyILM.