Benefits and challenges of regular archiving

Tuesday, April 20th, 2021

As we like to say: “If you have not done any archiving yet, start today. If you are already archiving, do more! We are passionate about this, as we believe that many companies miss a trick by not making archiving part of their business-as-usual processes. In fact, it is estimated that only 1 in 3 SAP UK customers do any archiving at all.

One element that comes up time and time again, is the lack of a plan to continue archiving once an archiving project has been completed. Not-surprisingly, this is not always something that has been thought of, as typically the driver behind an archiving project is not data management. It is more likely a larger project such as moving to a hyperscaler or migrating to SAP S/4 HANA.

Benefits of regular archiving

In general, an archiving project brings significant data volume savings. This will directly have an impact on elements such as, system performance, reduction in costs for migrations to name a few.

The challenge lies in what happens next. SAP systems will typically grow by 15 – 20% per year, when no archiving is done. And this can be significantly larger when taking into consideration significant business changes.

With this growth, comes an increase in overall costs, but it will also steadily have an impact on risks associated with non-compliance and in the long run, system performance. It might even result in having to do an emergency project in future.

That is the reason we ask customers about their ongoing plans for archiving.

In our experience, by making archiving part of your day-to-day, you can limit database growth to under 2% per annum. This results in reduced costs and lower business risk.

What are the challenges with implementing regular archiving?

In our experience there are several challenges to overcome to ensure effective continuous archiving. It is typically down to the approach taken by the customer and we’ve outlined the considerations with each of these.

Internal team conducting archiving

When making use of an internal team for archiving, the biggest challenge is continuity of service. The following should be considered:

  • Upskilling/enrolling for this role(s)
    • For each FTE required to conduct archiving, at least 2 FTE’s should be trained to cover absences. Without this you will have gaps in your service.
    • There is also the cost of SAP data management training, as these are not core SAP skills. So, whoever you get to do this, they will need additional training
  • In many cases data management is not a top priority and can easily go to the bottom of the list of things to do.

System Integrator will be responsible for archiving

  • We always strongly recommend to customers that they need to get a plan in place.
  • Without a process of continuing the archiving you will miss out on the all the benefits that archiving brings and worse, it can cause business risks in future.When getting your system integrator to look after the ongoing archiving it is important to keep the following in mind.

No immediate plan in place

  • Some customers approach this in a more informal manner. Ie. do the knowledge transfer and get to it when there is time. In our experience, this approach is not conducive for archiving.
    • We always strongly recommend to customers that they need to get a plan in place.
    • Without a process of continuing the archiving you will miss out on the all the benefits that archiving brings and worse, it can cause business risks in future.

What can be done about these challenges?

To ensure continuous archiving and optimising your efforts, the best thing is to get experts to support you.

Proceed has worked with hundreds of customers across the globe and in all industries. We have a team of SAP archiving experts – and this is one of our core strengths. Through our Proceed Archiving Service we provide different options to support your continuous archiving. We can either support your SI’s and internal teams or we can run archiving on your behalf. So, whether you have a plan in place or still considering your options, there is a team out there that can help you.