SAP has announced it will end SAP ECC6 support by 2027 and companies should start planning their move to SAP’s state-of-the-art SAP S/4HANA platform. The ultimate key component and critical success factor for the SAP S/4HANA migration is SAP data archiving.
Data preparation is key to ensuring a successful data migration and SAP S/4HANA implementation.
Data preparation activities entail:
- Scaling down your IT landscape to ensure leaner systems;
- Removing unnecessary data;
- Removing identified data to a secure storage archive;
- Decommissioning legacy systems while ensuring accessibility to legacy data; and
- Ensuring accessibility to archived data as required for audit and business requirements.
SAP Data Archiving is crucial and an effective strategy in managing ongoing data growth, increasing security, improving compliance and controlling costs.
What does an effective SAP data management (Data Archiving) strategy look like?
1. Assess data
The first step in any efficient data management strategy is to assess your current data. When moving over to SAP S/4HANA, you should take stock of your entire SAP database. This helps to identify what steps you need to take to simplify the migration process.
2. Ensure regulation compliance
With compliance regulation such as POPIA (Protection of Personal Information Act) on your doorstep, it’s imperative to ensure that any data you possess is compliant and follows the strict legal requirements for data retention and destruction. With the POPIA deadline looming, it is advisable to start looking at complying.
Once you have assessed your data and checked its compliance, you can start to work on how to manage it and start the SAP S/4 HANA migration process.
3. Data archiving
With SAP Data Archiving, you can retain older, inactive data that still has a purpose for your business. It allows you to store the information in a less expensive location for long-term retention in case you need to access the data again in the future.
4. Data retention
You must create an effective data retention strategy to ensure that you optimise your data volumes on an ongoing basis. Data will be archived and deleted based on retention policies set, to further ensure compliance and reduce business risk.
Legacy systems are not uncommon in many companies and, unfortunately, you cannot just remove these systems as they typically retain data that is required for legal and business reasons. The recommendation is to review your legacy system landscape and decommission systems in a structured way to retain the data while saving costs from retiring old systems.
6. Data deletion
Once all the above steps have been completed, you can think of deleting any extra data that has no further use for your company, without breaking compliance laws. There is also less risk of a security breach during migration if you have less data transferring at the same time.
We have found that companies have been delaying their migrations across to SAP S/4HANA. In many cases, companies are hesitant due to the complicated nature of the process. The deadline seems years away, but time is running out. Given the benefit gain of fast access to real-time data, analytics and improved functionality, there simply shouldn’t be a reason to delay the migration. At Proceed Group, we have migrated over 100+ customers to SAP S/4HANA, saving them millions. And it all starts with looking at the data
Mookho Kabi-Mantashe, Commercial Director at Proceed Africa.
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