SAP ILM is not a separate SAP system, it is available as a business function which can be activated via the switch framework and is available in SAP NetWeaver based systems e.g. SAP ECC. Certain areas of SAP ILM are included in your standard licence so it is worth contacting SAP to ascertain whether or not there are additional license costs applicable. Once activated, on top of the default archiving functions the ILM functionality is made available. The 3 main pillars of SAP ILM are Data Archiving, Retention Management and System Decommissioning.
Data archiving is the cornerstone of SAP ILM and focusses mainly on data volume management, it consists of the classical archiving functions which have been available in SAP systems for many years. With SAP ILM these classical functions have been enhanced to allow for integration with the two other cornerstones;
With Retention Management tools and functions are available to manage the lifecycle of the data, from the time the data is created until it has to be destroyed based on legal requirements or other retention policies.
System decommissioning focusses on the end-of-life of systems, allowing the extraction of data from legacy systems, importing it into a datawarehouse and gives the ability to report on it.
What separates SAP ILM from the classical SAP archiving functions is Retention Management, this is also the functionality which relates most to GDPR because it will allow you to erase personal data based on the retention rules created.
From a business perspective an audit area is the scope and reason for an audit, for example tax or product liability. From a technical point of view an audit area contains and covers all data types needed for that audit, for example a list of necessary object types that are assigned to the audit area, as well as relevant structures, tables, and fields. ILM gives the ability to maintain policies and assign rules to them. You define the conditions to which the data should adhere, these could be for example company code or sales organisation. As part of the rule you are able to define the minimum and maximum retention time and the time reference, the latter is important, because with this setting you define from which point in time the retention time should be determined.
How does this exactly relate to GDPR? SAP ILM provides the functionality to make sure personal data is not stored and processed after its original purpose has ended, there could be a period in which the data still needs to be accessible due to varied business processes. At the end of this period, and only if other legal retention periods apply, is ILM allowed to continue to store the data, within this period the data can be blocked so it is only accessible by authorized users, when this period ends the data is destroyed.
Growing levels of data and increasingly complex IT systems make data control a real challenge.
By using effective SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), you can comply with internal, external, and legal requirements for data retention and destruction.
Using SAP NetWeaver Information Lifecycle Management software we can implement advanced rules to control the retention and destruction of your data.
Our experienced SAP consultants will analyse information across your business, mapping requirements for retention, removal and destruction.
We’ll also identify legacy systems that can be decommissioned – streamlining your IT systems and lowering costs.
Your ILM system will provide ongoing data control – giving you piece of mind that your data is efficient, effective and compliant.