SAP data protection and compliance

Safeguard your SAP data

What is SAP data protection and compliance

SAP data protection and compliance focuses on understanding and adhering to a myriad of data requirements, be they legal (such as GDPR and POPIA), industry-specific, or internal. Different regions and industries have unique rules governing how data is retained and protected. Businesses must not only grasp these regulations but also establish a robust framework that facilitates compliance, ensuring appropriate data access restrictions and eventual data removal when required.

Why implement is SAP data protection and compliance

Here are some of the business benefits:

Regulatory compliance

Ensure compliance

Manage your data lifecycle effectively to ensure that information is retained and accessible when needed, safeguarded against unauthorised access, and appropriately deleted when no longer required.

Reduce risk

Lower the risk of reputational damage from data breaches and avoid significant fines and penalties. By reducing the amount of data in the system, the severity of potential breaches is also lessened.

Reduce IT and storage cost icon

Reducing IT and storage costs

Deleting obsolete information minimises data volume, reducing storage needs and associated maintenance costs.

Efficient response to data requests

Data that is responsibly deleted can no longer be subject to access, rectification, or erasure requests. This eliminates the time and resources spent on managing or deleting this data, leading to a more efficient and manageable response process.

“Personal data” is defined as “any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person" - Are you on top of this? - We can help!

Tools for SAP data protection and compliance

Here at Proceed, we can support the implementation of range of data protection tools:

Data destruction

For the controlled destruction of privacy relevant SAP data and documents, SAP ILM offers data destruction objects. In the SAP module HCM we find in excess of 800 data destruction objects, and the SAP HCM data destruction objects can (in most of the cases) be used without additional SAP license implications.

Data blocking

Data blocking in SAP systems refers to the mechanism or feature that restricts access to certain data or transactions within the system. It allows organisations to control and manage the visibility and availability of data based on predefined rules and authorisations.

Data masking

Another way to protect SAP data is by hiding or masking data fields by default, giving only authorised users the ability to access unmasked data. This is an effective way to manage different business requirement scenarios.

Restrictions for downloading data

Another way to protect SAP data is by hiding or masking data fields by default, giving only authorised users the ability to access unmasked data. This is an effective way to manage different business requirement scenarios.

User access logging

Another way to protect SAP data is by hiding or masking data fields by default, giving only authorised users the ability to access unmasked data. This is an effective way to manage different business requirement scenarios.

Our approach

By using SAP ILM, other SAP best practice tools and our in-house complimentary products, we assist with meeting regulations. Proceed is proud of our in-house experienced SAP data and document management experts who can help your organisation navigate the transition to compliance. We know both the legislation and SAP, not just for GDPR but all the requirements needed to meet the global plans for data privacy over the next 10 years.

1. Data compliance assessment

A consultative and collaborative approach, bringing together all the key stakeholders to understand the GDPR and other data compliance requirements of the organisation. This approach uses SAP’s Data Protection functionality from the Information Lifecycle Management product (SAP ILM) and other SAP HCM Data Protection tools. Proceed also assists in creating a high-level project plan and identifying potential pitfalls.

2. Proceed GDPR analyser

We typically use the Proceed GDPR analyser in our process. This tool accelerates data analysis, allowing us to locate GDPR and other relevant data within the system. It then maps this data back to its functional source and potential ILM object. This structured approach provides businesses with clarity, equipping them with the insights needed to implement a robust strategy for GDPR compliance.

3. Implementation

After concluding the assessment phase, the next step is implementation. In collaboration with your team, our experts will handle configuration and deployment to align with your data compliance needs. To guarantee a smooth transition and empower your team, we will also provide a detailed knowledge transfer document. This will ensure that you are well-equipped to use the tools and make adjustments as and when your business requirements shift.

4. Manage ongoing compliance

Your journey towards data compliance is ongoing, and we’re here every step of the way. If the need arises, our dedicated team is ready to provide continuous support for system upgrades and patches. In an ever-evolving regulatory landscape, our proactive approach ensures that your operations remain compliant, offering peace of mind against unforeseen shifts in the data protection domain.

Get started by booking a data compliance assessment to understand the GDPR and other data compliance requirements of the organisation.

Planning an SAP data protection and compliance project?

Before beginning an data compliance project, it’s important to obtain buy-in from stakeholders, prepare for project setup and management, and familiarise yourself with best practices and potential pitfalls. To help you get started, we’ve compiled some useful resources for you to reference as you plan your data compliance project.

Mastering GDPR compliance for HR data in SAP

With new data protection regulations being introduced across the globe, there is an increased focus on protection and removal of data for data subjects and, an increased focus compliance for employee data.

Innovative business technology

SAP ILM and Simplified Blocking for GDPR

An introduction to how the SAP ILM solution architecture is leveraged to comply with regulations for experienced SAP system administrators to understand the concept prior to technical enablement.

How to run a data compliance project

Discover the driving factors for a successful compliance project: our expert guides you from setting objectives to project completion, ensuring your project’s success.

Surviving a data breach: A guide for businesses

Are you doing the utmost to prevent a data breach? And if one were to occur, have you done the utmost to minimise its impact? Here, we highlight important considerations and insights on the topic.

Customer successes

We’ve completed hundreds of successful projects for our clients, helping them achieve various goals such as reducing costs, improving performance, and achieving compliance. Our tailored approach and proven track record set us apart. Here are a few data compliance customer successes.

Helsinki university

Helsinki University needed to get a better handle on the massive amounts of personal data in its SAP systems to ensure it was complying with GDPR.

Read case study


To manage compliance and provide information for necessary future audits, Nouryon sought the help of Proceed and their decommissioning tool Proceed Cella.

Read case study

Thanks to our work with Proceed Group, we now have better understanding of how to achieve GDPR compliance within our SAP systems. Our university handles massive amounts of personal data and ensuring we’re meeting these regulations is essential. We are now well on our way to improving our GDPR compliance.


Some of the tools we use

To run successful data compliance  projects, we make use of a range of software solutions – either developed in-house, licenced by SAP or through our partnership network. This is the best way to allow for efficient compliance in SAP.

SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM)

Ensures appropriate data management in line with internal, external and legislative requirements for the data retention and purging. Also the decommissioning of SAP & Non SAP legacy systems can be done simply and efficiently with SAP ILM in conjunction with Proceed Cella.

Proceed Automate

There is often an assumption that SAP ILM has everything you need for HCM Data. In fact, SAP ILM only provides deletion objects and there is no functionality to Block Access to an employee record once they have left the organisation. Our Proceed Automate tool has been developed to compliment SAP ILM to provide a comprehensive compliance project across your SAP HCM personal dat

GDPR Data analyser tool

There are many database tables within a SAP system and identifying which ones could potentially harbour GDPR relevant data is a time-consuming challenge.  Furthermore, mapping the tables back to the business processes and workstreams adds even more complexity. We developed a tool analysis the database tables looking for where GDPR data relevant data may be and mapping it back both to its functional source and potential ILM object. This helps the business decide on an appropriate strategy for meeting GDPR compliance.

Get started with a data compliance assessment

We can guide you towards a seamless data compliance journey. Our consultative and collaborative approach not only ensures a deep understanding but also aids in charting out a project plan while highlighting potential pitfalls.