The below blog post comes from a white paper produced by ASUG and Gimmal: Cruising Along the Information Highway: Understanding your SAP EIM Environment. It discusses the results of a recent survey of the ASUG community surrounding information management best practice awareness.
When it comes to enterprise information management (EIM), it can be difficult to get away from what already exists. Information is quirky. Because information (data, documents, and the like) is a growing entity, it has the potential to overwhelm or bottleneck your company if you don’t have a strategy for putting everything in its proper place.
SAP technology can create an abundance of information. Being able to manage this SAP information, store it, and easily retrieve it when it’s needed is crucial to the efficiency of a business. Are people thinking about the different factors that might go into an information flow strategy, particularly as companies prepare their data to migrate from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA? Are they equipped with the right tools to execute that strategy?
When it comes to handling information, there is a surprising knowledge gap.
A significant portion of survey participants are unsure whether their company has a corporate policy for classifying and managing the life cycle of electronic documents. Another segment of this audience can definitively state that the company does NOT have a corporate data policy. These two groups combine to make up half of all respondents. This points to obvious challenges in how the survey participants manage documents. The most common overall challenge with this process is the time-consuming nature of finding and retrieving documents.
This points to obvious challenges in how the survey participants manage documents. The most common overall challenge with this process is the time-consuming nature of finding and retrieving documents.
For those who do not have a corporate data policy, the biggest challenge is a lack of rules for when documents should be archived. This is also particularly true for smaller companies (with $500 million or less in annual revenue). The absence of a corporate data policy affects archiving strongly, indicating that EIM issues are systemic. Problems in one area of data management can quickly ripple through to affect other processes.
Archiving is a noteworthy issue, because it’s not a process that is often considered an immediate need. As more companies develop their data strategy to transition to SAP S/4HANA, however, they are coming to realize this is no longer true. In-memory databases do not scale in the same way as a typical database, introducing ballooning costs and performance issues when large amounts of unstructured data are retained for extended periods.
As migrations to SAP HANA take place, lacking a clear plan for what to do with data that already exists could become a hurdle for many. Continuing to keep unstructured content in memory will no longer be an option. Yet many companies have not taken the initiative to explore this issue.
When those who are live on, or planning to transition to, SAP S/4HANA were asked what they will do with data or documents that are older or have been unused for a while (e.g., archived), 47 percent had a defined strategy ready to take shape. Another 47 percent do not know what they are going to do with this information. Yes, you read that right: As many people have no idea how to handle archived data when migrating to SAP S/4HANA as those who are ready with a plan.
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