The digitalization of business processes makes data both a blessing and curse for many companies. On the one hand, digitalizing an increasing number of documents and processes makes it easier to organize, manage and control them. On the other hand, many businesses moan about the constantly rising amount of data and documents that have to be stored, administered and maintained in compliance with the law.
There’s no doubt that this dilemma will become even more acute in the coming years. According to an estimate by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the amount of data generated is growing by 26 percent every year. Between 2020 and 2025, the global volume of data will rise from 59 to 175 zettabytes. Today, businesses are no longer faced with the question of whether they want to follow this trend. The future of the business world and its processes is digital. Organizations have to analyze the accumulating data volume in the best possible way and determine how to make predictions even more precisely driven by the data. What’s more, they have to consider how to make marketing and sales processes more accurate and how products are received in the respective target groups and regions. And on top of all that, these changes must be made as cost-effectively as possible.
A key aspect of digitalizing business processes is the archiving of data and documents. Organizations face the challenge of integrating the ever-expanding amount of data accumulating in SAP® and other enterprise applications into existing processes and storing it securely in accordance with legal requirements. Many providers of ERP systems offer their own solutions for this purpose. However, these are often expensive and lead to a heterogeneous IT system that requires increased administrative effort and makes long-term archiving a complex task.
In this blog post, we highlight the ten benefits your company will reap by making all data available in one central location: a smart archive.
1. Reduced Data Volume in Running Applications
For ERP systems like SAP, a greater number of digital documents causes the associated databases to be filled with copious amounts of data, which eats up resources unnecessarily. After all, a lot of accumulated company data is no longer needed for ongoing processes as time goes on. If the purpose of a data set within a business process has been fulfilled, it doesn’t make sense for it to remain in the active file system or database. With a smart archive, you are able to store all data precisely along its life cycle. This means that once the end of purpose (EoP) is reached, data is moved from the active memory of the running applications to the archive.
2. Better Performing Databases
With a smart archive, you not only minimize the high costs of expanding the in-memory database in SAP; you also simultaneously reduce the burden on the memory of the running system. Information that is no longer needed doesn’t hinder the performance of the ERP system’s database, enabling the entire system to perform better and internal company processes to be accelerated.
3. Revision-Proof Storage of Documents
Systems for data archiving and document storage must comply with numerous legal requirements and company policies. Thanks to certified interfaces, intelligent document management and archiving systems guarantee that these requirements are met throughout the entire life cycle. All data is stored in compliance with archiving routines such as traceability, completeness, protection against alteration and falsification, correctness and immutability. This way, companies benefit from a secure base that enables them to store information in a revision-proof manner.
4. Compliance with Legal Requirements for Data Protection
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) represents another stringent requirement for companies, posing additional challenges for the handling of data. Smart data archiving enables businesses to handle personal data and documents in a GDPR-compliant manner by providing a certified interface to SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM).
5. No Media Disruptions in Document Management
A smart data archive serves as a central digital repository for a company’s entire document volume. Through consistent digitalization of all documents, you can finally bid farewell to media disruptions where your employees are confronted with a number of different carrier media. You can better automate and accelerate processes without any media disruptions at all. As such, the archive becomes the focal point of your company’s digital transformation.
6. Easy Access to Data and Documents
In addition to the complete digitalization of information, a smart archiving system also allows you to link data and documents with additional metadata. This way, you can conveniently search the data and access it in a very targeted way. With the lean Archive Client, you have a high-performance tool at your disposal that always gives you a clear overview of the archive.
7. Avoid Redundant Data and Documents
Certified interfaces to your ERP software ensure that data from all systems and processes are linked to the archive. With the help of the smart data archive, you can realize integrated document management for all processes, making redundant data and documents a thing of the past.
8. Cost and Capacity Savings in the System Landscape
With a comprehensive archive for your entire range of enterprise applications, companies are no longer dependent on the isolated solutions of individual archiving applications. This has several benefits: you minimize costs for additional software licenses, the need for training is reduced and the relatively high administrative effort for maintaining the different systems is eliminated.
9. Linking with External Documents and Seamless SAP Process Integration
Smart data archiving enables you to link both SAP and non-SAP documents with each other on a transaction-by-transaction basis. This is because both SAP and non-SAP information can be researched and retrieved directly from the SAP environment in the data archive.
10. Use of SAP Archiving for Other Company Applications Thanks to Complete Integration
In addition to SAP as the central ERP system, organizations normally have numerous other applications in use, for example in human resources, procurement or contract management. Transaction-based smart archiving makes it possible to include these enterprise applications in a variety of business processes. This way, the tiresome limitation of many processes to SAP data becomes a thing of the past.