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Regulatory and legal pressures will drive ILM adoption by users of SAP software, according to a UK survey from Macro 4

Of users surveyed, 88 per cent expect more data regulation, and 52 per cent are concerned about more litigation

2010.11.24

According to the results of a survey of users of SAP® solutions conducted by Macro 4, a software and services company and SAP partner, increased data regulation and a growing litigation culture are among the issues that will entice them to adopt Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) strategies to provide better control over their data.

Macro 4 questioned 177 organizations that use SAP solutions as part of its survey entitled “A Macro 4 Study: Attitudes to ILM from users of SAP solutions”. Eighty-eight per cent of survey participants said they expect the volume of regulation governing the storage and management of data to increase or increase significantly over the next decade. Fifty-two per cent feel that business litigation, which requires firms to exercise strict control over data relevant to legal cases, will also rise.

Both issues featured highly when the survey sample was asked to highlight the key factors that will drive the implementation of ILM strategies, with 56 per cent mentioning the need to support regulatory compliance and 45 per cent also citing the avoidance of the high costs involved in making data available in legal cases.

“The businesses we talked to in our research are resigned to more regulation and litigation, and it looks like many of them are well aware that having an ILM strategy helps them tackle - in a structured way - the data management challenges that result,” said Lynda Kershaw, Marketing Manager at Macro 4.

ILM requirements are supported by SAP through its SAP NetWeaver® Information Lifecycle Management component, which provides tools and technologies to meet enterprise needs for information retention, destruction, and compliance with legal and regulatory mandates. One of its features enables organizations to preserve records related to a current legal case by collecting and placing the records on hold during the course of the legal action.

The Macro 4 ILMLink software integrates with SAP NetWeaver Information Lifecycle Management to permit the controlled archiving and destruction of documents and data in line with organisations’ data-retention policies.

“Information Lifecycle Management makes it easier for organisations to manage information over the course of its lifetime,” added Kershaw. “This includes ensuring documents and data are retained in line with statutory requirements and remain accessible for audit or legal reasons many years after they were created. Not forgetting making sure the information is responsibly destroyed at end of life – which is also an important compliance issue.”

Importantly, according to Kershaw, Macro 4 ILMLink, part of the company’s Columbus software suite, works with SAP NetWeaver Information Lifecycle Management to support long-term data and document retention while minimizing costs.

Older data that might be required for compliance reasons, but is not needed day to day, can be taken off the live SAP database and transferred to a secure archive where it is retained in a compressed format on low-cost storage media. From here the information can be effectively managed according to rules and policies specified by the SAP customer.

“By taking older data out of the live system you also help to ensure the SAP database performs at its peak. There’s less chance of slow end user responses or batch performance issues and you can run faster backups and restores because you’ve reduced the volume of live data,” concludes Kershaw.

About the Macro 4 Survey
The survey, entitled “A Macro 4 Study: Attitudes to ILM from users of SAP solutions,” is based on an e-mail questionnaire completed by 177 organizations using SAP software in the U.K.

About SAP NetWeaver Information Lifecycle Management
With SAP NetWeaver Information Lifecycle Management, SAP provides the tools and technologies to support information lifecycle management activities that meet enterprise needs for data retention, data destruction, and compliance with legal and regulatory mandates. The solution delivers the following business benefits:

Increased productivity – Automates all aspects of handling an organization’s data, rather than just automating storage procedures

Reduced total cost of ownership – Optimizes use of resources and reduces administrative costs while decommissioning legacy installations of SAP and non-SAP solutions

Compliance with legal requirements and internal service-level agreements – Can implement storage systems that understand and act on data using user-defined rules

Reduced risk – Users experience greater system availability with faster backup and recovery

Maintained flexibility – Adapts to the never-ending flow of new regulations and requirements

About Macro 4
Macro 4 is a global software and services company that helps organizations to improve the performance of their business-critical applications and processes. The company’s solutions for Document and Data Management, Fault Analysis and Performance Management are easy to use, fast to implement and deliver value quickly in even the most complex IT environments. Macro 4 is a division of the UNICOM Group of Companies, which operates in every major market worldwide via US and European subsidiaries and a network of international business partners.

Macro 4’s Data and Document Management solutions capture, store, present and deliver business-critical data and documents throughout the enterprise to increase the efficiency of core applications such as SAP ERP and to support key processes such as application decommissioning and customer service via the Internet or call centers.

SAP, SAP NetWeaver and all SAP logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of SAP AG in Germany and in several other countries. All other product and service names mentioned are the trademarks of their respective companies.

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