How SAP ILM Can Help Companies Comply With Data Privacy Policies

SAP Information Lifecycle Management (SAP ILM) is a data lifecycle management tool for ABAP-based SAP systems.


Its purpose is to help organizations manage live and archived data based on business-specific rules that derive from a company’s own data protection and privacy policies, as well as legal and regulatory mandates such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


Data Management and Privacy with SAP ILM

SAP ILM-based data archiving focuses on mass data that is subject to retention requirements, and that companies want to store in archives, primarily for performance reasons. For example, the retention period according to a tax code is the primary purpose for keeping data a certain period of time. However, from a data privacy perspective, the processing of personal data is in the context of the intended purpose. When the primary or original purpose of processing no longer exists, retention can only be based on other binding principles, such as legal retention periods. The requirement is that personal data whose processing purpose no longer exists must be deleted, unless other retention periods apply. In that case, the data must be blocked. Deletion in this context means that the data can no longer be recovered once removed, and blocking means data won’t be deleted, but it can’t be involved in any processing that isn’t based on legal, contractual, or statutory obligations.


Retention management with SAP ILM gives an organization the ability to manage the lifecycle of productive data in SAP Business Suite and in SAP S/4HANA based on previously-defined rules. This data may either be stored in the database or in a BC-ILM-certified storage system. This makes SAP ILM an important component of a company’s compliance strategy, as it helps companies comply with legal regulations on data retention. These regulations depend on the country and industry in which a company operates and also define the country in which business data must be stored (also known as the country of origin).


One of the most recent regulations in this area is GDPR. It came into effect on May 25, 2018, and is a regulation in European Union (EU) law protecting the personal data (name, address, ID numbers, online activity, etc.) of all EU residents. GDPR impacts any and all companies who do business in the EU or process the data of EU residents. It also pertains to EU companies with more than 250 employees, or fewer than 250 employees but process sensitive data. Its enactment led to a renewed focus on data privacy compliance in many organizations.


As the implementation date for GDPR approached, many companies felt a lot of pressure to overcome the issue of blocking and deleting personal data. Luckily, SAP ILM features many components to assist companies with data management and can be used for a GDPR implementation project.


The SAP Information Lifecycle Management Book

Many companies are in need of data retention management, so we published SAP Information Lifecycle Management: The Comprehensive Guide to help them get started.


Start with an introduction to SAP ILM, where you’ll learn about data retention from the perspective of different business areas and the associated legal regulations. You’ll receive insight on the basic functions of SAP ILM and understand how to configure and operate the system. Dive deeper into additional functions such as notifications, enhancements, the SAP ILM Work Center, and the SAP ILM Store.


Next, learn how to block and archive both master and transactional data. You’ll also learn how to create and maintain application rule variants. Gain insight on the configuration and implementation of SAP ILM in an SAP S/4HANA Cloud system and receive an explanation about prerequisites and special features during setup. You’ll be introduced to the functions of SAP ERP HCM that handle personal data and authentication control. Then, learn about the destruction of data in SAP ERP HCM using SAP ILM.


Explore SAP ILM GDPR project implementation and discover the individual business processes and the responsible parties involved. You’ll gain practical knowledge about how a GDPR project can look in an enterprise using SAP ILM.


Then, learn how to handle legacy data from shutdown systems. Here, the book discusses data replication, archiving, and the transfer of archive files to the retention warehouse.

Wrap up with a discussion about whether and how SAP ILM can or should be used in conjunction with customer developments. Important prerequisites are presented before the development of data destruction objects and the creation of SAP ILM objects are explained.


Who Is This Book For?

This book is beneficial for those responsible for the planning, implementation, support/control, or auditing of an SAP ILM or GDPR project. It can help anyone who is looking for a detailed understanding of the functionalities and use of SAP ILM.


About the Authors

Iwona Luther has been working at SAP in the area of data archiving, which has evolved over the years into SAP ILM, for the past 20 years. She initially worked as a developer, then as a project manager, coordinator, and in quality assurance. She is responsible for the customer courses BIT660, BIT670, and BIT665, and she is the product standard owner for SAP ILM. Iwona is also the contact person for the DSAG and ASUG Data Archiving and SAP ILM working groups.


Nicole Fernandes has worked as a translator for English, French, and German texts since 2005. Her fields of expertise are software/information technology and medical research/genetics. Her projects have included the translation of specialized ERP systems and industry-specific software solutions for the temporary employment sector (including documentations, user manuals, etc.). She also works as a senior editor for the online dictionary (English/German) and contributed sample translations from a variety of fields to the translation machine


How to Purchase

If you’re interested in purchasing SAP Information Lifecycle Management: The Comprehensive Guide, follow this link and choose the format that works best for you: e-book, print edition, or bundle (both e-book and print).


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SAP Information Lifecycle Management: The Comprehensive Guide
SAP Information Lifecycle Management: The Comprehensive Guide

Master SAP ILM, from retention management to lifecycle management for custom code. Follow step-by-step instructions and walk through all major functionality including policy creation, legal case management, data archiving, and more. Whether you’re on SAP S/4HANA, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, or SAP ERP, you’ll find the details you need to configure and use SAP ILM. Control and protect your data!

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SAP PRESS is the world's leading SAP publisher, with books on ABAP, SAP S/4HANA, SAP CX, intelligent technologies, SAP Business Technology Platform, and more!