Is 2017 the year you bring your ERP data growth under control?

Posted by Redfaire International

A couple of weeks ago as 2017 arrived you might have been considering what’s important this year and putting in place resolutions to help keep the focus on the ‘big picture'.

The simple act of writing down your goals can apparently improve your chances of achieving them, maybe because the clarity it brings helps to protect you from distractions and diversions. For our personal resolutions, there are many great articles like this one by Kevin Kruse written with sound advice about how to make them realistic and achievable. 

When thinking about our business plans for 2017, they too need to be based on achievable goals. We have all seen the many statistics on data growth,  for example, IDC Digital Universe in May 2014 predicted that by the end of 2016 there would be 13 ZB (Zettabytes ) of data still growing by 40% Year on Year.  Reversing the trend of the late 1990s and early 2000s  the most important of all our data is again being stored in Enterprise Data Centres, created by and accessed via the rapidly increasing numbers of mobile & connected devices.  

In this era of Big Data, it is easy to see all data as being equal and therefore all data should be captured and retained by an organisation. In a world of unlimited budget and resource this would be a valid strategy, however, for most organisations determining the business value of data is also a critical factor.

Carefully considering the data we already store is a first step to freeing up budget to allow for the continued growth of data. Data now comes from both the existing sources which, traditionally, we simply threw away such as log files and from new sources including the many applications enabled by the Internet of Things.

When we also take the time to look at our established Enterprise Applications we find that they have grown substantially since their original implementation and now contain many years of data beyond legal and business needs. This represents an opportunity in 2017 to identify the data that is actually required to support day-to-day business processes and archive the remainder using a tiered storage model which can, where appropriate, take advantage of Cloud-based storage for a lower cost, secure solution.  Authorised users can still access the archived data as needed but it no longer impacts the core business application.

Spending time on managing ERP data better in 2017 delivers benefits, not just in reducing storage costs, but also in improving the experience of our business users. Proactively managing application data also helps accelerate key business processes which has a positive impact on customers, suppliers and partners.  

2017 may also be the year that you plan to upgrade your ERP application to improve service to the business. Allowing time within that project to review the existing data being stored and ensuring that only the appropriate data for future needs is put through the upgrade will de-risk several time-critical steps.  

Making it a resolution for 2017 to put in place those regular housekeeping operations for your ERP data will be a first step to reducing cost and improving performance and will make the list you consider in January 2018, at least, a little shorter.

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