Decision details

Legacy SAP Data Archiving Outline Business Case

Decision Maker: Executive Director Resources

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The purpose of this report is to inform a decision to progress a procurement process to select a 3rd party data archiving solution to store historic data that is currently held in the council’s corporate system, SAP. This is the system that the council uses to manage its business critical finance, procurement and HR & payroll processes.

The requirement to progress this procurement, including the indicative costs, was included within the Digital Business & Insights Full Business Case Cabinet report, which was approved at Cabinet in July 2020. The Cabinet report included a recommendation that this delegated officer decision will be required to progress this procurement by the Executive Director of Resources, in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Corporate Support and Cabinet Member for Resources.

A solution is required to archive historic data that needs to be retained by the council, but that will not be migrated to the recently procured Unit 4 corporate system, as part of the Digital Business & Insights programme. The Unit 4 system is currently in the process of being implemented with a target go-live date of December 2021.

The current SAP system contains approximately 16 years of historic data and a significant portion of this historic data needs to be retained and accessed for statutory and / or valid business reasons. However, the historic data is not required for the day-to-day running of the future organisation and it would be sub-optimal to migrate it to the new Unit 4 system, due to the impact on future storage costs and system performance. There is also a statutory requirement to ensure that data with privacy implications is deleted over time in line with retention policies for GDPR compliance.

A range of costs were gathered from potential suppliers via a Request for Information procurement process. The worst-case cost estimate, including council-side costs, of £285k for year one has been used to inform the decision to progress a formal procurement process. The business case financials will be updated based on firm costs received from the successful bidder at the completion of the procurement process prior to awarding the contract and starting the project.

The next step will be to complete the procurement process before delivering a project to implement the data archiving solution to go-live in 4th Quarter 2021/22. This go-live timing will follow the Unit ERP system go-live in December 2021 and will enable the council to decommission the existing SAP system.


Decision made:


It was AGREED to:


1.           Approve the business case to progress a procurement process to select a 3rd party data archiving solution.

2.           Award the contract to the preferred bidder and implement the chosen data archiving solution following completion of the procurement process.

3.           Note that a report will be brought back for a further delegated officer decision following completion of the procurement process, if the confirmed costs of the selected solution are 5% greater or less than the estimate included in this report.


Reasons for the decision:

The decision to procure a 3rd party data archiving solution has been chosen for the reasons described in the attached Outline Business Case report. The key reasons for the decision to progress this option are to:


·         Meet the statutory requirement for the council to ensure GDPR compliance through the ongoing deletion of personal data in line with retention policies for archived historic SAP data.

·         Ensure the council is able to securely host the system as a standalone archiving solution, which was not possible with all of the other options considered.

·         Drive efficiency as this option will reduce the costs of support and maintenance compared to other options considered.

·         Ensure longevity in support for the solution as the new system will be fully supported by the 3rd party vendor.

·         Ensure there will be no ongoing reliance on retaining SAP knowledge in the council to access the historic data as most 3rd party products offer a simpler user experience.


Alternative options considered:

The following four options were fully appraised in making this recommendation as detailed in the Legal SAP Data Archiving Outline Business Case. The decision has been made to progress Option 3.


·         Option 1 – Do nothing, leaving the existing SAP system on its existing hardware.

·         Option 2 – Retain and reduce the existing SAP system as a read-only system, with data deletion in line with retention policies over time.

·         Option 3 – Implement a 3rd party data archiving solution, with data deletion in line with retention policies over time.

·         Option 4 - Migrate all data from the existing SAP system to the new ERP system as a first step followed by migration of data for archiving to the new ERP system’s archival solution.

Interests and Nature of Interests Declared:


Publication date: 05/10/2020

Date of decision: 29/09/2020