GDPR and POPI place new emphasis on companies that process personal information. Not only should enterprises know which data they have, they are also required to manage this data in a structured and responsible way. Any company that trades or wishes to trade with EU countries will have to look at their data processing requirements to see if GDPR is applicable to their business partner.

“Compliance with data privacy and security laws requires a thought-out plan. You need to make sure that service providers and employees are compliant and aware of their obligations. A customer-centric business making use of a well-designed data governance strategy and solutions, will already have a greater visibility of their data, the sources, and usage thereof. They will have a structured way of keeping the information current and relevant and will be able to respond to requests from both the data subjects and regulators rapidly and with great accuracy. A key means of managing Information protection compliance is governed source validation”, States Wynand van Zyl, Data Specialist at GlueData.

One of the key problems in today’s enterprise landscapes is the number of sources of customer data. For many large consumer-focused companies, the applications that store customer data are held in tiered data centres outside of their corporate infrastructure in order to ensure they are always available. However, datasets from customer-centric systems and corporate ERP systems need to be mastered and reconciled in a governed process. When a customer uses self-service on these off-premise platforms it is essential to apply the same validation rules that are used for on-premise transactions.

“Customizing ERP and customer-centric software to ensure consistent validation can be costly and adds delays in deploying innovated solutions: System application rules need to be compared and brought in line. One way to ensure that the updating of validations and other business rules does not become an administrative or financial burden on an enterprise, is to invest in a good business rules management solution. Rules required by different applications are maintained in the business rule management solution and the applications then consume these rules where required. Changes in the rules should not affect the application, making the applications more stable, and reducing testing times. Many enterprises that run on the SAP ERP platform will be already be using SAP’s Business Rules Plus Framework (BRF+), whether implicitly designed for custom apps, or as part of SAP and partner provided solutions. BRF+ rules can be exposed, allowing SAP as well as non-SAP solutions to harness the same rules.” States Wynand.

Having a good rules engine is great, but to provide an effective solution the following questions are regularly asked:
1. Where do we start?
2. Is there ‘best practice’ rules we can apply in our industry?
3. How do we optimally translate our requirements into optimized business rules?

“GlueData as one of the leaders in the field of data management in SAP solutions, can assist in jump starting the journey to a more governed customer data landscape. Through numerous projects, across multiple industries, GlueData has built up a database of best practice rules. Our rules database accelerates the rule identification and capture process and our experience in this area can assist in accelerating the delivery of real results.

“GlueData also provides a subscription based, operational solution for existing and future data, where new or changed data is controlled and validated at point of entry, to ensure consistent data quality. By outsourcing the maintenance of Business Rules, a company can unload the administrative burden of rules maintenance. GlueData leverages the standard SAP Business Rules (BRF+) functionality that is already part of the SAP landscape, with an extensive database of pre-defined content and rules for data objects including Business Partner, Customer, Vendor and Material.” States Brett Schreuder, Managing Director at GlueData.

Exposing the rules in SAP BRF+, can help ensure that the data validation being applied in the SAP System, is also applied to the customer facing applications, helping to reduce the cost of application maintenance whilst ensuring a governed process for your critical data objects.

While multiple sources of customer data may still exist in the company, having the data of a high quality in all source systems will assist in the consolidation process between systems.