Managing Money

Elements of a Successful SAP System Administrator

June 22, 2023

SAP system administrators are in charge of day-to-day operational tasks within the SAP environment. This includes ensuring technical infrastructure standards and integration requirements are met.

Security is crucial to ensure that only authorized users can access the system. It is also essential to segregate duties so that no single employee has end-to-end responsibility for any function.


The SAP Document Management System (DMS) allows you to manage documents efficiently and standardized. It enables business processes to be supported by a single document presentation solution and provides powerful, automated printing and multichannel distribution. It supports multiple document formats, business rules for dynamic messaging, localization and branding, and document archiving.

Basis professionals should have a solid technical background, including OS (windows or Linux), databases, and SAP application architecture. They should be familiar with SAP technical components like NetWeaver, SAP Cloud Platform, and SAP Business Application Programming (ABAP). Strong communication skills are also crucial for this position because professionals spend significant time communicating with their higher-ups, clients, and end users. They should be able to explain complex technical concepts so that end users can understand them.

Data Administration

The data administration skill is necessary for SAP system administrator because it helps them ensure that the company’s information is securely stored and accessible. This includes creating and managing database structures and ensuring only authorized users can access sensitive information. It also involves ensuring that the information in SAP is organized and easy to find.

System troubleshooting is another crucial aspect of SAP basis administration. This involves identifying and resolving problems with computer systems. This is especially helpful for SAP administrators, who often need to troubleshoot complex issues impacting multiple systems. This skill can also be helpful when determining the source of an issue.

In addition to securing data, SAP administrators are responsible for implementing SAP user roles and profiles. These are necessary to assign different levels of authorization for end users. This includes granting and removing privileges, as well as resetting passwords. The administrator also needs to be able to perform various auditing activities on the SAP system. This includes reviewing log files and performing SAP system activity audits.


Security is one of the core functions of an SAP environment, requiring a wide range of security-oriented tasks. SAP threads security measures throughout its software package, protecting behind-the-scenes administrator access and front-end user accounts. This makes the SAP platform less dependent on third-party systems, although it’s still important to synchronize with your organization’s broader cyber security and GRC tools.

SAP systems process sensitive business information, including personally identifiable information (PII), company financial data, and engineering and manufacturing intellectual property. Hackers can attack these systems, potentially causing financial loss and long-term brand damage.

A skilled professional must know how to protect these systems from internal and external attacks. This often requires a “shift left” approach, ensuring new business-critical applications are securely provisioned. It also demands centralized monitoring to identify attacks quickly. This is why a SIEM solution is best for detecting and responding to threats automatically. This can help ensure that security patches are applied regularly. It can also ensure that passwords change when employees leave the organization, so they can no longer gain unauthorized access to critical systems.

Backup and Recovery

Having the ability to perform backups and recover data from SAP systems is essential for SAP system administrators. This ensures that the data in SAP systems can be restored if lost or corrupted. It also allows SAP administrators to quickly diagnose and fix problems that might arise in the systems they manage.

The responsibilities of SAP Basis administration have broadened as the need for business system management software has increased. Besides routine maintenance, operation, and upgrades, SAP HANA basis administrators now play a role in planning and executing system migrations and other significant projects.

Having strong IT skills is essential for the career of an SAP administrator. This includes experience in operating systems, databases, and SAP technical components. It is essential to have strong problem-solving and communication skills, as well. This is because SAP administrators often work with higher management, clients, and end users to understand their business requirements and resolve any issues that may arise.

Performance Tuning

SAP system administrators must have strong troubleshooting skills to resolve problems with SAP systems. They also need to be able to perform system upgrades and installations and maintenance-related tasks. Other required skills include proficiency in using SAP tools.

Working with different platforms, hardware, and database software is also essential for SAP basis professionals. They need to be able to adapt their approach to SAP basis management with the changing technological landscape. This includes moving to better tech, such as HANA, a simpler, more cost-effective platform that can handle much of what was previously handled by third-party software.

HANA also simplifies how basis administrators must fine-tune data replication to meet disaster recovery, high availability, and other standards. This is a significant improvement, allowing them to provide more valuable customer service. It also reduces their reliance on costly third-party solutions to keep their databases and servers healthy.

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