Understanding the Role of the SAP System Administrator for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Outline the role of the SAP system administrator in an SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition environment

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is a Software as a Service (SaaS) Application

Adam has already gained basic experience with the administration of on-premise SAP systems such as SAP ECC from a previous job. But as he is new to SAP Cloud technology, Adam meets Carl to let him explain the differences between SAP S/4 HANA Cloud, public edition and a solution based on on-premise software.

Carl continues that the "implementation of traditional ERP" (which in one term could be described as "design to blueprint") followed a consultative approach and uses the waterfall project methodology. As a result, this led to a highly customized solution with a focus on development rather than configuration. This type of implementation process then becomes very time consuming and costly.

The implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition (which in one term could be described as "fit-to-standard"), in contrast, is based on SAP Activate where the business owns the solution. It offers best practices as a starting point and follows an agile, modular, scalable approach with rapid repeatable delivery steps. Together with available accelerators, such as tools, templates, and content, it leads to a quicker and higher return on investment.


Feel free to use Wikipedia for a short introduction to both the waterfall model and for agile software development.

Adam is not familiar with SAP Activate, so he keeps this term in mind to ask Carl in his next meeting about this methodology.

For now, Adam wants to focus on the responsibilities for the job as an SAP system administrator. In his previous job, he was responsible for the IT infrastructure, the system management (including SAP system, database and operating system) and parts of the middleware.

This changes with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition is a software as a service (SaaS) product, which means that the software is licensed on a subscription basis and is accessed via the Internet. SAP takes care of many tasks for the customers, such as installation and upgrades, so that customers such as GloManCorp can concentrate more on their business.


As GloManCorp is thinking about using SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) for extending the standard business processes and as SAP BTP is an example of a platform-as-as-service (PaaS) product from SAP, the figure above also contains a column for PaaS for your information.

The Role of the SAP System Administrator

Seeing that the responsibilities of a system administrator he is familiar with are reduced in the cloud environment, Adam gets a little bit concerned about his job. Therefore, he asks Carl:

So Adam has learned about his upcoming tasks during the implementation of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition. After this meeting, Adam leaves the office. On his way home, he remembers that Carl talked about the "customer’s technical landscape", but Adam does not yet have an idea of what this landscape might look like. He decides to ask Carl about this topic in one of their next meetings.

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