Colour lines in orange and blue with light dots on a dark background 

Automation: Checking 350 Parameters Every 5 Minutes

How IT automation simplifies the management of SAP landscapes, making them more secure and reliable

December 08 2023Ashwin Sylvester Quadros

Into the future with AIops

Massively reduce the unscheduled downtime of SAP systems – in some cases by more than 70 percent: The first article in our series on IT automation in SAP operations shows how this can be achieved. We examine important basics, technical tricks, and use cases. We explain how SAP customers benefit from IT automation and what trends such as Artificial Intelligence Operations (AIops) are all about.

Automated processing of SAP changes


An Oracle database needs more storage space, a patch is required to close security gaps, and the update of an application has to reflect new compliance requirements: SAP landscapes never remain the same for long, but are changing continuously. Whereas such changes were previously documented in extensive runbooks and carried out manually by the IT team, automation tools are increasingly taking over these tasks.

The range of tools has changed over time. Initially, the focus was on incident and event management solutions. In other words, software that monitors all events in the infrastructure around the clock and automatically triggers a service ticket in the event of anomalies or malfunctions – or alerts the responsible administrator directly in critical situations. Smart tools meanwhile also take over configuration management or the orchestration of IT resources in a largely automated manner.

Artificial intelligence is changing IT operations

With AIops, artificial intelligence is now entering IT operations, raising application and infrastructure operations to a new level. AIops-based tools eliminate both faults and their causes independently, so that the same error does not occur a second time. At the same time, they establish causal relationships between different events in order to identify effects on operational processes at an early stage and to intervene directly if necessary. For example, if a large database query has a negative impact on performance, the AIops solution automatically allocates more computing capacity.

To implement predictive analytics in SAP operations, self-learning algorithms evaluate large amounts of data in real time. To give some idea of the sheer mass of data: T-Systems monitors more than 350 parameters every five minutes at application level alone. In addition, there is at least three times as much monitoring data from the network, server, and storage area. Around 17,000 values per SAP SID per hour and almost half a million checks per day.

More than 130,000 automated processes

Three men sitting at an office table smiling, two are shaking each others hand 

To operate its customers' SAP systems efficiently and securely, T-Systems currently uses around 100,000 automated processes for simple and recurring tasks such as troubleshooting or database and operating system upgrades. In addition, there are more than 30,000 automated processes in which employees only have to take minor action.

The automation of SAP operations reduces manual effort and associated errors. This results in economies of scale that T-Systems passes on to its customers: Companies benefit from lower operating costs, less downtime, and reliable application operation. As a result, unscheduled system downtime is reduced massively, in some cases by more than 70 percent. At the same time, new features and SAP services become marketable more quickly. This is because development teams can also use the automation tools to shorten the design – code – deploy cycles in test systems.

Creating synergies

The hub of IT automation is the Service Operations Center (SOC), where all data converge. From here, the IT teams have an overview of all infrastructure components and applications. The SOC staff is familiar with all the dependencies of the customer installations – for example, with add-ons or third-party systems – and takes these into account accordingly when applying new patches or releases.

The comprehensive overview creates synergies: If a new version of the operating system is rolled out in a customer's SAP landscape, the resulting knowledge is collected and used for other installations. Or: If an error occurs during the installation of security patches, this only happens once. This is because the automation tool then fixes it in all customer systems on the SAP platform.

 This is how SAP user companies benefit from automation

– less administration effort
– lower costs
– shorter maintenance windows, less downtime
– reliable application operation with an average availability of 99.997 percent
– faster time to market

The focus is on the customer benefit

One thing is clear: While IT automation makes the lives of admins and IT teams easier, it does not make them obsolete. On the contrary. Since classic system management represents only a fraction of their job, they can concentrate more on customer projects and further develop SAP landscapes. They accompany customers in the digital transformation and set the course for the future: Is SAP operation in a public cloud worthwhile? Which cloud platform (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud, or the Open Telekom Cloud) is best suited for this? Can customers continue to implement previously used SAP tools after switching platform?

A look behind the scenes: Up to 1,000 changes over the weekend

In the next article, we will take a look behind the scenes and show how much faster, more stable, and more secure the maintenance of an SAP landscape becomes through automation and how IT teams manage to carry out between 800 and 1,000 SAP changes over the course of a single weekend.

About the author
Sylvester Quadros – Content Marketer, T-Systems International GmbH

Ashwin Sylvester Quadros

Content Marketer, T-Systems International GmbH

Show profile and articles

This might also be of interest to you:

Do you visit t-systems.com outside of Germany? Visit the local website for more information and offers for your country.