During Dennis’ recent journey to South Africa, where he crashed Mastering SAP Technologies, Dennis had a fascinating sitdown with the City of Cape Town to find out how they are tackling the daunting problems facing municipalities the world over.

CIO Andrea Stelzner tells Dennis that their SAP environment serves as the basis for organizational change. And that change is not negotiable given the scarcity of basic resources such as clean drinking water on the horizon. As Andre puts it:

Changing something soft can only be realized when you change something hard. Hard is how we pay for these services but also how we enhance the service levels to bring people towards those services and bring about those changes.

Andre tells Dennis about the new initiatives underway, including wiring the city with fiber and putting RFID tags on garbage. SAP to Cape Town is not just an internal system for record but a means for vital connections. And they manage to do it on a budget of under two percent in revenue. Without mentioning HANA, Andre speaks to the pressing need for real-time data:

One of the important things is we need to have information in order to take informed decisions. We must be able to be responsive to be responsive to events as they occur. It doesn’t help downloading something a few days later, to put it into a batch at night to run for 24 hours, and perhaps it provides an answer a while later. [3:23] No, we’re talking about needing to have real‑time information around water supply, around power supply, and demand.

Not surprisingly, a close look at HANA is indeed on the horizon. But the conversation is fundamentally about the culture change underway. The final segment of the video dovers the often thorny IT-business relationship and how the Andre’s team handles that.

Show Notes

1:07 Behavior change is needed – resources are depleting

1:41 “You have to change something hard”

3:01 Real-time information is needed for informed decisions.

3:49 Wiring up the city with fiber + RFID tags on garbage

4:54 HANA likely to be part of the future landscape

5:55 SAP rollout plans

7:32 Getting the most out of ERP

8:51 How potential new investments (like mobile) are calculated

9:41 The success of cities is paramount to the success of countries

10:12 How cloud factors in

11:00 IT and business – how to get along

12:11 Culture change is the key – AKA ‘technology-enabled organizational transformation