Brainstorm March 2018 Issue: Alpha - Sasol

Focused on the future

If you take a drive through Sandton, you’ll notice the skyline is changing fast; with new multi-storey, glass-fronted buildings blossoming on every street corner. One of the most impressive however is found near the top end of Katherine street. Sasol’s corporate head office, which was officially opened in 2016, is a technologically-advanced building that’s becoming a case study for other conglomerates on how to design an office of the future. Sasol’s new home, nestled among the other corporate giants of the country, is just 100 kms from Sasolburg, the town where the company was formed in 1950. Founded as the world’s first oil-from-coal company, today it’s an international integrated chemicals and energy company operating in 33 countries.

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As well as moving into new corporate facilities, the company has undergone a couple of other significant changes in recent years. Sasol undertook a corporate restructure in 2014 to realign its business and streamline its operations. It also faced the challenge of modernising its IT infrastructure. A challenge dealt with head-on by Sasol IM, which, through the completion of its modernisation programme, has now set the foundations for implementing its digitalisation strategy.

The IT modernisation, which began in 2012, was overseen by then-CIO Alec Joannou. In 2017, Joannou was awarded the title of Visionary CIO in South Africa, largely attributed to his work on the modernisation. Joannou, who was appointed as Sasol’s global chief digital officer in February 2018, is quick to state the achievements at Sasol are a team effort.

Brainstorm alpha is designed to showcase excellence from companies in South Africa that not only deliver, but also drive technology. In this edition of Brainstorm alpha, we showcase Sasol’s vision and technology journey over the five years along with the partners that assisted in reaching the destination. This publication serves as an in-depth case study and can provide insight and inspiration for those companies similarly planning or undergoing a strategic transformation of their IT capability.

Sasol’s chief financial officer Paul Victor opens the publication by setting the tone and explaining the strategic overview and environment that Sasol operates in. We then focus on Joannou and how he set the whole process in motion. The publication then provides insights from each of the business unit leaders from the five different divisions within Sasol IM.

I hope you find the stories insightful and interesting with the publication providing you with an insight into how you can embark on your own successful digital transformation journey.

Happy reading!

Simon Foulds

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