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Sasol uses ITSM on the Now Platform
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Sasol uses ServiceNow tools to underpin ambitious digital transformation

ZAR5bn

Anticipated savings through DevOps and digital transformation

Minutes

Rather than weeks to release a new product

40%

Decrease in changes using Standard Change Workflow




Need to improve customer service
In 2020, Sasol faced challenges unparalleled in its 70-year history with the collapse of oil prices, volatility in chemical prices, the spread of COVID-19, delays and overspend on new plant start-ups, and a drop of 80% in its share price in just one day. It needed a new operating model aimed at simplifying, streamlining, and standardizing processes.

“Like any big organization, we had legacy issues. We’re mostly a Microsoft and SAP company with many on-prem tools, we had poor visibility of, and access to, our data,” says Bramley Maetsa, Senior Manager of Business Enablement at Sasol. “We used waterfall methodology and because we had too many participants, we had issues when it came to making decisions. The result was that we were falling short of meeting our customers’ needs. It was difficult to deliver products and services to customers at speed and, in some cases, even difficult to get visibility of our workflows.”

Trends, such as alternative fuels, new market entrants, and changing consumer expectations, were also disrupting the fuel sector and survival depended on change. Sasol needed to respond to these market changes and become one with its customers through the adoption of agile practices and new technologies. Sasol wanted to move faster, release new products more quickly, and ensure that they were stable and secure.

IT had a growing need to become one with the business and adopt new ways of working and it was fortunate that Sasol had already embarked on an ambitious digital transformation. This had commenced with ServiceNow IT Service Management (ITSM) and ServiceNow Strategic Portfolio Management (SPM) and when the company decided to adopt DevOps methodologies it became an early user of the ServiceNow DevOps module, which it saw as a key enabler for change.

ServiceNow technology was chosen because Sasol believed it offered best-in-class service management and integrated, enterprise-wide solutions. “Choosing ServiceNow was a no-brainer for us because Sasol is a large integrated company and if we went small with some niche products, we could find that we were missing the bigger picture. We also saw that ServiceNow would enable us to optimize portfolio demand management.”

Implementation of DevOps methodologies
The DevOps implementation was carried out with the help of Dutch DevOps specialist, Plat4mation, and ServiceNow.

Early actions were to set up a digital office distinct from the IT department and to create a modern ERP road map. Sasol created eight ‘chapters’ to promote experience-sharing and best practices across its agile teams, implemented an ‘Engage to Deliver’ model to deliver high-quality products more quickly, and divided duties between projects and transactions.

ServiceNow ITSM is used to deal with projects which are mainly demands that the IT helpdesk receives through the company’s service portal. These include catalog items, incidents, problems, and changes.

ServiceNow SPM runs in the portfolios part of the organization and enables planners to prioritize projects based on available funding: set the speed at which they will be delivered, assign them to the appropriate platform or product teams, then ensure that they are logged in a unified catalog. It includes demand, investment, and project management.

Sasol logo
Sasol
CUSTOMER
Sasol
HEADQUARTERS
Sandton, South Africa
INDUSTRY
Chemical & Energy
EMPLOYEES
30,000

Our ambition is to improve the customer experience in everything that we do while aiming for sustainable growth and enhanced cash generation.

Bramley Maetsa

Senior Manager of Business Enablement

Speedier delivery of quality products
The move to Agile and DevOps has brought many benefits and the company predicts that its digital transformation could save ZAR5bn (US$0.324bn)

Teams are connected to ServiceNow to speed up software development, automate administrative tasks, and bring operations and development staff closer together. Seventy use cases have been reviewed, 1,200 technical debts have been identified, and the average time taken to release a new product has fallen from two or three weeks to just minutes.

Sasol is using DevOps processes to minimize manual efforts and automate change. It has implemented and scaled out ServiceNow DevOps to connect Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipelines that provide cross-organizational insights to teams and senior management. Using these insights, Sasol can track performance metrics to measure what has been achieved.

“Our ambition is to improve the customer experience in everything we do, and the benefit of working with ServiceNow is the ability to move at speed,” concludes Bramley. “From an IT transformation standpoint, we have passed our walking phase, while other businesses are just entering the crawling phase.”

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