Welcome to The Hague and to the Public Services & Healthcare Summit 2014. As you enjoy the charms of this indisputably well-governed locale (and dodge a few bikes), you might be wishing that more of the world was as well-run as the Netherlands.
We can’t help the world run better unless we honestly confront the areas where government is not working. SAP is one of the few companies in the private sector that has taken on such an ambitious mission, a mission that aligns completely with those of government, education and healthcare. In recent decades, remarkable strides in governance and healthcare have been made, but daunting challenges have emerged just as fast. These are just a few of our customer pain points: a decline of confidence in government, a disconnect between education and the job market, maladies that are outpacing our ability to fight them, climate change, and the relationship between security and privacy. Technology sits at the heart of many of these problems and will therefore be critical to solving them.
We’ve gathered in The Hague to engage in candid discussions about all of these challenges. All of us are citizens, taxpayers, students and patients; we care deeply and personally about these issues. As with all problems, solving them also creates a business opportunity. Our colleagues in other industries have just wrapped up their own Summits where they have discussed the (very interesting) challenges facing their customers and their customers’ customers. In Public Services & Healthcare, we have an even broader mandate. We can help restore public trust in the ability of government to manage the challenges we face; prepare students for productive and meaningful lives; give healthcare innovators the edge against constantly evolving threats; help cities cut their carbon footprint; and help ease the move to the cloud in a world that is increasingly anxious about privacy.
As we embark on 3 exciting days of conversations and education, remember that challenges that seem overwhelming also include the seeds of great opportunity. I look forward to seeing you – please say hello and let me know what you’re thinking.