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There are many good reasons to attend the SAP Public Services and Healthcare Summit in The Hague from May 7-9, 2014.  One of the best is to hear how your industry peers are surfing on an ocean of big data -  an ocean that is drowning some and raising others to new heights.

 

Recent research from Bloomberg Businessweek confirms what many of us working in the public services and healthcare industries have instinctively known for some time: our customers are excited about the possibilities of big data, but need considerable help in turning theory into reality. In some ways this mirrors the shift to e-government two decades ago, but it may turn out to dwarf that transition, which introduced us to the then-radical concepts of filing our taxes online or emailing our political leaders. Back then, conventional wisdom had it that government was slower than the private sector in moving online. With today’s big data leap, public services organizations are setting the pace.  Healthcare isn’t there quite yet, but dramatic advances are just around the
corner and already evident in areas like genomics.

 

Private businesses and individuals are certainly generating plenty of actionable data about economic activity and even culture and human relationships. With its unique role, however, the public sector is emerging as the biggest source of fundamental data about society itself – life chances at birth; income; death rates; crime rates; traffic; migration patterns; business registrations. Once confined within the walls and servers of public agencies, this data is being unlocked, analyzed and re-combined in dazzling ways by third-party developers and even citizens themselves. The resulting apps are undeniably cool and empower citizens, patients and students to contribute more to the delivery of government, healthcare and education – but are these institutions ready to engage in these swirling currents of information? These now-ubiquitous data currents can be harnessed for tremendous benefit, but they can also distract, overwhelm and paralyze organizations.

 

SAP’s Public Services & Healthcare business has never been rooted in technology alone.  For more than  40 years, it’s been built around the principles of good public administration. Good government is always rooted in accountability, transparency, responsiveness, and quality processes. We’re as excited about the incredible possibilities of big data as anyone - some people around here are positively ecstatic - but we are not losing sight of these enduring principles. We’re determined to harness big data for the greater good. It’s a huge task, and we need all the talents and insights of our customers and partners to succeed.

 

I look forward to learning alongside you at the SAP Public Services and Healthcare Summit. This is a rare, industry-specific, immersive experience to ensure you’re in control of your big data destiny, and you won’t want to miss it.

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