At Eskom, 'tech is the easy part'

It probably won’t be a surprise to hear that the biggest challenge facing Eskom’s CIO has nothing to do with technology.

03 August 2023

Eskom CIO, Faith Burn

The constant battle plaguing Faith Burn is how to keep her team intact and motivated when Eskom’s dwindling reputation is eroding their morale. “The technology is the easy part!” she says. “A large part of the role is to keep people encouraged despite the circumstances. The leadership challenges have introduced a nervousness, and there’s the psychological challenge of public perception and the way South Africans view the organisation.”

Burn encourages her team to recognise that they have a job to do despite these circumstances. And Eskom’s IT team is doing some solid work, even though their victories are perhaps overshadowed by loadshedding. A huge digital journey is underway to improve customer service and operational efficiency at the company. When Burn became the CIO three years ago, she inherited a complex and archaic environment, with hundreds of enterprise-wide systems running on thousands of virtual servers. One relatively quick win saved almost R8 billion in cost avoidance by negotiating with vendors over claims that Eskom was overusing its software licences.

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