Mobility: Facilitating Collaboration Between Workbench and Office Employees

Andreas Fitze, Group CIO, RUAG Group
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Andreas Fitze, Group CIO, RUAG Group

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014
As the different business units at RUAG were formerly independent firms, the Group’s process and application environment is fragmented. Today, the business units are all part of an internationally oriented Group. As a result, the demands on organization and processes are growing all the time, which increases the complexity of the systems. Our greatest challenge in IT over the next one to three years is to drastically reduce this complexity by improving the structures of our business process architecture. By harmonizing and  implifying processes–regardless of location–we will generate effective added value for the business units. Naturally, this will at the same time cut IT costs.

Areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist
Various business units are becoming more and more aware of the advantages of mobile solutions. The idea is to extend the digital process to the workbench, to aircraft, to tanks, to the clean room and right through to operational deployment. In this way we can improve collaboration between workbench employees and office employees. The use of mobile solutions can speed up processes, avoid media disruptions and optimize workflows. Of course, this must be achieved effectively, flexibly, safely and quickly as possible. My business partners see the incredible number of cutting-edge apps in stores and want to integrate these possibilities into their everyday routine. I wish it were that easy.

Trends impacting enterprise business environment
RUAG generally prefers established, reliable technologies and processes them into high quality products and services that are used on the ground, in the air and in space. Our product development is driven by our clients’ changing functional requirements and price pressures in the market, which leads to new, innovative production techniques and optimization processes. Therefore, RUAG supports research and development and spends around 8 percent of its revenues on them.

The role of CIOs today
I started last April, so am still relatively new. That said, I can see a change at RUAG, as an industry as a whole. IT–and hence CIOs–are viewed increasingly as positive drivers of harmonization, standardization, and simplification. As these positive effects are not restricted to the field of IT infrastructure, but are also found in business applications, in organizational terms they represent value added for the company.

My word for a CIO
For the next five years I have visions. For the first three, I have strategies, and for the following two, I have plans. All the same, I act in the here and now. My advice is, therefore: plan your projects in such a way that every six months you can celebrate success with your customers. Try to speed up projects. Set deadlines and keep to them, never postpone anything; it is better to deliver less than to deliver late. In the  absence of visions, strategies and plans, be pragmatic and solution-oriented.

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