Interim CIO at an international group of companies
- Construction industry
- International group of companies
IT is a central function in companies and especially in an international group very complex and differentiated. With his experience, the interim CIO was able to immediately take over and manage the operational business. But above all, all strategic topics such as process optimization, due diligence and restructuring were successfully implemented in the interim project. Example of a very extensive project in IT with international responsibility!
What was the initial situation/challenge you faced?
An interim manager was sought to replace the previous IT manager during her maternity leave.
The focus of the task should be the management of an internationally established SAP competence team as well as the external consultants.
In parallel, the Head of IT Infrastructure with responsibility for Germany and Austria was to be “somewhat” co-directed.
Why did you bring the GOiNTERIM Manager on board?
GOiNTERIM was recommended to us as a qualified provider. Already on the 2nd day we were provided with a selection of suitable and pre-qualified managers. This speed was also important for us, as the employee’s planned maternity leave was to start in a month. But it could also be earlier. So it was an extremely urgent need, a fire call, so to speak.
Since the duration was also indefinite and because of the speed, interim management was the right solution. This has also been more than confirmed in the project.
What are the prerequisites for the GOiNTERIM Manager?
The GOiNTERIM manager was a very experienced IT manager and CIO with international expertise. In addition to the necessary technical know-how, he also brought with him a very high level of leadership experience and senior management expertise. These were particularly important in the project, as some sensitivities had already built up and clear leadership and structure were needed.
What were the most important steps that GOiNTERIM Manager implemented? What was the project process like?
Shortly after the GOiNTERIM manager took over the original task, a complete inventory of the IT (technical, systems and costs) at all international locations had to be carried out as part of a due diligence in cooperation with the parent organization in the UK.
The main findings were that
- the IT infrastructure both at the holding company and at the remaining 19 European sites was very heterogeneous/clearly outdated and in an undefined state, furthermore
- the costs or cost structure of the entire IT were in part not comprehensible.
Since a possible carve-out was imminent, the manager developed a concept for modernizing the IT infrastructure both in the existing parent company and in the event of a carve-out, and possibly continuing to operate it independently. For this purpose, an external partner was sought who could support the Group in the future in the sense of partial outsourcing. With the hiring of a project manager for this, the previous head of IT infrastructure left, so the newly hired project manager had to be trained as the future head of IT infrastructure. The international modernization project was launched jointly in the process.
On the SAP side, GOiNTERIM Manager reorganized the processing of departmental queries or error messages in the procedural SAP environment and ensured that complaints from departments in the countries were significantly reduced. Under his leadership, a system for regulated order release and automatic invoice recognition was introduced as an SAP extension at all international locations in Europe. As part of further country-specific rollouts, the self-developed quotation solution was given a facelift and adapted to a modern look and feel.
Initiated by the parent company, a benchmark of a possible CRM system with the SAP CRM solution favored by the parent company was carried out. After completion of the benchmark, the management decided to start a group-wide implementation project for CRM within IT. The successful rollout took place in the first countries DE, AT and CZ.
A clear crisis situation in the economy and the market necessitated even stricter adherence to IT cost frameworks. Due to the partly difficult conditions identified during the due diligence
traceability, a completely new IT cost planning scheme had to be developed and implemented.
What success did the IM operation bring?
IT Infrastructure :
The organizational restructuring of the IT infrastructure has created the first Group-wide unit that will provide IT services of the same quality and performance for all employees at all locations once the modernization project has been completed.
Based on the critical examination of the SAP team’s internal processes, the cooperation between the business departments and the SAP team as well as the satisfaction of the business departments with the SAP team was significantly increased. The new hiring process of 3 additional SAP employees, which has now started, will also reduce the know-how dependency on the current service providers and the associated costs.
The Group-wide rollout of the CRM system created the basis for all sales/marketing and after-sales service staff to work with the same data in the same environment.
By setting up the new IT cost planning system, the Group will be in a position in the future to
- allocate the costs incurred precisely to one system and thus be meaningful and transparent with regard to a (true) total cost view, and
- Easily distinguish between OPEX and CAPEX in future planning, taking into account the total cost representation, and thus better manage the IT budget.
What successes / results would you highlight?
From the original role of maternity cover, the duties have broadened and expanded significantly. The target direction was complete IT management, interim takeover as CIO for the international group worldwide. In addition to applications, all IT areas up to and including the entire infrastructure were added. Only through the interim assignment this flexibility was possible, the GOiNTERIM manager had the appropriate experience also on an international level to immediately take over the entire responsibility. This would not have been possible with normal on-board means.
Furthermore to emphasize the very senior leadership and management experience of the GOiNTERIM manager. Since this involved a complete restructuring of the division and there was always a human element, leadership and coaching were very important in addition to the technical issues. The manager was able to do this perfectly and the IT team was also restructured and built up on an international level. This gives us a good basis for mastering the future and also for promoting new growth.
Would you use GOiNTERIM again?
Anytime. Initially, we were skeptical; we were not yet familiar with interim management in operational terms. But the commitment of the GOiNTERIM manager and also the monitoring and coordination with GOiNTERIM worked excellently. Without the interim management assignment and the support by GOiNTERIM we would not have managed this situation. As a result, we were able to achieve all of our goals and bring the IT area up to best practice level. GOiNTERIM is always welcome as a reliable partner!