CIOs have always had to find a balance between the need to deliver innovation and the need to establish operational excellence. However, this tension has become even more challenging in recent years.

After several years in which businesses of all sizes and across all sectors were forced to transform rapidly in response to the pandemic, CIOs are now facing the need to drive optimisation and re-focus on the stability of the IT environment. According to The Human-Centered Insights To Fuel IT’s Vision 2022 report, conducted by Reach3 for Lenovo, 83 per cent of CIOs are still seeking digital transformation, but 76 per cent also acknowledge that they’re grappling with the challenge of finding the right balance between business innovation and operational excellence.

In a report, EY highlighted five steps towards delivering innovation in a way that also achieves cost efficiency. These steps are:

Leadership and Culture – where embracing the entrepreneurial mindset across IT motivates individuals and brings transformation initiatives to fruition.Technology Transformation – particularly, however, the CIO needs to understand what technologies to invest in that maximise a company’s value.New Methodologies – Agile methodology is more needed than ever, so organisations can experiment, measure outcomes, and learn fast.Governance and Ownership – striking the right balance between retaining the right level of control while also allowing the Agile approach to thrive is critical.Sourcing and Partnerships – revisiting and improving the sourcing strategy is critical for minimising the total cost of ownership while maximising the value of the investment.

One of the key steps in achieving all of the above will be vendor consolidation, and there will be a strong trend towards this in the year ahead. For example, one key piece of advice for CIOs looking at constrained budgets and inflationary pressures in the year ahead is to be open with suppliers regarding those budget constraints. Having a true partnership with an end-to-end supplier allows the CIO to more strategically engage and drive both optimisation and efficiency across the IT environment. A full 21 per cent of CIOs say that a major focus of theirs is negotiating with IT vendors. Reducing the number of vendors helps to minimise this disruption.

What does the right technology partner look like?

According to the Lenovo and Reach3 report, there are three qualities to an end-to-end solutions provider that will help to drive successful optimisation and consolidation across the organisation:

Productivity and Collaboration

At a top level, one of the key benefits of consolidating the number of vendors to a single end-to-end provider is that the technology is inherently designed to work well together. This helps improve reliability, and reduce the amount of time that the IT team spends on managing technology. In addition, it improves the security of the IT environment by limiting any gaps in the connectedness between technology.

One in four CIOs spend a significant amount of time managing IT crises. In addition, 51 per cent and 43 per cent have security management and improving IT operations as key priorities. The wastage that comes from poorly structured IT environments can consume far too much timefor the IT team. Vendor consolidation provides a way to quickly start to address this challenge.

2. Agility and Optimisation

Just as the modern business needs to operate according to agile best practices, CIOs have to find suppliers that can scale quickly as the business needs. This ranges from the technology and devices needed to access work, through to their service and support and end-of-life management.

To address this need, Lenovo created the TruScale Infrastructure-as-a-Service solution, which offers day-to-day support, flexibility backed by a pay-as-you-go model, and complete transparency into the whole environment at all times. This solution allows CIOs to shift most of the IT environment to an OpEx expenditure model while working with Lenovo to deliver a solution that is tailored to the specific needs and objectives of the organisation.

Meanwhile, at the device level, Lenovo provides technology that has been designed to meet all needs and require minimal customisation and support. The ThinkPad X1 Carbon, powered by Intel vPro, An Intel Evo Design, for example, is built for what IT needs and users want. Backed by Lenovo accessories, the CIO can streamline their device fleet rollouts and management by working with a single provider.

3. Intelligent Infrastructure

With the ongoing migration to the cloud, organisations are realising significant improvements to the efficiency and productivity of their working environment. Having IT solutions that are structured around cloud computing as the default is essential. The bulk of corporate data is now stored in the cloud, and workplaces have become completely decentralised, flexible and hybrid in nature, so flexibility in infrastructure is critical.

CIOs realise the value of finding the right vendor partner. Lenovo research shows that 92 per cent of CIOs believe that their vendors play a valuable role in their company’s overall success. However, having too many vendors can result in incompatibilities, confusion, and time lost in vendor management. For CIOs that are looking to deliver an agenda that both supports innovation while realising efficiencies, finding the right partner for an end-to-end technology solution is going to be a priority.

Lenovo

Differentiating your brand in the telecommunications market is hard—just ask Vodafone’s CDIOScott Petty.

Despite the British multinational telco’s continued investments in fibre and 5G, and growing consumption of broadband and cellular services, intense price competition, rising energy prices, market regulation and economic headwinds have made for an industry where single-digit revenue growth is difficult to find.

But with a new insourced operating model and a ‘mixed matrix’ team—which gives autonomy centrally and to local markets—Petty believes Vodafone is on a journey to become a next-gen telco.

Vodafone’s digital transformation strategy

Over the last three years, Vodafone has used digital transformation as a centrepiece for how it unlocks efficiencies and new growth opportunities.

Underpinned by its 2025 tech strategy—which commits to building in-house scaled platforms, launching products and services to market faster, building a talent pipeline, and establishing Vodafone as a gigabit broadband leader—the firm’s digital transformation strategy has three pillars.

Operational efficiency: The company is leveraging automation and observability tools to improve efficiency, as well as data analytics, machine learning (ML) and AI through Google Cloud Platform to make better decisions and find incremental savings. An example of the latter is its use of ML and AI to overlay data—such as customer movements from social media as well as profitability—to find out where to deploy new base stations. Dubbed ‘smart capex’, Petty says Vodafone has found a 15% efficiency and £500m in cost savings through this since 2019.Digital channels: Petty says digital channels enable Vodafone to “sell more, service better and reduce costs”. The company app, chatbots and websites have all driven opportunities to better serve customers, particularly through retail-specific events, such as the launch of Apple’s iPhone 14, where web traffic can grow 500% within an hour.New platform businesses: Created in parallel to its legacy connectivity business, new platform businesses aim to drive revenue growth. Vodafone now has an IoT platform connecting 150 million devices, including connected cars, smart meters and smart home monitoring systems. In Africa, it claims to run the largest payment platform, while it’s adding new financial servicing in Europe—such as handset insurance—to wrap around standard tariffs. Petty says that 10% of total company revenue is now coming from these platform businesses.

New operating model, a mixed matrix team

The key to achieving transformation at scale, and delivering better products and services for customers, has been the creation of a European digital and IT organisation that combines the expertise of local markets with the breadth and scale of centralisation.

Last April, Vodafone Technology created a pan-European digital & IT organisation with nearly 17,000 employees led by Petty, bringing together IT functions from 12 European markets to work as one team.

Formerly CTO for Vodafone UK, Petty says Vodafone previously operated independent sets within countries, so each market was responsible for their region, with shared services for data centres and platforms, such as ERP. But this up and down model made code reuse difficult. Historically, scaling across markets was also complicated, with many overlapping projects, high expenditure and limitations in how many projects Vodafone could run simultaneously.

Vodafone didn’t move to centralisation—a model where you don’t have “proximity to the local market”—but rather to a ‘mixed matrix’ model, where each operational local CIO had a broader technology role for the organisation in addition to their local jurisdiction.

“Our UK CIO runs everything in the UK, but also digital engineering for all of Europe,” says Petty. “Our Spanish CIO runs digital channels and the Spanish technology. That model is replicated down into the organisation, so everyone has an operational function close to the markets they operate in, and a domain function, which is trying to execute our strategy. That creates interlocks between each other.” He also highlights that, for instance, the Italian CIO responsible across Europe for data and analytics needs analytics to run well in the UK, and to have a close working relationship with his UK counterpart to ensure digital engineering operates effectively in Italy.

Insourcing and reuse in engineering

A key component of this strategy was Vodafone’s approach to insourcing. Petty says the telecom provider was previously 30% insourced, and 70% outsourced, with a heavy reliance on system integrators and third parties. He says that model isn’t effective and doesn’t scale, with system integrators not incentivised to build replicable platforms.

“Our belief is you have to have a significant portion of your own engineering,” he told CIO.com. “There will always be a role for systems integrators, but integrating into our platforms and standards, not a free-for-all.”

Petty also says that investing in in-house engineering has an upfront benefit as its cheaper, but that it also gives the organisation the technical and engineering talent to build “horizontal scale”.

Vodafone, which has 13,000 software engineers with ambitions to reach 16,000 by 2025, sees a greater willingness for teams to share and reuse through this same model.

“They are more open to sharing and reusing,” he says. “And as they replicate that model in their teams, you just create the connections. Ultimately, culture is about humans and how they interact.”

Petty says staff across the European markets will volunteer their time for projects, such as building APIs for new cloud platforms, sensing the opportunity to do interesting work and develop their core skills. It’s this collaborative approach that’s also improving efficiency. He contrasts the new approach with how the Vodafone UK team once operated. Spending approximately £80 million each year on digital investments, and with 1,000 engineers developing capabilities in Spotify-style squads, the company experienced more defects, cybersecurity issues and slower business speed as the number of projects increased.

The new operating model and team restructure saw technology squads split into technical functions, such as cloud engineering and economics, with these squads responsible for service maintenance, cybersecurity quality and achieving performance across the various European markets.

“Taking this approach dramatically improved our velocity,” says Petty. “Our biggest supporter of hyper-scaling is our CFO because he sees that the more money he pours into engineering, it comes back as increased velocity and capacity. The business can go faster.”

Petty gives the example of Vodafone’s rewards app. Previously, the mere difference between a latte in the UK and café con leche in Spain would have meant the two regions building separate solutions. Under the new reuse model, the rewards platform was developed 100% in-house in Turkey, then launched in Portugal inside three months. The next market, Germany, took just one sprint to bring it to market.

He says the cost difference is significant too, explaining that while the first market spends 110% of their capacity (10% more to make the platform reusable), the payback comes as each subsequent market adopter spends significantly less.

“You start to get a flywheel effect on creating that reuse across your platforms.”

CDIO becomes CTO

Despite progress, there are hurdles ahead for Petty. He admits the skills shortage remains a critical issue, particularly in data science, and there’s the migration of on-premise platforms to Google Cloud Platform (GCP), through which Vodafone hopes to unlock more data and release new capability. Investment must continue on fibre and 5G through recession, too, while Vodafone has started exploring quantum-safe cybersecurity with IBM.

There are deeper changes in the boardroom as well. In early December, Vodafone announced its CEO of nearly 20 years, Nick Read, would be stepping down with finance director Margherita Della Valle taking over as an interim replacement. And with global CTO Johan Wibergh retiring in December 2022, a new role beckons for Petty, too, as he starts as the new CTO in early 2023. Together with Alberto Ripepi, the new Chief Network Officer, he will join the executive committee and expected to co-lead the Vodafone Technology group.

Petty says the hires were down in part to the success of the insourcing model, and a realisation that technology executives can challenge the business. “When we changed the operating model, we saw benefits for technology to challenge the business a little bit more,” he says. “You can work as a team to try and drive the right outcome.”

CTO, Data Engineering, IT Leadership, IT Operations, IT Skills, Operating Systems

Chris Mills, Head of Customer Success, EMEA at Slack

The roles of the CTO and CIO have grown enormously in recent years, proving fundamental in facilitating the rapid shift from traditional working to hybrid working during the pandemic. But this was no short term shift—the value of the CTO and CIO continues to rise.

The next challenge on the horizon? Ensuring workers everywhere remain aligned, efficient and productive despite the economic turbulence organisations are buckling in for. Now, the spotlight is on tech leaders to once again steward businesses through another technological revolution—one in which the digital headquarters (HQ) is key.

Technology revolution 2.0

The majority of businesses are now adept at hybrid working, with many establishing policies to meet the needs of the workforce. This does not mean, however, that setups aren’t without a few wrinkles, with urgent issues including duplicate tools, bloating costs and unoptimised processes.

The digital HQ solves these challenges by uniting teams, partners, and the tools they use in a single digital space—making how work gets done simpler, more pleasant and more efficient. In fact, teams that use Slack as their digital HQ are 49% more productive.

In the digital HQ, bottomless email inboxes are replaced with Slack channels—a way of organising conversations based on topic, project, or initiative. While employees find information-sharing no longer tethered to inflexible meetings; instead, happening in Slack Huddles or Clips—free-flowing real-time or asynchronous audio and video messages that mean, on average, teams have 36% fewer meetings.

Another area the digital HQ really shines in its ability to drive productivity is through its ability to automate tasks—with Slack users launching 1.7 million automated workflows a day. For an example of this in action, businesses should look at Vodafone.

Automating for efficiency

Vodafone first started using the digital HQ as a foundation for modern engineering practices, but now uses it to enhance its collaboration worldwide. This has created opportunities for efficiency, in particular for the DevOps team, where release requests had the potential to be more streamlined.

With the digital HQ, the team is able to simplify release requests and use Slack’s Workflow Builder to automate a complex process. Developers now add the details of a release to a simple form, then used to populate a dedicated Slack channel so that the wider team has a real-time view of what’s going on.

Through the digital HQ, Vodafone has developed an efficient way of dealing with release requests that can number over 100 a month. They remain productive and focussed on the work, not the admin, while other teams retain visibility over an integral part of the business.

Slack

A HQ for challenging times

The pandemic demonstrated that, even in challenging times, productive and efficient ways of working are possible through technology. Vodafone is living proof that our technology evolution didn’t stop there, with the digital HQ providing a new foundation for the future of work.

The macroeconomic challenges we face will surely pass, and there’ll undoubtedly be something else close to follow. Yet the digital HQ is no one-trick pony. By supercharging not just our productivity, efficiency and collaboration, but our resilience too, with the digital HQ, businesses can prepare for the future—whatever it looks like.  

For more information on how Slack’s Digital HQ can help your business click here.

Application Performance Management, Remote Work, Workstations

For years, climate action groups such as the World Green Building Council have been working with businesses, organisations, and governments to deliver on the ambitions of the Paris Agreement and UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. The central premise of their mission? If we are to fulfil the landmark pledges made in Paris, we need to rethink our built environments, with a colossal uptake in the number of sustainable initiatives and renovation projects that hasten decarbonization required.  

But the window of opportunity to take action is closing fast. Energy-efficient lighting retrofits within the built environment are pivotal if we are to achieve net-zero — and connected lighting’s role in the sustainable crusade cannot be overlooked. 

Buildings and construction account for 37% of energy-related CO2 emissions. It is self-evident that any government or business ought to be taking steps to introduce measures to improve the energy efficiency of buildings in their cities and set their regions on the path towards a net-zero built environment.  

That’s why major legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the US, the Energy Efficient Buildings program in Canada, and the Green Deal in Europe all include energy-efficient retrofits as a standard component of their manifestos. They understand the problem but need to be doing far more when it comes to implementing proven solutions. 

Connected LED lighting and smart systems 

Upgrading to LED lighting is one of the quickest and least intrusive aspects of the building renovation process. Lighting accounts for 13% of all electricity usage worldwide and up to 50% in cities.  

By moving to energy-efficient LED lighting, lighting-related energy consumption could drop to 8% globally by 2030, even while the total number of light points continues to rise. Pair that with the fact that in most cases LED lighting reduces a building’s energy consumption by over 50% compared with conventional alternatives—and by as much as 80% when connected and properly managed, monitored, and controlled. It’s hard to understand why more forward-thinking leaders aren’t taking advantage of the solution sitting right under their nose. 

Implementing connected lighting in a built environment offers energy savings and a massive reduction in carbon emissions — taking more than 553 million tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere if all businesses and cities converted to LED. But that’s just the start.  

Connecting LED lighting to a network also lays the groundwork for creating a smart digital framework that lets building owners and managers combine control of their lighting with other services like HVAC, blinds, and space allocation. Connected lighting sensors and controls enable presence detection, scheduling, and other smart capabilities that further enhance a building’s energy efficiency while cutting excess costs and improving functionality. 

Today’s needs and tomorrow’s needs are one and the same 

The need for energy-efficient retrofits couldn’t be starker. The consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are being felt around the globe, kickstarting an energy crisis that is both destabilizing economies and damaging everyday livelihoods across continents. It’s been a wake-up call for many dilatory governments that drastic changes to our relationship with energy are needed. Frankly, they were needed yesterday. 

Still, it’s not too late to make a difference. Acting now in response to the energy crisis by taking steps to boost the energy-efficiency of the built environment will have a long-lasting positive effect on the climate.  

Short-term energy efficiency needs and long-term climate needs are one and the same. The benefits of switching to smart systems and connected LED lighting to slash energy consumption and carbon emissions are proven, measurable, and immediate. There’s no reason not to make the switch now —before we run out of time. 

Words must be followed by action 

The jubilation that accompanied the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015 (COP21) was understandable. It was a landmark moment, with pledges made that, if accomplished, would not just shape the remainder of the century but the future of our planet. Which is why it is so disheartening to take stock of the progress that has been made toward those promises in the years since. A new UN report shows we are falling far short of our targets, set to blow past the Earth’s safe temperature threshold by almost a full degree

An analysis by the World Resource Institute found that current promises would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by around 7% from 2019 levels. To limit global warming to the proposed target of 1.5° C, that number would need to exceed 43%. We are not just failing but failing badly.  

But just because we’ve done too little doesn’t mean it’s too late. Yet. The current economic turmoil and energy catastrophe cannot be used as excuses for delaying the sustainable agenda. If anything, they’re further proof of why it’s needed. Thankfully, there are some out there who are taking note. 

Toronto and Sydney set the sustainability example 

Sydney’s city council has unanimously approved new planning rules that aim to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewables in buildings. Development applications for new office buildings, hotels, and shopping centres, and major redevelopments of existing buildings must comply with minimum energy ratings from January 2023 and achieve net-zero energy use from 2026. The new measures are expected to save more than AU$1.3 billion in energy costs for investors, businesses, and occupants from 2023 to 2040, and help the city meet its target of net-zero emissions by 2035. 

Meanwhile, Toronto is providing funding to support “deeper-than-planned” energy retrofits in 10 to 16 privately-owned buildings, with the goal of accelerating emissions reductions and identifying pathways to net-zero that can be replicated in other buildings. The initiative, part of Canada’s Energy Efficient Buildings program mentioned above, is seeking to rectify the fact that buildings are the largest source of GHG emissions in Toronto today, generating approximately 57% of total community-wide emissions. 

The economic and energy crises may be seen as today’s great foes, but don’t let them distract from the behemoth of the climate emergency. The dangers it poses are too significant and too imminent to be side-lined. Action is needed and it is needed now, lest we fall short on our crucial pledges. Promises made must be promises kept. Net-zero building renovations are a necessity. Cities like Sydney and Toronto are setting an example that cities around need to follow—and quickly.  

To find out more about Signify’s work on sustainability click here

Business Operations

Today, the world is facing what might be called a trilemma: the concurrent climate, energy, and economic crises. Economies are struggling with multiple impacts, businesses are dealing with quickly increasing costs and supply chain disruptions, and consumers are coping with inflation and skyrocketing energy bills.  

Although the intensity of these crises varies in different parts of the world, the entire world is affected, and countermeasures must be taken urgently. Energy demands continue to increase drastically, and action must be taken now to mitigate the effects. In many countries, the grid is at or nearing capacity. In Europe, 25% of electricity is generated by gas — a precarious situation, given the uncertainties caused by politics and conflicts in the east.  

The bottom line: the world needs to double the speed of action in every area of the global energy transition to reduce consumption of and dependence on fossil fuels. Among other things, this means doubling down on energy-efficiency systems and retrofits, renewable and nature-based energy sources, EVs, and smart systems that can produce more with less. 

Energy-efficiency initiatives will play a decisive role in both the short term and the long term. In the short term, energy-efficient retrofits and systems can help governments, businesses, and consumers quickly and effectively reduce energy consumption. In the long term, such initiatives will create the connected infrastructure required for achieving net zero ambitions. 

The accelerated switch to connected LED lighting can jumpstart the necessary doubling of efforts and impact. Signify has made this call to action many times before, but now we need actions, and we need them yesterday.  

Accelerating the switch to LED 

Lighting accounts for 13% of all electricity usage worldwide. By moving to energy-efficient LED lighting, lighting-related energy consumption could drop to 8% globally by 2030, even while the total number of light points continues to rise. It’s a fast, non-disruptive intervention that can act as a frontrunner for deeper and more complex renovations. Given that two-thirds of professional light points around the world are still conventional, the energy-savings potential of switching to LED lighting is enormous. 

LED lighting reduces energy consumption significantly over conventional alternatives—well over 50% in most cases. When connected and properly managed, monitored, and controlled, LED lighting systems can push energy reductions to as much as 80%, producing startling results. In addition to enhancing efficiency, connecting LED lighting to a network and introducing sensors and controls lays the groundwork for digital smart building and smart city frameworks that bring together multiple functions and applications. 

If businesses and cities converted all of their conventional light points to LED or connected LED, global electricity savings could total as much as 1,132 TWh per year, equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of 494 million households. The switch would save a total of €177 billion per year in electricity costs while taking more than 553 million tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere. That’s equivalent to the amount of carbon that 25 billion trees could sequester in a year.  

The results can be significant even on the local level. In a mid-size European city of 200,000 inhabitants, for example, switching all conventional lighting to LED could save over 78,000 MWh, over €26 million, and over 18,000 tCO2 per year. 

Incentivising the consumer 

Individuals also have an important role to play. There are many residential light points and replacing those with LEDs can have a significant impact on electricity consumption and carbon emissions.  

Encouragingly, many consumers have already started making the switch: 55% of residential lighting is already LED-based. In the EU alone, converting the remaining 45% could save more than 34 TWh annually — the annual consumption of 9.4 million households, or the electricity needed to charge over 10 million electric vehicles. The annual cost savings could top €11 billion. 

Changing just seven residential light points to LED could save as much energy and costs as decreasing the indoor temperature by 2° C during the cold part of the year. Of course, residents could do both and double down on energy and cost savings without sacrificing additional comfort or compromising quality of life. Switching to LED could help the average household save up to £250 per year in the UK, taking pressure off the millions of households that are being pushed into fuel poverty by spiking energy prices. 

Keeping the lights on is crucial 

Some have suggested that the most expedient way to save energy is to turn the lights off altogether. This is a good example of a so-called solution that’s worse than the problem it’s intended to solve.  

Light is one of life’s essentials — along with food, water, air, and shelter. Light affords safety, comfort, happiness, and well-being. Streets need illumination at night for safety—in fact, studies have demonstrated that the right lighting at night can deter crime by 21% and reduce traffic accidents by 30%. Schools need light so that students can learn. Hospitals need light for treatment and recovery. Public and commercial buildings need light so that people can perform their jobs properly and productively. Homes need light so that people can be together and relax and enjoy themselves in a comfortable environment. 

No light is no answer. Highly energy-efficient LED light, properly managed and delivered at the right time and in the right way, is. 

LED lighting with the right controls can maximize the energy-saving potential of digital light with dimming schedules and lighting behaviours that deliver light when and where it’s needed, and not when it isn’t.  

That’s important, but it’s just a beginning. For decades, Signify has been building on our understanding of lighting to help improve people’s health and well-being by unlocking the visual, biological, and emotional benefits of light. We’ve developed optics and light recipes designed to help people see, feel, and function better.  

You can’t afford not to act now 

Making a wholesale change from conventional lighting to LED and connected LED may seem daunting. But consider this: not acting immediately, means you’re effectively paying twice—once when you pay elevated energy prices for energy-inefficient conventional lighting and again when you have to replace your lighting. 

Accelerating the switch to energy-efficient connected LEDs is a simple but significant step that can help reduce energy consumption and meet climate action targets wherever you are in the world.  

At Signify, we have put sustainability at the very heart of our business strategy. We achieved carbon neutrality for all our operations in September 2020, and we continue to outperform on many of our other sustainability commitments. With programmes like Green Switch in Europe and Brighten America in the US, we’re sharing our expertise and experience to help others meet their commitments as well. 

As the world leader in lighting, our role is not just to operate responsibly, but to help cities, businesses, and individuals contend with the current energy and economic crises while at the same time averting the worst impacts of climate change.  

Energy efficiency is the winning ticket in the climate lottery. All you have to do is cash it in, but the time to take such action is now. You can’t afford not to—for the economy, for the climate, and for the people who depend on you. 

To find out more click here.  

Business Operations

Most of us have experienced breaks in supply chains recently. In the automotive industry, for example, no one can tell you exactly when a much-needed part will arrive. And, manufacturing has slowed to the point that previously-owned (used) popular cars — available now — cost more than the “new” models — on a wait list.

This lack of transparency frustrates Schnellecke Logistics SE. As one of the world’s leading automotive logistics service providers, the company not only delivers automotive parts in sync with its customers’ production processes, it also supports their process optimization.

Logistics supply inefficiency hinders process optimization

While external factors like volatile demand, employee shortages, and agile supply chains drove Schnellecke to become more efficient — what they really needed to transform business was real-time insight and transparency into the entire supply-chain process.

In their way were disparate systems that made it hard to retrieve and share vital information on shop-floor production processes and operations. And, without mobile access from the shop floor, they lacked the real-time data necessary to anticipate potential issues.

That blind spot was a driving factor in the decision for Schnellecke and its subsidiary, LOGIS GmbH IT, to build a digital control tower to manage logistics. The ability to visualize real-time data gives them (and their customers by extension) management oversight from transportation and warehousing, to packaging, assembly, and supply.

Managing supply from the digital boardroom in the control tower

Now, from the control tower’s digital boardroom, Schnellecke and its customers can make decisions based on real-time data from all their supply logistics processes. The role-specific applications and analytics drive greater efficiency and transparency with real-time operational data, automated KPI reports, digital shift protocols, and more.

“We developed a ‘digital boardroom for logistics’ to enable the integrated, end-to-end, and real-time monitoring of our logistics process. By also providing this tool to our customers, we have established a new level of customer service for our core business,” says Karsten Keil, CIO, Schnellecke and VP group IT and digitization LOGIS GmbH.

As an SAP intelligent enterprise, LOGIS built the digital control tower solution on the SAP Business Technology Platform. This solution is an important building block in Schnellecke’s digital strategy. All digital initiatives are combined and synchronised in the Schnellecke iX+ framework.

70% faster: operational insights and impact analysis

“With SAP Business Technology Platform, we have built a digital boardroom for logistics that provides us with a complete view by role and product to see what is happening on the shop floor from procurement to line feeding,” explains Denis Wirries, head of competence center IoT, LOGIS GmbH.

Schnellecke has achieved operational efficiency and excellence through process optimization. With mobile access to the dashboard from the shop floor they can see deviations easily and take action. By aggregating and processing real-time data digitally from various internal and external sources they are able to make better decisions. The automated reporting alone, saves them two hours per day. With a 70% increase in operational insight and impact analysis, both employees and customers have embraced a digital mindset.

3x faster issue resolution, 25% more issues predicted

Now, Schnellecke resolves issues 3x faster than before and predicts 25% more issues — improving operations, productivity, and customer satisfaction. All relevant logistics supply data is centralized and displayed in real time on the dashboard which is accessible from all commonly used — including mobile — devices. Manual data searches have become obsolete and operational processes are stable.

Schnellecke innovation has lit up the automotive and manufacturing supply chain and logistics processes end-to-end. Everyone benefits. In recognition, Keil was named one of the top 10 CIOs of the year 2021 by the German IT magazine Computerwoche.

“You have an idea, say it out loud and you have a team of colleagues who tirelessly and passionately fight for this idea together with you,” Keil exclaims. â€œThis is what makes Schnellecke so special for me. And that is also the reason for this success.”

Schnellecke is also a 2022 SAP Innovation Awards winner. You can read the company’s pitch deck to learn more about the digital architecture.

Schnellecke

Digital Transformation

As the broader economy and business environment continues to recover and rebound, there is an opportunity for IT leaders to leverage increased budgets to strategically invest in and prepare for new approaches to enterprise technology.

As noted by Spiceworks, the majority of businesses are increasing IT spending, with a particular focus on modernisation. “The hybrid work era, which coincided with the standardisation of the cloud as the backbone for enterprise operations, has put in motion renewed demand for software and services to modernise organisations’ technology infrastructure,” the report notes.

In other words, leaders are taking the opportunity of increased spending in IT to prepare their environments for new ways of working, that better integrate cloud and on-premises computing. With hardware, this means a renewed focus on three areas: efficiency, performance, and security. To help businesses capitalise on that opportunity, Intel has designed its vPro platform to deliver meaningful gains to enterprises across all three priorities.

Performance

Hybrid work environments require higher levels of performance, as remote employees rely more on video collaboration, and the organisation looks to more intensive applications like AI, and edge deployments.

Because the vPro platform is powered by the 12th generation of Intel Core processors, it delivers the significantly improved performance needed to make these environments seamless. Intel’s stats show that the mobile processors deliver up to 27 per cent faster application performance, the desktop processes achieve 21 per cent faster application performance, and, for example, this translates to a 23 per cent faster application performance while using Microsoft Excel during a Zoom video conference call.

Efficiency and Sustainability

Last year, Deloitte research found that more than half of consumers now expect companies to take meaningful steps towards reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability. With IT contributing a considerable amount to the power draw of the typical company, finding efficiencies through the IT refreshes becomes an effective way that the organisation to show proactive steps towards sustainability.

One of the key features in the vPro platform is the Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) that allows organisation to remotely manage the energy consumption of devices by shutting inactive devices down, and reduce the need for remote callouts or deskside visits. Intel estimates that this saves around one million kilowatt hours of energy consumption for every 20,000 devices managed this way, and additionally, by eliminating the need for separate energy management software, saves organisations by $25 – $75 per device.

Security

Adapting a hybrid and flexible approach to work changes the security dynamic. No longer is the traditional “perimeter” defence going to be sufficient, as organisations house data in clouds off-site, and employees work remotely and outside of the boundaries of the organisation. Addressing this security challenge requires a renewed focus on endpoint security.

Intel provides new security features thought vPro which are designed to renew that endpoint security layer. Intel Threat Detection Technology (Intel TDT) provides ransomware detection at the hardware level, allowing for the immediate response before the infection can spread.

The vPro platform also has features to detect living-off-the-land and supply chain-style attacks with a “zero trust” approach, in which AI automatically detects anomalies when applications are behaving unusually.

The vPro Suite Explained

There are four key branches to the Intel vPro solution, designed to bring the functionality of the suite across all platforms, and for all verticals:

Intel vPro Enterprise for Windows has been designed for enterprises and managed service providers that are looking after large fleets of devices.Intel vPro Essentials is the solution that Intel uses to provide SMEs with the core security and device management capabilities available to enterprises. Intel vPro Enterprise for Chrome OS has been designed to bring the efficiency of Chromebooks to enterprise environments by boosting their performance, stability, and security features.Intel vPro, An Evo Design combines two of Intel’s flagship products to deliver the company’s vision around security, performance, and management to mobile business environments.

Combined, Intel is pushing the vPro solution to be the ideal opportunity for a refresh of the IT environment, delivering the performance required of the modern mobile, edge and hybrid-driven organisations, while also being mindful of the changing dynamics around efficiency and security.

For more information on vPro, click here.

Business Process Management, CPUs and Processors

As the broader economy and business environment continues to recover and rebound, there is an opportunity for IT leaders to leverage increased budgets to strategically invest in and prepare for new approaches to enterprise technology.

As noted by Spiceworks, the majority of businesses are increasing IT spending, with a particular focus on modernisation. “The hybrid work era, which coincided with the standardisation of the cloud as the backbone for enterprise operations, has put in motion renewed demand for software and services to modernise organisations’ technology infrastructure,” the report notes.

In other words, leaders are taking the opportunity of increased spending in IT to prepare their environments for new ways of working, that better integrate cloud and on-premises computing. With hardware, this means a renewed focus on three areas: efficiency, performance, and security. To help businesses capitalise on that opportunity, Intel has designed its vPro platform to deliver meaningful gains to enterprises across all three priorities.

Performance

Hybrid work environments require higher levels of performance, as remote employees rely more on video collaboration, and the organisation looks to more intensive applications like AI, and edge deployments.

Because the vPro platform is powered by the 12th generation of Intel Core processors, it delivers the significantly improved performance needed to make these environments seamless. Intel’s stats show that the mobile processors deliver up to 27 per cent faster application performance, the desktop processes achieve 21 per cent faster application performance, and, for example, this translates to a 23 per cent faster application performance while using Microsoft Excel during a Zoom video conference call.

Efficiency and Sustainability

Last year, Deloitte research found that more than half of consumers now expect companies to take meaningful steps towards reducing carbon emissions and improving sustainability. With IT contributing a considerable amount to the power draw of the typical company, finding efficiencies through the IT refreshes becomes an effective way that the organisation to show proactive steps towards sustainability.

One of the key features in the vPro platform is the Intel Active Management Technology (Intel AMT) that allows organisation to remotely manage the energy consumption of devices by shutting inactive devices down, and reduce the need for remote callouts or deskside visits. Intel estimates that this saves around one million kilowatt hours of energy consumption for every 20,000 devices managed this way, and additionally, by eliminating the need for separate energy management software, saves organisations by $25 – $75 per device.

Security

Adapting a hybrid and flexible approach to work changes the security dynamic. No longer is the traditional “perimeter” defence going to be sufficient, as organisations house data in clouds off-site, and employees work remotely and outside of the boundaries of the organisation. Addressing this security challenge requires a renewed focus on endpoint security.

Intel provides new security features thought vPro which are designed to renew that endpoint security layer. Intel Threat Detection Technology (Intel TDT) provides ransomware detection at the hardware level, allowing for the immediate response before the infection can spread.

The vPro platform also has features to detect living-off-the-land and supply chain-style attacks with a “zero trust” approach, in which AI automatically detects anomalies when applications are behaving unusually.

The vPro Suite Explained

There are four key branches to the Intel vPro solution, designed to bring the functionality of the suite across all platforms, and for all verticals:

Intel vPro Enterprise for Windows has been designed for enterprises and managed service providers that are looking after large fleets of devices.Intel vPro Essentials is the solution that Intel uses to provide SMEs with the core security and device management capabilities available to enterprises. Intel vPro Enterprise for Chrome OS has been designed to bring the efficiency of Chromebooks to enterprise environments by boosting their performance, stability, and security features.Intel vPro, An Evo Design combines two of Intel’s flagship products to deliver the company’s vision around security, performance, and management to mobile business environments.

Combined, Intel is pushing the vPro solution to be the ideal opportunity for a refresh of the IT environment, delivering the performance required of the modern mobile, edge and hybrid-driven organisations, while also being mindful of the changing dynamics around efficiency and security.

For more information on vPro, click here.

Business Process Management, CPUs and Processors