"There is no more IT. Don't talk about IT anymore, it doesn't exist," says Mike Faiers, director of eBusiness and IT at BSH Home Appliances Limited (pictured).
Of course, as Faiers's job title suggests, this is not strictly true. However, the sentiment underlines the major shift that has taken place over the last few years at the company's UK's offices, that oversees brands such as Bosch and Siemens.
In 2012 the company merged its traditional IT function with its more digital-orientated operations, which Faiers had been brought into lead, in an effort to overhaul how IT interacted with the business
"The IT function was very traditional IT - servers, air-conditioned rooms, fixing laptops, that kind of thing. But we wanted to change it to something that was more consultative and engaged with wider business," he tells V3.
This led to the creation of the division dubbed eBusiness that Faiers oversees. This is made up of four mini-units. Two - infrastructure and systems - still focus on core IT areas, as the names suggest. The other two, though, are newer, with one dubbed Digital and the other Ecommerce and Innovation.
The idea to create this set of teams was, in part, to help those in IT have a more active role in the wider business environment, rather than just being cut-off from the rest of the business.
"IT used to be like the Wild West, when someone walked in it was almost a case of who would break first and look up and have to deal with the person there," he said.
"But when we looked at what we found frustrating it was that we were seen as detached, not visible, not valued or appreciated, so it was clear that we had to make people feel valued and make the business aware of what we could do."
It was this that led to the creation of the eBusiness unit and a major shift in how the unit operates to become a more integral part of the business that has a far more consultative ethos. It proved an instant hit.
"We were making changes rest of business was crying out for anyway, so when it started they embraced what we were doing," says Faiers.
In particular, the team focuses hard on trying to understand what a request is trying to achieve, so rather than just blindly building a new tool that may not actually be the right solution, it works with those request new functionality to ensure they address the nub of the issue.
For example, the team was asked to help solve an issue where sign-offs for price changes was being delayed, meaning orders were not processed in time, customers were receiving goods late and fines being issued to retailers.
It is now in the process of building a paperless approval process that should reduce delays in pricing change approvals, hopefully ending the issue of late deliveries.
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