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By Dennis Hodges, CIO, Inteva Products
Cloud ERP our Bread and Butter We have fully embraced cloud computing at Inteva. We run our ERP system through the cloud—which is our bread and butter system. Cloud computing allows us to keep our costs low, keep our skill set at a higher operational level and not be bogged down by routine technical tasks. “Data has cross-functional business uses and the challenge is creating relationships between disparate systems to extract the correct data reports” Replace Applications that Prison Data First of all, this is an issue across all industries—not just the automotive industry . I’ve found that many companies use older applications that treat data like a prison—data goes in and never comes out. Data has cross-functional business uses and the challenge is creating relationships between disparate systems to extract the correct data reports. For example, a sales person can input projections into a Sales Forecasting system which would also benefit the finance department, but the finance department uses its own system and different terminology. There must be a way for business units to easily extract the needed data, regardless of the system, terminology and skill sets of the people inputting the data. CIOs Focus on Process Improvements Over the last few years, especially now that our business is in the cloud, my role has been more focused on process improvements, with a focus on functional analysis and treating our business needs. I now have two process engineers on my team that help me with this as well. I joke that I should be called the Chief Process Officer not the Chief Information Officer! Service Provider vs. Just a Technical Expert In today’s automotive world, understanding what global means is imperative. I lived in Asia for seven years, which gave me an appreciation of the business culture. Equally important is learning to manage a global team. We have over 150 IT people across 42 locations and we must work together cohesively
Our industry is maturing and we need to train a new generation of workers. In order to do so in a global economy, we need to collaborate to take advantage of the rich knowledge base of our “experts.” I believe using connected technology allows us to train new workers regardless of location and lets us focus on stronger global process management. To help other automotive companies, I would recommend the use of the cloud, along with more collaborative internal social media tools, such as Jive and Yammer. The key is to use technology that allows your team to connect quicker and better.
Information Technology from “Utility” to “Business Enabler” successfully with strong business collaboration, improved governance, and motivated employees. Our approach was based on the culture of our company with the understanding that there is no “right way”, rather it is a matter of choosing the “best way” given the needs and culture of the organization and IT’s capabilities